Natural Kinds and Biological Realisms

In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. MIT Press (2011)
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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Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.003.0008
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