The species problem and its logic: Inescapable ambiguity and framework-relativity

Willamette University Faculty Research Website, ArXiv.Org, and Cogprints.Org (2015)

Authors
Steven James Bartlett
Willamette University
Abstract
For more than fifty years, taxonomists have proposed numerous alternative definitions of species while they searched for a unique, comprehensive, and persuasive definition. This monograph shows that these efforts have been unnecessary, and indeed have provably been a pursuit of a will o’ the wisp because they have failed to recognize the theoretical impossibility of what they seek to accomplish. A clear and rigorous understanding of the logic underlying species definition leads both to a recognition of the inescapable ambiguity that affects the definition of species, and to a framework-relative approach to species definition that is logically compelling, i.e., cannot not be accepted without inconsistency. An appendix reflects upon the conclusions reached, applying them in an intellectually whimsical taxonomic thought experiment that conjectures the possibility of an emerging new human species.
Keywords species problem  definition of species  logic of the species problem  similarity theory  logic of commonality  Theorem of the Ugly Duckling  framework-relativity
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References found in this work BETA

On the Origin of Species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):187-201.

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