Resurrecting biological essentialism

Philosophy of Science 75 (3):344-382 (2008)
Abstract
The article defends the doctrine that Linnaean taxa, including species, have essences that are, at least partly, underlying intrinsic, mostly genetic, properties. The consensus among philosophers of biology is that such essentialism is deeply wrong, indeed incompatible with Darwinism. I argue that biological generalizations about the morphology, physiology, and behavior of species require structural explanations that must advert to these essential properties. The objection that, according to current “species concepts,” species are relational is rejected. These concepts are primarily concerned with what it is for a kind to be a species and throw little light on the essentialist issue of what it is for an organism to be a member of a particular kind. Finally, the article argues that this essentialism can accommodate features of Darwinism associated with variation and change.
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DOI 10.1086/593566
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References found in this work BETA
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Mind, Language, and Reality.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Cambridge University Press.
Philosophy of Biology.Elliott Sober - 2000 - Westview Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.

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Citations of this work BETA
Natural Kindness.Matthew H. Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):375-411.
What's Wrong with the New Biological Essentialism.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):674-685.
Human Nature: The Very Idea.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):459-474.
Essential Properties and Individual Essences.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (1):65-77.

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