Rethinking Cohesion and Species Individuality

Biological Theory 11 (3):01-12 (2016)

Authors
Celso Neto
University of Calgary
Abstract
According to the species-as-individuals thesis(hereafter S-A-I), species are cohesive entities. Barker and Wilson recently pointed out that the type of cohesion exhibited by species is fundamentally different from that of organisms (paradigmatic individuals), suggesting that species are homeostatic property cluster kinds. In this article, I propose a shift in how to approach cohesion in the context of S-A-I: instead of analyzing the different types of cohesion and questioning whether species have them, I focus on the role played by cohesion in the identity of individuals. This shift allows us to recognize why cohesion matters to S-A-I, as well as to reconceive the analogy between species and organisms (paradigmatic individuals), and also allows us to highlight the context sensitivity of both ‘‘cohesion’’ and ‘‘individuals.’’ From this perspective, I identify two problems in Barker and Wilson’s argumentation. Firstly, the authors fail to recognize that species are individuals even if they do not have the same type of cohesion that organisms have. Secondly, their argument relies on a misinterpretation of S-A-I. I conclude that species cohesion is still best framed as a feature of species individuality rather than a feature of species as homeostatic property cluster kinds. The arguments presented here contribute to the re-articulation and reevaluation of S-A-I in the face of contemporary discussions.
Keywords Cohesion  Species  Individuals  Natural Kinds  Organisms
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13752-016-0243-5
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,649
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Individuality Thesis.Matthew Haber - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):913-930.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Biological Species Are Natural Kinds.Crawford L. Elder - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):339-362.
Biological Individuals and Natural Kinds.Olivier Rieppel - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):162-169.
Biological Species: Natural Kinds, Individuals, or What?Michael Ruse - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):225-242.
The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem.Mark Ridley - 1989 - Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Valuing Species and Valuing Individuals.Nicholas Agar - 1995 - Environmental Ethics 17 (4):397-415.
Gene Names as Proper Names of Individuals: An Assessment.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):409-432.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-06-15

Total views
12 ( #621,022 of 2,242,378 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #626,607 of 2,242,378 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature