Species and identity

Philosophy of Science 55 (3):323-348 (1988)
The purpose of this paper is to test the contemporary concept of biological species against some of the problems caused by treating species as spatiotemporally extended entities governed by criteria of persistence, identity, etc. After outlining the general problem of symmetric division in natural objects, I set out some useful distinctions (section 1) and confirm that species are not natural kinds (section 2). Section 3 takes up the separate issue of species definition, focusing on the Biological Species Concept (BSC). Sections 4 and 5 examine the matter of species identity over space and time respectively, as determined by the BSC. Both gradualistic and punctuated equilibrium models of speciation are discussed. In section 6 I argue that the BSC fails to determine adequate criteria for dealing with certain kinds of speciation. Section 7 moves speculatively beyond the BSC to a brief examination of alternatives.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/289440
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,530
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Natural Selection and the Traits of Individual Organisms.Joel Pust - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (5):765-779.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Biological Species: Natural Kinds, Individuals, or What?Michael Ruse - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):225-242.
Species.Philip Kitcher - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):308-333.
Species Pluralism Does Not Imply Species Eliminativism.Ingo Brigandt - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1305–1316.
Crossing Species Boundaries.Jason Scott Robert & Françoise Baylis - 2003 - American Journal of Bioethics 3 (3):1 – 13.
Biological Species as Natural Kinds.David B. Kitts & David J. Kitts - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (4):613-622.
Are Biological Species Real?Hugh Lehman - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (2):157-167.
An Ontogenetic-Ecological Conception of Species: A New Approach to an Old Idea.Catherine Kendig - 2010 - EPSA09: 2nd Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Online at PhilSci Archive.
Species Concepts Should Not Conflict with Evolutionary History, but Often Do.Joel D. Velasco - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (4):407-414.
The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem.Mark Ridley - 1989 - Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
243 ( #15,865 of 2,210,880 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #357,939 of 2,210,880 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature