Natural Kinds and Biological Realisms

In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press (2011)
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Abstract

This chapter discusses issues regarding realism, specifically the realism issues in biology. The discussion starts with an issue that arises from the debate between “species monists” who argue that there exists only one good “species concept” and “species pluralists” who insist that there are many. The various species concepts are then summarized and the motivation for pluralism outlined. An overview of realism is provided here, specifically, of a“realism about the external world.” Finally, the central question, focusing on the apparent clash between Marc Ereshefsky’s “pluralistic antirealism” and Philip Kitcher’s “pluralistic realism,” is addressed. The chapter concludes by considering “realism” issues about genera and higher categories in the Linnaean hierarchy.

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Michael Devitt
CUNY Graduate Center

Citations of this work

High‐Fidelity Metaphysics: Ideological Parsimony in Theory Choice.Peter Finocchiaro - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (4):613-632.
Racial realism II: Are folk races real?Quayshawn Spencer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1):e12467.
Individual essentialism in biology.Michael Devitt - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):39.
Cladism, Monophyly and Natural Kinds.Sandy C. Boucher - 2022 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 22 (64):39-68.

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