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  1. 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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  • Conceptual Fragmentation and the Rise of Eliminativism.Henry Taylor & Peter Vickers - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):17-40.
    Pluralist and eliminativist positions have proliferated within both science and philosophy of science in recent decades. This paper asks the question why this shift of thinking has occurred, and where it is leading us. We provide an explanation which, if correct, entails that we should expect pluralism and eliminativism to transform other debates currently unaffected, and for good reasons. We then consider the question under what circumstances eliminativism will be appropriate, arguing that it depends not only on the term in (...)
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  • No Purely Epistemic Theory Can Account for the Naturalness of Kinds.Olivier Lemeire - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Several philosophers have recently tried to define natural kinds in epistemic terms only. Given the persistent problems with finding a successful metaphysical theory, these philosophers argue that we would do better to describe natural kinds solely in terms of their epistemic usefulness, such as their role in supporting inductive inferences. In this paper, I argue against these epistemology-only theories of natural kinds and in favor of, at least partly, metaphysical theories. I do so in three steps. In the first section (...)
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  • Critical Realism and Causality: Tracing the Aristotelian Legacy.Stephen Pratten - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (2):189-218.
    Rom Harré's generative account of causality has been drawn on heavily by advocates of critical realism. Yet Harré argues that critical realists often exaggerate the extent to which powerful causal explanations of social phenomena can be developed. Certain proponents of critical realism have responded to Harré's criticisms by suggesting that it is useful to consider the relevant issues in relation to the familiar Aristotelian classification of four causes. In this paper I contribute to this debate and pursue a similar strategy. (...)
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  • Classifying Life, Reconstructing History and Teaching Diversity: Philosophical Issues in the Teaching of Biological Systematics and Biodiversity.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):189-220.
  • The Current Status of the Philosophy of Biology.Peter Takacs & Michael Ruse - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (1):5-48.
  • Character Analysis in Cladistics: Abstraction, Reification, and the Search for Objectivity.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):129-162.
    The dangers of character reification for cladistic inference are explored. The identification and analysis of characters always involves theory-laden abstraction—there is no theory-free “view from nowhere.” Given theory-ladenness, and given a real world with actual objects and processes, how can we separate robustly real biological characters from uncritically reified characters? One way to avoid reification is through the employment of objectivity criteria that give us good methods for identifying robust primary homology statements. I identify six such criteria and explore each (...)
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  • Individual Essentialism in Biology.Michael Devitt - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):39.
    A few philosophers of biology have recently explicitly rejected Essential Membership, the doctrine that if an individual organism belongs to a taxon, particularly a species, it does so essentially. But philosophers of biology have not addressed the broader issue, much discussed by metaphysicians on the basis of modal intuitions, of what is essential to the organism. In this paper, I address that issue from a biological basis, arguing for the Kripkean view that an organism has a partly intrinsic, partly historical, (...)
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  • Microbiology and the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):553-568.
    This paper examines the species problem in microbiology and its implications for the species problem more generally. Given the different meanings of ‘species’ in microbiology, the use of ‘species’ in biology is more multifarious and problematic than commonly recognized. So much so, that recent work in microbial systematics casts doubt on the existence of a prokaryote species category in nature. It also casts doubt on the existence of a general species category for all of life (one that includes both prokaryotes (...)
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  • How to Be a Chaste Species Pluralist-Realist: The Origins of Species Modes and the Synapomorphic Species Concept.John S. Wilkins - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):621-638.
    The biological species (biospecies) concept applies only to sexually reproducing species, which means that until sexual reproduction evolved, there were no biospecies. On the universal tree of life, biospecies concepts therefore apply only to a relatively small number of clades, notably plants andanimals. I argue that it is useful to treat the various ways of being a species (species modes) as traits of clades. By extension from biospecies to the other concepts intended to capture the natural realities of what keeps (...)
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  • Art Concept Pluralism.Christy Mag Uidhir & P. D. Magnus - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (1-2):83-97.
    Abstract: There is a long tradition of trying to analyze art either by providing a definition (essentialism) or by tracing its contours as an indefinable, open concept (anti-essentialism). Both art essentialists and art anti-essentialists share an implicit assumption of art concept monism. This article argues that this assumption is a mistake. Species concept pluralism—a well-explored position in philosophy of biology—provides a model for art concept pluralism. The article explores the conditions under which concept pluralism is appropriate, and argues that they (...)
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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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  • Clades Are Reproducers.Andrew Hamilton & Matthew H. Haber - 2006 - Biological Theory 1 (4):381-391.
    Exploring whether clades can reproduce leads to new perspectives on general accounts of biological development and individuation. Here we apply James Griesemer's general account of reproduction to clades. Griesemer's account of reproduction includes a requirement for development, raising the question of whether clades may bemeaningfully said to develop. We offer two illustrative examples of what clade development might look like, though evaluating these examples proves difficult due to the paucity of general accounts of development. This difficulty, however, is instructive about (...)
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  • Scientific Kinds.Marc Ereshefsky & Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):969-986.
    Richard Boyd’s Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory is becoming the received view of natural kinds in the philosophy of science. However, a problem with HPC Theory is that it neglects many kinds highlighted by scientific classifications while at the same time endorsing kinds rejected by science. In other words, there is a mismatch between HPC kinds and the kinds of science. An adequate account of natural kinds should accurately track the classifications of successful science. We offer an alternative account of natural (...)
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  • Carnap on Concept Determination: Methodology for Philosophy of Science. [REVIEW]James Justus - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (2):161-179.
    Abstract Recent criticisms of intuition from experimental philosophy and elsewhere have helped undermine the authority of traditional conceptual analysis. As the product of more empirically informed philosophical methodology, this result is compelling and philosophically salutary. But the negative critiques rarely suggest a positive alternative. In particular, a normative account of concept determination—how concepts should be characterized—is strikingly absent from such work. Carnap's underappreciated theory of explication provides such a theory. Analyses of complex concepts in empirical sciences illustrates and supports this (...)
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  • Does a Type Specimen Necessarily or Contingently Belong to its Species?Joseph LaPorte - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):583-588.
    In a recent article, Alex Levine raises a paradox. It appears that, given some relatively uncontroversial premises about how a species term comes to refer to its species, a type specimen belongs necessarily and contingently to its species. According to Levine, this problem arises if species are individuals rather than natural kinds. I argue that the problem can be generalized: the problem also arises if species are kinds and type specimens are paradigmatic members used to baptize names for species. Indeed, (...)
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  • Non-Essentialist Methods in Pre-Darwinian Taxonomy.Mary P. Winsor - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):387-400.
    The current widespread belief that taxonomic methods used before Darwin were essentialist is ill-founded. The essentialist method developed by followers of Plato and Aristotle required definitions to state properties that are always present. Polythetic groups do not obey that requirement, whatever may have been the ontological beliefs of the taxonomist recognizing such groups. Two distinct methods of forming higher taxa, by chaining and by examplar, were widely used in the period between Linnaeus and Darwin, and both generated polythetic groups. Philosopher (...)
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