From cutting nature at its joints to measuring it: New kinds and new kinds of people in biology

Abstract
In the received version of the development of science, natural kinds are established in the preliminary stages (natural history) and made more precise by measurement (exact science). By examining the move from nineteenth- to twentieth-century biology, this paper unpacks the notion of species as 'natural kinds' and grounds for discourse, questioning received notions about both kinds and species. Life sciences in the nineteenth century established several 'monster-barring' techniques to block disputes about the precise definition of species. Counterintuitively, precision and definition brought dispute and disrupted exchange. Thus, any attempt to add precision was doomed to failure. By intervening and measuring, the new experimental biology dislocated the established links between natural kinds and kinds of people and institutions. New kinds were built in new places. They were made to measure from the very start. This paper ends by claiming that there was no long-standing 'species problem' in the history of biology. That problem is a later construction of the 'modern synthesis', well after the disruption of 'kinds' and kinds of people. Only then would definitions and precision matter. A new, non-linguistic, take on the incommensurability thesis is hinted at.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/S0039-3681(01)00027-9
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,106
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
The Road Since Structure.Kuhn Thomas (ed.) - 2000 - University of Chicago Press.
Species.Philip Kitcher - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):308-333.
'Style' for Historians and Philosophers.Ian Hacking - 1992 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (1):1-20.
The Road Since Structure.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1991 - In A. Fine, M. Forbes & L. Wessels (eds.), Philosophical Quarterly. Philosophy of Science Association. pp. 2-13.
The Effect of Essentialism on Taxonomy--Two Thousand Years of Stasis (I).David L. Hull - 1964 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15 (60):314-326.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
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 36 (1):135-158.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Antirealism and Artefact Kinds.Marzia Soavi - 2009 - Techne 13 (2):93-107.
Natural Kinds and Biological Realisms.Michael Devitt - 2011 - In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. MIT Press.
Why Hacking is Wrong About Human Kinds.Rachel Cooper - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):73-85.
Arthritis and Nature's Joints.Neil E. Williams - 2011 - In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. MIT Press.
Biological Species: Natural Kinds, Individuals, or What?Michael Ruse - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):225-242.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

47 ( #111,323 of 2,171,705 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #326,424 of 2,171,705 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums