Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):621-638 (2003)

Authors
John S. Wilkins
University of Melbourne (PhD)
Abstract
The biological species (biospecies) concept applies only to sexually reproducing species, which means that until sexual reproduction evolved, there were no biospecies. On the universal tree of life, biospecies concepts therefore apply only to a relatively small number of clades, notably plants andanimals. I argue that it is useful to treat the various ways of being a species (species modes) as traits of clades. By extension from biospecies to the other concepts intended to capture the natural realities of what keeps taxa distinct, we can treat other modes as traits also, and so come to understand that theplurality of species concepts reflects the biological realities of monophyletic groups.We should expect that specialists in different organisms will tend to favour those concepts that best represent the intrinsic mechanisms that keep taxa distinct in their clades. I will address the question whether modes ofreproduction such as asexual and sexual reproduction are natural classes, given that they are paraphyletic in most clades.
Keywords Biological species concept  Essentialism, Isolation concepts  Monism, Monophyly, Natural groups  Natural kinds, Realism  Species pluralism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/a:1026390327482
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,676
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Matter of Individuality.David L. Hull - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (3):335-360.
Species.Philip Kitcher - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):308-333.
Reason, Truth and History.Michael Devitt - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (2):274.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Species.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Aristotle’s Pluralistic Realism.Devin Henry - 2011 - The Monist 94 (2):197-220.
Eliminative Pluralism and Integrative Alternatives: The Case of Species.Matthew J. Barker - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):657-681.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Species Pluralism Does Not Imply Species Eliminativism.Ingo Brigandt - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1305–1316.
Are Biological Species Real?Hugh Lehman - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (2):157-167.
The Concept and Causes of Microbial Species.John S. Wilkins - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 28 (3):389-408.
Species Concepts Should Not Conflict with Evolutionary History, but Often Do.Joel D. Velasco - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (4):407-414.
What is a Species, and What is Not?Ernst Mayr - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (2):262-277.
Evolution Without Species: The Case of Mosaic Bacteriophages.Gregory J. Morgan & W. Brad Pitts - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):745-765.
For Pluralism and Against Realism About Species.P. Kyle Stanford - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (1):70-91.
The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem.Mark Ridley - 1989 - Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
153 ( #60,592 of 2,386,408 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #368,857 of 2,386,408 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes