The individuality thesis (3 ways)

Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):913-930 (2016)

Abstract

I spell out and update the individuality thesis, that species are individuals, and not classes, sets, or kinds. I offer three complementary presentations of this thesis. First, as a way of resolving an inconsistent triad about natural kinds; second, as a phylogenetic systematics theoretical perspective; and, finally, as a novel recursive account of an evolved character. These approaches do different sorts of work, serving different interests. Presenting them together produces a taxonomy of the debates over the thesis, and isolates ways it has been productive. This goes to the larger point of this paper: a defense of the individuality thesis in terms of its utility, and an update of it in light of recent theoretical developments and empirical work in biology.

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References found in this work

The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.
Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2006 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work

The Many Faces of Biological Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):761-773.
Species.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Integrative Taxonomy and the Operationalization of Evolutionary Independence.Stijn Conix - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):587-603.
Species in the Age of Discordance.Matthew H. Haber - 2019 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11 (21).
Bivalent Selection and Graded Darwinian Individuality.Daniel J. Molter - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axz026.

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