Authors
Justin Bzovy
Grant MacEwan University
Abstract
Species pluralism allows for multiple species concepts. Given the overwhelming number of such concepts, this seems like an obvious interpretation of how `species' is used in contemporary biology. But why has it taken so long for this approach to be considered? I argue that part of the reason pluralism was overlooked due to the widespread use of a particular rhetorical strategy developed by Ernst Mayr. This strategy provided a framework for debates about the correct conception of species. That is, the strategy offered a means of comparing modern concepts with a monistic-essentialist understanding of species. I ask what would happen if we replaced this concept with Aristotle's own pluralist-essentialist understanding of species. As recent scholarship shows, Aristotle's philosophy of biology allows for an approach to classification that is in practice highly pluralistic. From this new framework we can understand what sort of assumptions are at stake between modern forms of species pluralism. My analysis shows that the essentialist story told by Mayr and others left us asking the wrong questions about how to conceive of species in an evolutionary world. Having a deeper understanding of Aristotle's approach to the classification of animals allows us to shift focus from the so-called species problem in order to raise four issues that are relevant to current debates. These are questions about: the explanatory power of taxonomic ranks, the importance of the species category problem, whether species are constituted by intrinsic or extrinsic properties, and how to interpret the ``cross-cutting'' metaphor endemic to the pluralist literature. In order to get to these questions I will first explain what sort of claim species pluralism is at the most general level, and a gloss on the standard interpretation of the historical shift from species monism to species pluralism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,385
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Doing Without Concepts.Edouard Machery - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Animal Species and Evolution.Ernst Mayr - 1963 - Belknap of Harvard University Press.
The Triumph of the Darwinian Method.Michael T. Ghiselin - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 40 (3):466-467.

View all 48 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Species Pluralism Does Not Imply Species Eliminativism.Ingo Brigandt - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1305–1316.
Species Pluralism and Anti-Realism.Marc Ereshefsky - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (1):103-120.
Eliminative Pluralism.Marc Ereshefsky - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (4):671-690.
On the Failure of Modern Species Concepts.Jody Hey - 2006 - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 21 (8):447-450.
Species Pluralism.John Alan Holmes - 2000 - Dissertation, Michigan State University
For Pluralism and Against Realism About Species.P. Kyle Stanford - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (1):70-91.
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.
Bacterial Species Pluralism in the Light of Medicine and Endosymbiosis.Javier Suárez - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (1):91-105.
Species Problems.Bradley Evans Wilson - 1991 - Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
A (Not-so-Radical) Solution to the Species Problem.Bradley E. Wilson - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):339-356.
Ernst Mayr and the Modern Concept of Species.Kevin de Queiroz - 2005 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (1):6600-6607.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-07-18

Total views
12 ( #738,688 of 2,362,036 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #259,531 of 2,362,036 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes