Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):223-242 (2004)

Authors
Berit Brogaard
University of Miami
Abstract
There is no question that the constituents of cells and organisms are joined together by the part-whole relation. Genes are part of cells, and cells are part of organisms. Species taxa, however, have traditionally been conceived of, not as wholes with parts, but as classes with members. But why does the relation change abruptly from part-whole to class-membership above the level of organisms? Ghiselin, Hull and others have argued that it doesn't. Cells and organisms are cohesive mereological sums, and since species taxa are like cells and organisms in the relevant respects, they, too, are cohesive mereological sums. I provide further reasons in support of the thesis that species are mereological sums. I argue, moreover, that the advocate of this thesis is committed to a form of pluralism with respect to the species concept.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Biology   Evolutionary Biology
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DOI 10.1023/B:BIPH.0000024322.46358.61
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References found in this work BETA

The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter M. Simons - 1987 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Parts of Classes.David K. Lewis - 1991 - Mind 100 (3):394-397.
Phylogenetic Systematics.Willi Hennig - 1966 - University of Illinois Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Why Composition Matters.Andrew M. Bailey & Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (8):934-949.
Composition.Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online.

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