A Historical Taxonomy of Origin of Species Problems and Its Relevance to the Historiography of Evolutionary Thought

Journal of the History of Biology 50 (4):927-987 (2017)
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Abstract

Historians tend to speak of the problem of the origin of species or the species question, as if it were a monolithic problem. In reality, the phrase refers to a, historically, surprisingly fluid and pluriform scientific issue. It has, in the course of the past five centuries, been used in no less than ten different ways or contexts. A clear taxonomy of these separate problems is useful or relevant in two ways. It certainly helps to disentangle confusions that have inevitably emerged in the literature in its absence. It may, secondly, also help us to gain a more thorough understanding, or sharper view, of the history of evolutionary thought. A consequent problem-centric look at that history through the lens of various origin of species problems certainly yields intriguing results, including and particularly for our understanding of the genesis of the Wallace–Darwin theory of evolution through natural selection.

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References found in this work

The Triumph of the Darwinian Method.Michael T. Ghiselin - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 40 (3):466-467.
The Problems of Philosophy.Theodore de Laguna - 1913 - Philosophical Review 22 (3):329.
The Creation of the Essentialism Story: An Exercise in Metahistory.Mary P. Winsor - 2006 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 28 (2):149 - 174.

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