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Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010)

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  1. Population Thinking as Trope Nominalism.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):91 - 109.
    The concept of population thinking was introduced by Ernst Mayr as the right way of thinking about the biological domain, but it is difficult to find an interpretation of this notion that is both unproblematic and does the theoretical work it was intended to do. I argue that, properly conceived, Mayr’s population thinking is a version of trope nominalism: the view that biological property-types do not exist or at least they play no explanatory role. Further, although population thinking has been (...)
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  • Cell Types as Natural Kinds.Matthew H. Slater - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):170-179.
    Talk of different types of cells is commonplace in the biological sciences. We know a great deal, for example, about human muscle cells by studying the same type of cells in mice. Information about cell type is apparently largely projectible across species boundaries. But what defines cell type? Do cells come pre-packaged into different natural kinds? Philosophical attention to these questions has been extremely limited [see e.g., Wilson (Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays, pp 187–207, 1999; Genes and the Agents of Life, (...)
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  • What’s at the Bottom of Scientific Realism?Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):625-628.
    This article reviews the book "Scientific Realism and the Rationality of Science" by Howard Sankey.
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  • Musical Pluralism and the Science of Music.Adrian Currie & Anton Killin - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):9-30.
    The scientific investigation of music requires contributions from a diverse array of disciplines. Given the diverse methodologies, interests and research targets of the disciplines involved, we argue that there is a plurality of legitimate research questions about music, necessitating a focus on integration. In light of this we recommend a pluralistic conception of music—that there is no unitary definition divorced from some discipline, research question or context. This has important implications for how the scientific study of music ought to proceed: (...)
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  • Are There Psychological Species?Joshua Fost - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (2):293-315.
    A common reaction to functional diversity is to group entities into clusters that are functionally similar. I argue here that people are diverse with respect to reasoning-related processes, and that these processes satisfy the basic requirements for evolving entities: they are heritable, mutable, and subject to selective pressures. I propose a metric to quantify functional difference and show how this can be used to place psychological processes into a structure akin to a phylogenetic or evolutionary tree. Three species concepts are (...)
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  • Saul A. Kripke Reference and Existence: The John Locke Lectures. Oxford University Press, 2013. Xiii + 170 Pp. GBP £22.50. Isbn 978‐0‐19‐992838‐5. [REVIEW]Björn Lundgren - 2015 - Theoria 81 (2):182-188.
  • Nanotechnology, Enhancement, and Human Nature.Nicole Hassoun - 2008 - NanoEthics 2 (3):289-304.
    Is nanotechnology-based human enhancement morally permissible? One reason to question such enhancement stems from a concern for preserving our species. It is harder than one might think, however, to explain what could be wrong with altering our own species. One possibility is to turn to the environmental ethics literature. Perhaps some of the arguments for preserving other species can be applied against nanotechnology-based human enhancements that alter human nature. This paper critically examines the case for using two of the strongest (...)
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  • In Defense of Species.Joseph LaPorte - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 38 (1):255-269.
    In this paper, I address the charge that the category species should be abandoned in biological work. The widespread appeal to species in scientific discourse provides a presumption in favor of the category’s usefulness, but a defeasible presumption. Widely acknowledged troubles attend species: these troubles might render the concept unusable by showing that ‘species’ is equivocal or meaningless or in some similar way fatally flawed. Further, there might be better alternatives to species. I argue that the presumption in favor of (...)
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  • An Empirically Informed Critique of Habermas' Argument From Human Nature.Nicolae Morar - 2014 - Science and Engineering Ethics (1):1-19.
    In a near-future world of bionics and biotechnology, the main ethical and political issue will be the definition of who we are. Could biomedical enhancements transform us to such an extent that we would be other than human? Habermas argues that any genetic enhancement intervention that could potentially alter ‘human nature’ should be morally prohibited since it alters the child’s nature or the very essence that makes the child who he is. This practice also commits the child to a specific (...)
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  • Should Extinction Be Forever?Karim Jebari - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology 29 (3):211-222.
    This article will explore a problem which is related to our moral obligations towards species. Although the re-creation of extinct animals has been discussed to some degree both in lay deliberations as well as by scientists, advocates tend to emphasize the technological and scientific value of such an endeavour, and the “coolness” factor, 32–33, 2013). This article will provide an argument in favour of re-creation based on normative considerations. The environmentalist community generally accepts that it is wrong to exterminate species, (...)
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  • Essentialism, History, and Biological Taxa.Makmiller Pedroso - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):182-190.
    de Queiroz (1995), Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) offer a new version of essentialism called "historical essentialism". According to this version of essentialism, relations of common ancestry are essential features of biological taxa. The main type of argument for this essentialism proposed by Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) is that the dominant school of classification, cladism, defines biological taxa in terms of common ancestry. The goal of this paper is to show that this argument for historical essentialism is unsatisfactory: cladism (...)
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  • What Are We to Make of the Concept of Race?Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):272-277.
  • Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories.Matthew J. Barker - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
  • The Core Argument for Veganism.Stijn Bruers - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):271-290.
    This article presents an argument for veganism, using a formal-axiomatic approach: a list of twenty axioms are explicitly stated. These axioms are all necessary conditions to derive the conclusion that veganism is a moral duty. The presented argument is a minimalist or core argument for veganism, because it is as parsimonious as possible, using the weakest conditions, the narrowest definitions, the most reliable empirical facts and the minimal assumptions necessary to reach the conclusion. If someone does not accept the conclusion, (...)
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  • What Are We to Make of the Concept of Race? Thoughts of a Philosopher–Scientist.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):272-277.
    Discussions about the biological bases (or lack thereof) of the concept of race in the human species seem to be never ending. One of the latest rounds is represented by a paper by Neven Sesardic, which attempts to build a strong scientific case for the existence of human races, based on genetic, morphometric and behavioral characteristics, as well as on a thorough critique of opposing positions. In this paper I show that Sesardic’s critique falls far short of the goal, and (...)
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  • Immense Multiple Realization.Anders Strand - 2007 - Metaphysica 8 (1):61-78.
    In his latest book Physicalism, or Something near Enough, Jaegwon Kim argues that his version of functional reductionism is the most promising way for saving mental causation. I argue, on the other hand, that there is an internal tension in his position: Functional reductionism does not save mental causation if Kim’s own supervenience argument is sound. My line of reasoning has the following steps: (1) I discuss the supervenience argument and I explain how it motivates Kim’s functional reductionism; (2) I (...)
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  • Biological Individuals and Natural Kinds.Olivier Rieppel - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):162-169.
    This paper takes a hierarchical approach to the question whether species are individuals or natural kinds. The thesis defended here is that species are spatiotemporally located complex wholes (individuals), that are composed of (i.e., include) causally interdependent parts, which collectively also instantiate a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) natural kind. Species may form open or closed genetic systems that are dynamic in nature, that have fuzzy boundaries due to the processual nature of speciation, that may have leaky boundaries as is manifest (...)
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