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  1. Current Issues in the Philosophy of Biology.Marjorie Grene - 1997 - Perspectives on Science 5 (2):255-281.
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  • Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays.Robert Andrew Wilson - 1999 - MIT Press.
    This collection of original essays--by philosophers of biology, biologists, and cognitive scientists--provides a wide range of perspectives on species. Including contributions from David Hull, John Dupre, David Nanney, Kevin de Queiroz, and Kim Sterelny, amongst others, this book has become especially well-known for the three essays it contains on the homeostatic property cluster view of natural kinds, papers by Richard Boyd, Paul Griffiths, and Robert A. Wilson.
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  • Conceptualizing Communities as Natural Entities: A Philosophical Argument with Basic and Applied Implications.David A. Steen, Kyle Barrett, Ellen Clarke & Craig Guyer - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1019-1034.
    Recent work has suggested that conservation efforts such as restoration ecology and invasive species eradication are largely value-driven pursuits. Concurrently, changes to global climate are forcing ecologists to consider if and how collections of species will migrate, and whether or not we should be assisting such movements. Herein, we propose a philosophical framework which addresses these issues by utilizing ecological and evolutionary interrelationships to delineate individual ecological communities. Specifically, our Evolutionary Community Concept recognizes unique collections of species that interact and (...)
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  • Natural Selection and Self-Organization.Bruce H. Weber & David J. Depew - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (1):33-65.
    The Darwinian concept of natural selection was conceived within a set of Newtonian background assumptions about systems dynamics. Mendelian genetics at first did not sit well with the gradualist assumptions of the Darwinian theory. Eventually, however, Mendelism and Darwinism were fused by reformulating natural selection in statistical terms. This reflected a shift to a more probabilistic set of background assumptions based upon Boltzmannian systems dynamics. Recent developments in molecular genetics and paleontology have put pressure on Darwinism once again. Current work (...)
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  • The Origins of Species Concepts.John Simpson Wilkins - 2003 - Dissertation, University of Melbourne
    The longstanding species problem in biology has a history that suggests a solution, and that history is not the received history found in many texts written by biologists or philosophers. The notion of species as the division into subordinate groups of any generic predicate was the staple of logic from Aristotle through the middle ages until quite recently. However, the biological species concept during the same period was at first subtly and then overtly different. Unlike the logic sense, which relied (...)
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  • Review Symposium : Laurens Laudan. Progress and its Problems: Toward a Theory of Scientific Growth. Berkeley and Los Angeles: The University of California Press, 1977. Pp. X + 257.Laudan's Progress and its Problems. [REVIEW]David L. Hull, Andrew Lugg, Robert E. Butts & I. C. Jarvie - 1979 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 9 (4):457-465.
  • Ernst Mayr's Influence on the History and Philosophy of Biology: A Personal Memoir. [REVIEW]David L. Hull - 1994 - Biology and Philosophy 9 (3):375-386.
    Mayr has made both conceptual and professional contributions to the establishment of the history and philosophy of biology. His conceptual contributions include, among many others, the notion of population thinking. He has also played an important role in the establishment of history and philosophy of biology as viable professional disciplines.
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  • The Use and Abuse of Sir Karl Popper.David L. Hull - 1999 - Biology and Philosophy 14 (4):481-504.
    Karl Popper has been one of the few philosophers of sciences who has influenced scientists. I evaluate Popper's influence on our understanding of evolutionary theory from his earliest publications to the present. Popper concluded that three sorts of statements in evolutionary biology are not genuine laws of nature. I take him to be right on this score. Popper's later distinction between evolutionary theory as a metaphysical research program and as a scientific theory led more than one scientist to misunderstand his (...)
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  • Paleontology at the “High Table”? Popularization and Disciplinary Status in Recent Paleontology.David Sepkoski - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):133-138.
    This paper examines the way in which paleontologists used “popular books” to call for a broader “expanded synthesis” of evolutionary biology. Beginning in the 1970s, a group of influential paleontologists, including Stephen Jay Gould, Niles Eldredge, David Raup, Steven Stanley, and others, aggressively promoted a new theoretical, evolutionary approach to the fossil record as an important revision of the existing synthetic view of Darwinism. This work had a transformative effect within the discipline of paleontology. However, by the 1980s, paleontologists began (...)
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  • Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards.P. D. Magnus - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Some scientific categories seem to correspond to genuine features of the world and are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind and puts the account to work illuminating numerous specific examples.
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  • Special Issue: Philosophical Considerations in the Teaching of Biology. Part II, Evolution, Development and Genetics.Kostas Kampourakis (ed.) - 2013 - Springer (Science & Education).
  • A Cladist is a Systematist Who Seeks a Natural Classification: Some Comments on Quinn.David M. Williams & Malte C. Ebach - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):10.
    In response to Quinn we identify cladistics to be about natural classifications and their discovery and thereby propose to add an eighth cladistic definition to Quinn’s list, namely the systematist who seeks to discover natural classifications, regardless of their affiliation, theoretical or methodological justifications.
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  • Applied Ontology: An Introduction.Katherine Munn & Barry Smith (eds.) - 2008 - Frankfurt: ontos.
    Ontology is the philosophical discipline which aims to understand how things in the world are divided into categories and how these categories are related together. This is exactly what information scientists aim for in creating structured, automated representations, called 'ontologies,' for managing information in fields such as science, government, industry, and healthcare. Currently, these systems are designed in a variety of different ways, so they cannot share data with one another. They are often idiosyncratically structured, accessible only to those who (...)
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  • David Hull’s Natural Philosophy of Science.Paul E. Griffiths - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):301-310.
    Throughout his career David Hull has sought to bring the philosophy of science into closer contact with science and especially with biological science (Hull 1969, 1997b). This effort has taken many forms. Sometimes it has meant ‘either explaining basic biology to philosophers or explaining basic philosophy to biologists’ (Hull 1996, p. 77). The first of these tasks, simple as it sounds, has been responsible for revolutionary changes. It is well known that traditional philosophy of science, modeled as it was on (...)
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  • A Philosophy of Cover Songs.P. D. Magnus - 2022 - Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers.
    Cover songs are a familiar feature of contemporary popular music. Musicians describe their own performances as covers, and audiences use the category to organize their listening and appreciation. However, until now philosophers have not had much to say about them. This book explores how to think about covers, appreciating covers, and the metaphysics of covers and songs. Along the way, it explores a range of issues raised by covers, from the question of what precisely constitutes a cover, to the history (...)
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  • Frameworks, Models, and Case Studies: A New Methodology for Studying Conceptual Change in Science and Philosophy.Matteo De Benedetto - 2022 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
    This thesis focuses on models of conceptual change in science and philosophy. In particular, I developed a new bootstrapping methodology for studying conceptual change, centered around the formalization of several popular models of conceptual change and the collective assessment of their improved formal versions via nine evaluative dimensions. Among the models of conceptual change treated in the thesis are Carnap’s explication, Lakatos’ concept-stretching, Toulmin’s conceptual populations, Waismann’s open texture, Mark Wilson’s patches and facades, Sneed’s structuralism, and Paul Thagard’s conceptual revolutions. (...)
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  • Descent and Logic in Biosystematics.Thomas McCabe (ed.) - 2021 - Juneau: Perseverant Publishing.
    Descent and Logic in Biosystematics is a short multidisciplinary book about biological systematics and taxonomy. Some of the subjects covered in it are philosophical---taxonomic theory, species concepts, speciation models, and evolutionary theories. Yet the book also covers matters not philosophical, such as taxonomic operations, experimental taxonomy, and two new suggested taxonomic methods, with worked examples. The author finds relationships among these topics. The book is addressed to both working taxonomists, and to philosophers with an interest in biology. It will also (...)
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  • We Are Nearly Ready to Begin the Species Problem.Matthew J. Barker - forthcoming - In John S. Wilkins, Frank E. Zachos & Igor Ya Pavlinov (eds.), Species Problems and Beyond: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy and Practice. Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group.
    This paper isolates a hard, long-standing species problem: developing a comprehensive and exacting theory about the constitutive conditions of the species category, one that is accurate for most of the living world, and which vindicates the widespread view that the species category is of more theoretical import than categories such as genus, sub-species, paradivision, and stirp. The paper then uncovers flaws in several views that imply we have either already solved that hard species problem or dissolved it altogether – so-called (...)
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  • Model Organisms in Evo-Devo: Promises and Pitfalls of the Comparative Approach.Alessandro Minelli & Jan Baedke - 2014 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 36 (1):42-59.
    Evolutionary developmental biology is a rapidly growing discipline whose ambition is to address questions that are of relevance to both evolutionary biology and developmental biology. This field has been increasingly progressing as a new and independent comparative science. However, we argue that evo-devo’s comparative approach is challenged by several metaphysical, methodological and socio-disciplinary issues related to the foundation of heuristic functions of model organisms and the possible criteria to be adopted for their selection. In addition, new tools have to be (...)
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  • Against Thatcherite Linguistics: Rule‐Following, Speech Communities, and Biolanguage.Shane N. Glackin - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (2):163-192.
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  • Towards a Multidimensional Metaconception of Species.Catherine Kendig - 2014 - Ratio 27 (2):155-172.
    Species concepts aim to define the species category. Many of these rely on defining species in terms of natural lineages and groupings. A dominant gene-centred metaconception has shaped notions of what constitutes both a natural lineage and a natural grouping. I suggest that relying on this metaconception provides an incomplete understanding of what constitute natural lineages and groupings. If we take seriously the role of epigenetic, behavioural, cultural, and ecological inheritance systems, rather than exclusively genetic inheritance, a broader notion of (...)
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  • Species as Models.Jun Otsuka - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1075-1086.
    This article characterizes various species concepts in terms of set-theoretic models that license biological inferences and illustrates the logical connections among different species concepts. Species in this construal are abstract models, rather than biological or even tangible entities, and relate to individual organisms via representation, rather than the membership or mereological whole/part relationship. The proposal sheds new light on vexed issues of species and situates them within broader philosophical contexts of model selection, scientific representation, and scientific realism.
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  • Eliminative Pluralism and Integrative Alternatives: The Case of Species.Matthew J. Barker - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):657-681.
    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 article 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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  • 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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  • Are Synthetic Genomes Parts of a Genetic Lineage?Gunnar Babcock - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):995-1011.
    Biologists are nearing the creation of the first fully synthetic eukaryotic genome. Does this mean that we still soon be able to create genomes that are parts of an existing genetic lineage? If so, it might be possible to bring back extinct species. But do genomes that are synthetically assembled, no matter how similar they are to native genomes, really belong to the genetic lineage on which they were modelled? This article will argue that they are situated within the same (...)
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  • Natural Selection of Independently Originated Life Clades.Margarida Hermida - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-37.
    Life on Earth descends from a common ancestor. However, it is likely that there are other instances of life in the universe. If so, each abiogenesis event will have given rise to an independently originated life clade (IOLC), of which Earth-life is an example. In this paper, I argue that the set of all IOLCs in the universe forms a Darwinian population subject to natural selection, with more widely dispersed IOLCs being less likely to face extinction. As a result, we (...)
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  • Indexically Structured Ecological Communities.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):501-522.
    Ecological communities are seldom, if ever, biological individuals. They lack causal boundaries as the populations that constitute communities are not congruent and rarely have persistent functional roles regulating the communities’ higher-level properties. Instead we should represent ecological communities indexically, by identifying ecological communities via the network of weak causal interactions between populations that unfurl from a starting set of populations. This precisification of ecological communities helps identify how community properties remain invariant, and why they have robust characteristics. This respects the (...)
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  • On Mushroom Individuality.Dan Molter - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1117-1127.
    This paper is an application of the principles of individuality found in Guay and Pradeu to illuminate biological individuality in mushrooms. I begin with the distinction between logico-cognitive individuals and ontological individuals, and then I argue for genidentity plus material continuity, as a minimum conception of ontological individuality in biology. Of the many materially-continuous genidenticals found in fungi, only those with functional roles in biological theory, either evolutionary or physiological, warrant consideration. Given numerous ways that theory picks out materially-continuous genidenticals (...)
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  • Making the Most of Clade Selection.W. Ford Doolittle - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):275-295.
    Clade selection is unpopular with philosophers who otherwise accept multilevel selection theory. Clades cannot reproduce, and reproduction is widely thought necessary for evolution by natural selection, especially of complex adaptations. Using microbial evolutionary processes as heuristics, I argue contrariwise, that (1) clade growth (proliferation of contained species) substitutes for clade reproduction in the evolution of complex adaptation, (2) clade-level properties favoring persistence – species richness, dispersal, divergence, and possibly intraclade cooperation – are not collapsible into species-level traits, (3) such properties (...)
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  • Multilevel Lineages and Multidimensional Trees: The Levels of Lineage and Phylogeny Reconstruction.Matthew H. Haber - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):609-623.
    The relation between method, concept and theory in science is complicated. I seek to shed light on that relation by considering an instance of it in systematics: The additional challenges phylogeneticists face when reconstructing phylogeny not at a single level, but simultaneously at multiple levels of the hierarchy. How does this complicate the task of phylogenetic inference, and how might it inform and shape the conceptual foundations of phylogenetics? This offers a lens through which the interplay of method, theory and (...)
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  • On the Metaphysics of Species.Judith K. Crane - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (2):156-173.
    This paper explains the metaphysical implications of the view that species are individuals (SAI). I first clarify SAI in light of the separate distinctions between individuals and classes, particulars and universals, and abstract and concrete things. I then show why the standard arguments given in defense of SAI are not compelling. Nonetheless, the ontological status of species is linked to the traditional "species problem," in that certain species concepts do entail that species are individuals. I develop the idea that species (...)
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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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  • Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics and Evolution: A Philosophical Perspective.David J. Depew - 1986 - Philosophica 37 (19860):27-58.
     
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  • Specious Individuals.Kristin Guyot - 1986 - Philosophica 37.
     
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  • Why Does the Species Problem Still Persist?Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2004 - Bioessays 26 (3):300-305.
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  • Uniqueness in the Life Sciences: How Did the Elephant Get its Trunk?Adrian Currie & Andrew Buskell - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (4):1-24.
    Researchers in the life sciences often make uniqueness attributions; about branching events generating new species, the developmental processes generating novel traits and the distinctive cultural selection pressures faced by hominins. Yet since uniqueness implies non-recurrence, such attributions come freighted with epistemic consequences. Drawing on the work of Aviezer Tucker, we show that a common reaction to uniqueness attributions is pessimism: both about the strength of candidate explanations as well as the ability to even generate such explanations. Looking at two case (...)
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  • Consilience and a Hierarchy of Species Concepts: Advances Toward Closure on the Species Puzzle.Richard L. Mayden - 1999 - Journal of Nematology 31 (2):95–116.
    Numerous concepts exist for biological species. This diversity of ideas derives from a number of sources ranging from investigative study of particular taxa and character sets to philosophical aptitude and world view to operationalism and nomenclatorial rules. While usually viewed as counterproductive, in reality these varied concepts can greatly enhance our efforts to discover and understand biological diversity. Moreover, this continued "turf war" and dilemma over species can be resolved if the various concepts are viewed in a hierarchical system and (...)
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  • Nothing in Ethics Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution? Natural Goodness, Normativity, and Naturalism.Jay Odenbaugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1031-1055.
    Foot , Hursthouse , and Thompson , along with other philosophers, have argued for a metaethical position, the natural goodness approach, that claims moral judgments are, or are on a par with, teleological claims made in the biological sciences. Specifically, an organism’s flourishing is characterized by how well they function as specified by the species to which they belong. In this essay, I first sketch the Neo-Aristotelian natural goodness approach. Second, I argue that critics who claim that this sort of (...)
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  • Taxa, Individuals, Clusters and a Few Other Things.Donald H. Colless - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):353-367.
    The recognition of species proceeds by two fairly distinct phases: (1) the sorting of individuals into groups or basic taxa (‘discovery’) (2) the checking of those taxa as candidates for species-hood (‘justification’). The target here is a rational reconstruction of phase 1, beginning with a discussion of key terms. The transmission of ‘meaning’ is regarded as bimodal: definition states the intension of the term, and diagnosis provides a disjunction of criteria for recognition of its extension. The two are connected by (...)
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  • Biological Species Are Natural Kinds.Crawford L. Elder - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):339-362.
    This paper argues that typical biological species are natural kinds, on a familiar realist understanding of natural kinds—classes of individuals across which certain properties cluster together, in virtue of the causal workings of the world. But the clustering is far from exceptionless. Virtually no properties, or property-combinations, characterize every last member of a typical species—unless they can also appear outside the species. This motivates some to hold that what ties together the members of a species is the ability to interbreed, (...)
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  • Life on Earth is an Individual.Margarida Hermida - 2016 - Theory in Biosciences 135 (1-2):37-44.
    Life is a self-maintaining process based on metabolism. Something is said to be alive when it exhibits organization and is actively involved in its own continued existence through carrying out metabolic processes. A life is a spatio-temporally restricted event, which continues while the life processes are occurring in a particular chunk of matter (or, arguably, when they are temporally suspended, but can be restarted at any moment), even though there is continuous replacement of parts. Life is organized in discrete packages, (...)
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  • Definitions of Life as Epistemic Tools That Reflect and Foster the Advance of Biological Knowledge.Alba Amilburu, Álvaro Moreno & Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo - 2020 - Synthese 198 (11):10565-10585.
    During the last decades the question of defining life has gained increased interest but, at the same time, the difficulty in reaching consensus on a possible answer has led many to skeptical positions. This, in turn, has raised a wider debate about why defining life is so hard and controversial. Such a debate introduces additional aspects to be considered, like the role and nature of a definition of life itself. In this paper, we will focus on those aspects, arguing that (...)
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  • Are Homologies Really Natural Kinds?Christopher H. Pearson - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (4):42.
    The metaphysical nature of homologies has been variously characterized as natural kind, individualist, and pluralist-pragmatic. In this essay, I aim to build on the work of proponents of a natural kinds ontology for homologies using Richard Boyd’s influential HPC account of natural kinds. I aim to advance this position by showing the unique fit of extending the HPC account to homologies, deflecting individualist critiques, as well as the pluralist-pragmatic alternative, showing that homologies have a determinate metaphysical character as kinds. As (...)
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  • The Current Status of the Philosophy of Biology.Peter Takacs & Michael Ruse - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (1):5-48.
  • Omnipotence and Spatiotemporally Restricted Entities.Kevin Vandergriff - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 84 (1):3-29.
    Many people who claim that evolution and theism are in tension assume that God, being omnipotent, could create life in different ways. For instance, Paul Draper has argued that the fact that life evolved on earth supports naturalism over theism. However, for there to be a probabilistic tension between naturalism and theism, because of the fact of evolution, a certain background assumption must be true, namely, that God could have made biological organisms and species through an act of Genesis-style special (...)
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  • Whose Purposes? Biological Teleology and Intentionality.Javier González de Prado Salas - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4507-4524.
    Teleosemantic theories aspire to develop a naturalistic account of intentional agency and thought by appeal to biological teleology. In particular, most versions of teleosemantics study the emergence of intentionality in terms of biological purposes introduced by Darwinian evolution. The aim of this paper is to argue that the sorts of biological purposes identified by these evolutionary approaches do not allow for a satisfactory account of intentionality. More precisely, I claim that such biological purposes should be attributed to reproductive chains or (...)
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  • Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds.John S. Wilkins - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):221-240.
    The vision of natural kinds that is most common in the modern philosophy of biology, particularly with respect to the question whether species and other taxa are natural kinds, is based on a revision of the notion by Mill in A System of Logic. However, there was another conception that Whewell had previously captured well, which taxonomists have always employed, of kinds as being types that need not have necessary and sufficient characters and properties, or essences. These competing views employ (...)
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  • Species as Gene Flow Communities: Werner Kunz: Do Species Exist? Principles of Taxonomic Classification.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2013 - Acta Biotheoretica 61 (4):525-534.
  • Species as Explanatory Hypotheses: Refinements and Implications.Kirk Fitzhugh - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):201-248.
    The formal definition of species as explanatory hypotheses presented by Fitzhugh is emended. A species is an explanatory account of the occurrences of the same character among gonochoristic or cross-fertilizing hermaphroditic individuals by way of character origin and subsequent fixation during tokogeny. In addition to species, biological systematics also employs hypotheses that are ontogenetic, tokogenetic, intraspecific, and phylogenetic, each of which provides explanatory hypotheses for distinctly different classes of causal questions. It is suggested that species hypotheses can not be applied (...)
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  • Species as a Process.Olivier Rieppel - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica (1-2):33-49.
    Species are generally considered to be the basic units of evolution, and hence to constitute spatio-temporally bounded entities. In addition, it has been argued that species also instantiate a natural kind. Evolution is fundamentally about change. The question then is how species can remain the same through evolutionary change. Proponents of the species qua individuals thesis individuate species through their unique evolutionary origin. Individuals, or spatio-temporally located particulars in general, can be bodies, objects, events, or processes, or a combination of (...)
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