Buffon, Darwin, and the non-individuality of species – a reply to Jean Gayon

Biology and Philosophy 13 (3):443-470 (1998)
Gayon's recent claim that Buffon developed a concept of species as physical individuals is critically examined and rejected. Also critically examined and rejected is Gayon's more central thesis that as a consequence of his analysis of Buffon's species concept, and also of Darwin's species concept, it is clear that modern evolutionary theory does not require species to be physical individuals. While I agree with Gayon's conclusion that modern evolutionary theory does not require species to be physical individuals, I disagree with his reasons and instead provide logical rather than historical reasons for the same conclusion.
Keywords Buffon  Darwin  Gayon  species  individuality  evolution
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DOI 10.1023/A:1006587726855
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