Are biological species real?

Philosophy of Science 34 (2):157-167 (1967)

Abstract
Difficulties with the typological concept of species led biologists to reject the "typological" presupposition of an archetype which is manifest in each member of a species. The resulting concept of species, which is here called the phenotypic species concept, is considered as implying that biological species are not real. Modern population thinking has given rise to the concept of a species as a gene-pool. This modern concept is contrasted here with the phenotypic concept in light of some general criteria for evaluating species concepts and is shown to be more satisfactory. Finally, it is held that to ask if a species is real is to ask whether the species grouping arrived at by applying the principles involved in the species concept corresponds with groups of organisms amongst which important biological relationships exist. It is argued that in this sense species, as defined by the gene-pool concept, are certainly real
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DOI 10.1086/288139
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