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  1. Why Was Darwin’s View of Species Rejected by Twentieth Century Biologists?James Mallet - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):497-527.
    Historians and philosophers of science agree that Darwin had an understanding of species which led to a workable theory of their origins. To Darwin species did not differ essentially from ‘varieties’ within species, but were distinguishable in that they had developed gaps in formerly continuous morphological variation. Similar ideas can be defended today after updating them with modern population genetics. Why then, in the 1930s and 1940s, did Dobzhansky, Mayr and others argue that Darwin failed to understand species and speciation? (...)
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  • Eliminative Pluralism and Integrative Alternatives: The Case of SPECIES.Matthew J. Barker - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx057.
    Pluralisms of various sorts are popular in philosophy of science, including those that imply some scientific concept X should be eliminated from science in favour of a plurality of concepts X1, X2, … Xn. This paper focuses on influential and representative arguments for such eliminative pluralism about the concept species. The main conclusions are that these arguments fail, that all other extant arguments also fail, and that this reveals a quite general dilemma, one that poses a defeasible presumption against many (...)
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  • Darwin's Solution to the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Synthese 175 (3):405 - 425.
    Biologists and philosophers that debate the existence of the species category fall into two camps. Some believe that the species category does not exist and the term 'species' should be eliminated from biology. Others believe that with new biological insights or the application of philosophical ideas, we can be confident that the species category exists. This paper offers a different approach to the species problem. We should be skeptical of the species category, but not skeptical of the existence of those (...)
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  • Threads That Guide or Ties That Bind: William Kirby and the Essentialism Story.Charissa S. Varma - 2009 - Journal of the History of Biology 42 (1):119-149.
    Nineteenth-century British entomologist William Kirby is best known for his generic division of bees based on tongues and his vigorous defence of natural theology. Focusing on these aspects of Kirby's work has lead many current scholars to characterise Kirby as an "essentialist." As a result of this characterisation, many important aspects of his work, Monographia Apum Angliœ (1802) have been over-looked or misunderstood. Kirby's religious devotion, for example, have lead some scholars to assume Kirby used the term "type" for connecting (...)
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  • On the Moral Considerability of Homo Sapiens and Other Species.Ronald Sandler & Judith Crane - 2006 - Environmental Values 15 (1):69 - 84.
    It is sometimes claimed that as members of the species Homo sapiens we have a responsibility to promote the good of Homo sapiens itself (distinct from the good of its individual members). Lawrence Johnson has recently defended this claim as part of his approach to resolving the problem of future generations. We show that there are several difficulties with Johnson's argument, many of which are likely to attend any attempt to establish the moral considerability of Homo sapiens or species generally. (...)
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  • The Empirical Inadequacy of Species Cohesion by Gene Flow.Matthew J. Barker - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):654-665.
    This paper brings needed clarity to the influential view that species are cohesive entities held together by gene flow, and then develops an empirical argument against that view: Neglected data suggest gene flow is neither necessary nor sufficient for species cohesion. Implications are discussed. ‡I'm grateful to Rob Wilson, Alex Rueger and Lindley Darden for important comments on earlier drafts, and to Joseph Nagel, Heather Proctor, Ken Bond, members of the DC History and Philosophy of Biology reading group, and audience (...)
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  • The Evolution of the Linnaean Hierarchy.Marc Ereshefsky - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (4):493-519.
    The Linnaean system of classification is a threefold system of theoretical assumptions, sorting rules, and rules of nomenclature. Over time, that system has lost its theoretical assumptions as well as its sorting rules. Cladistic revisions have left it less and less Linnaean. And what remains of the system is flawed on pragmatic grounds. Taking all of this into account, it is time to consider alternative systems of classification.
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  • A (Not-so-Radical) Solution to the Species Problem.Bradley E. Wilson - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):339-356.
    What are species? One popular answer is that species are individuals. Here I develop another approach to thinking about species, an approach based on the notion of a lineage. A lineage is a sequence of reproducing entities, individuated in terms of its components. I argue that one can conceive of species as groups of lineages, either organism lineages or population lineages. Conceiving of species as groups of lineages resolves the problems that the individual conception of species is supposed to resolve. (...)
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  • On the Nature of the Species Problem and the Four Meanings of 'Species'.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (1):135-158.
    Present-day thought on the notion of species is troubled by a mistaken understanding of the nature of the issue: while the species problem is commonly understood as concerning the epistemology and ontology of one single scientific concept, I argue that in fact there are multiple distinct concepts at stake. An approach to the species problem is presented that interprets the term ‘species’ as the placeholder for four distinct scientific concepts, each having its own role in biological theory, and an explanation (...)
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  • Species as Historical Individuals.Arnold G. Kluge - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (4):417-431.
    The species category is defined as thesmallest historical individual within which there is a parental pattern of ancestry and descent. The use of historical individual in this definition is consistent with the prevailing notion that speciesper se are not involved in processes — they are effects, not effectors. Reproductive isolation distinguishes biparental historical species from their parts, and it provides a basis for understanding the nature of the evidence used to discover historical individuals.
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  • What is Analytic Metaphysics For?James Maclaurin & Heather Dyke - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):291-306.
    We divide analytic metaphysics into naturalistic and non-naturalistic metaphysics. The latter we define as any philosophical theory that makes some ontological (as opposed to conceptual) claim, where that ontological claim has no observable consequences. We discuss further features of non-naturalistic metaphysics, including its methodology of appealing to intuition, and we explain the way in which we take it to be discontinuous with science. We outline and criticize Ladyman and Ross's 2007 epistemic argument against non-naturalistic metaphysics. We then present our own (...)
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  • A Pragmatic Approach to the Possibility of de-Extinction.Matthew H. Slater & Hayley Clatterbuck - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):4.
    A number of influential biologists are currently pursuing efforts to restore previously extinct species. But for decades, philosophers of biology have regarded “de-extinction” as conceptually incoherent. Once a species is gone, it is gone forever. We argue that a range of metaphysical, biological, and ethical grounds for opposing de-extinction are at best inconclusive and that a pragmatic stance that allows for its possibility is more appealing.
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  • Integrative Taxonomy and the Operationalization of Evolutionary Independence.Stijn Conix - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):587-603.
    There is growing agreement among taxonomists that species are independently evolving lineages. The central notion of this conception, evolutionary independence, is commonly operationalized by taxonomists in multiple, diverging ways. This leads to a problem of operationalization-dependency in species classification, as species delimitation is not only dependent on the properties of the investigated groups, but also on how taxonomists choose to operationalize evolutionary independence. The question then is how the operationalization-dependency of species delimitation is compatible with its objectivity and reliability. In (...)
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  • Transhumanism, Theological Anthropology, and Modern Biological Taxonomy.Travis Dumsday - 2017 - Zygon 52 (3):601-622.
    I examine the ways in which the theological and philosophical debate surrounding transhumanism might profit by a detailed engagement with contemporary biology, in particular with the mainline accounts of species and speciation. After a short introduction, I provide a very brief primer on species concepts and speciation in contemporary biological taxonomy. Then in a third section I draw out some implications for the prospects of our being able intentionally to intervene in human evolution for the production of new species out (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms.Kathrin Koslicki - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):789-802.
    The aim of this article is to illustrate how a belief in the existence of kinds may be justified for the particular case of natural kinds: particularly noteworthy in this respect is the weight borne by scientific natural kinds (e.g., physical, chemical, and biological kinds) in (i) inductive arguments; (ii) the laws of nature; and (iii) causal explanations. It is argued that biological taxa are properly viewed as kinds as well, despite the fact that they have been by some alleged (...)
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  • Evolution Without Species: The Case of Mosaic Bacteriophages.Gregory J. Morgan & W. Brad Pitts - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):745-765.
    College of Medicine, University of South Alabama Mobile, AL 36688-0002, USA wbp501{at}jaguar1.usouthal.edu ' + u + '@' + d + ' '//--> Abstract Recent work in viral genomics has shown that bacteriophages exhibit a high degree of mosaicism, which is most likely due to a long history of prolific horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Given these findings, we argue that each of the most plausible attempts to properly classify bacteriophages into distinct species fail. Mayr's biological species concept fails because there is (...)
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  • On the Nature of the Species Problem and the Four Meanings of ‘Species’.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (1):135-158.