Philosophy of Science 51 (2):308-333 (1984)
I defend a view of the species category, pluralistic realism, which is designed to do justice to the insights of many different groups of systematists. After arguing that species are sets and not individuals, I proceed to outline briefly some defects of the biological species concept. I draw the general moral that similar shortcomings arise for other popular views of the nature of species. These shortcomings arise because the legitimate interests of biology are diverse, and these diverse interests are reflected in different legitimate approaches to the classification of organisms. In the final section, I show briefly how the pluralistic approach can help to illuminate some areas of biological and philosophical dispute.
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