The dimensions, modes and definitions of species and speciation

Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):247-266 (2007)

Speciation is an aspect of evolutionary biology that has received little philosophical attention apart from articles mainly by biologists such as Mayr (1988). The role of speciation as a terminus a quo for the individuality of species or in the context of punctuated equilibrium theory has been discussed, but not the nature of speciation events themselves. It is the task of this paper to attempt to bring speciation events into some kind of general scheme, based primarily upon the work of Sergey Gavrilets on adaptive landscapes, using migration rate, or gene flow, as the primary scale, and concluding that adaptive and drift explanations are complementary rather than competing. I propose a distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic selection, and the notion of reproductive reach and argue that speciation modes should be discriminated in terms of gene flow, the nature of selection maintaining reproductive reach, and whether the predominant cause is selective or stochastic. I also suggest that the notion of an adaptive “quasispecies” for asexual species is the primitive notion of species, and that members of reproductively coherent sexual species are additionally coadapted to their mating partners.
Keywords History & Philosophy Of Science   species   speciation   adaptive landscape   gavrilets   Lizards Genus Cnemidophorus   Sympatric Speciation   Mole-rats   Hybridization   Populations   Controversy   Divergence   Radiation   Traits   Time
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-006-9043-9
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Animal Species and Evolution.Ernst Mayr - 1963 - Belknap of Harvard University Press.
Conceptual Spaces: The Geometry of Thought.Peter Gärdenfors - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):180-181.
Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist.Ernst Mayr - 1988 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Kinds, Complexity, and Multiple Realization.Robert Boyd - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):67-98.

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The Adaptive Landscape of Science.John S. Wilkins - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (5):659-671.

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