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Marc Ereshefsky [46]Marc F. Ereshefsky [1]
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Marc Ereshefsky
University of Calgary
  1. Scientific Kinds.Marc Ereshefsky & Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):969-986.
    Richard Boyd’s Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory is becoming the received view of natural kinds in the philosophy of science. However, a problem with HPC Theory is that it neglects many kinds highlighted by scientific classifications while at the same time endorsing kinds rejected by science. In other words, there is a mismatch between HPC kinds and the kinds of science. An adequate account of natural kinds should accurately track the classifications of successful science. We offer an alternative account of natural (...)
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  2. Microbiology and the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):553-568.
    This paper examines the species problem in microbiology and its implications for the species problem more generally. Given the different meanings of ‘species’ in microbiology, the use of ‘species’ in biology is more multifarious and problematic than commonly recognized. So much so, that recent work in microbial systematics casts doubt on the existence of a prokaryote species category in nature. It also casts doubt on the existence of a general species category for all of life (one that includes both prokaryotes (...)
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  3. What's Wrong with the New Biological Essentialism.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):674-685.
    The received view in the philosophy of biology is that biological taxa (species and higher taxa) do not have essences. Recently, some philosophers (Boyd, Devitt, Griffiths, LaPorte, Okasha, and Wilson) have suggested new forms of biological essentialism. They argue that according to these new forms of essentialism, biological taxa do have essences. This article critically evaluates the new biological essentialism. This article’s thesis is that the costs of adopting the new biological essentialism are many, yet the benefits are none, so (...)
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  4.  64
    Species.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  5.  40
    The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy: A Philosophical Study of Biological Taxonomy.Marc Ereshefsky - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    The question of whether biologists should continue to use the Linnaean hierarchy has been a hotly debated issue. Invented before the introduction of evolutionary theory, Linnaeus's system of classifying organisms is based on outdated theoretical assumptions, and is thought to be unable to provide accurate biological classifications. Marc Ereshefsky argues that biologists should abandon the Linnaean system and adopt an alternative that is more in line with evolutionary theory. He traces the evolution of the Linnaean hierarchy from its introduction to (...)
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  6. Eliminative Pluralism.Marc Ereshefsky - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (4):671-690.
    This paper takes up the cause of species pluralism. An argument for species pluralism is provided and standard monist objections to pluralism are answered. A new form of species pluralism is developed and shown to be an improvement over previous forms. This paper also offers a general foundation on which to base a pluralistic approach to biological classification.
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  7. Taxonomy, Polymorphism, and History: An Introduction to Population Structure Theory.Marc Ereshefsky & Mohan Matthen - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):1-21.
    Homeostatic Property Cluster (HPC) theory suggests that species and other biological taxa consist of organisms that share certain similarities. HPC theory acknowledges the existence of Darwinian variation within biological taxa. The claim is that “homeostatic mechanisms” acting on the members of such taxa nonetheless ensure a significant cluster of similarities. The HPC theorist’s focus on individual similarities is inadequate to account for stable polymorphism within taxa, and fails properly to capture their historical nature. A better approach is to treat distributions (...)
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  8.  4
    Defining ‘Health’ and ‘Disease’.Marc Ereshefsky - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (3):221-227.
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  9.  73
    Biological Individuality: The Case of Biofilms.Marc Ereshefsky & Makmiller Pedroso - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):331-349.
    This paper examines David Hull’s and Peter Godfrey-Smith’s accounts of biological individuality using the case of biofilms. Biofilms fail standard criteria for individuality, such as having reproductive bottlenecks and forming parent-offspring lineages. Nevertheless, biofilms are good candidates for individuals. The nature of biofilms shows that Godfrey-Smith’s account of individuality, with its reliance on reproduction, is too restrictive. Hull’s interactor notion of individuality better captures biofilms, and we argue that it offers a better account of biological individuality. However, Hull’s notion of (...)
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  10. Species Pluralism and Anti-Realism.Marc Ereshefsky - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (1):103-120.
    Species pluralism gives us reason to doubt the existence of the species category. The problem is not that species concepts are chosen according to our interests or that pluralism and the desire for hierarchical classifications are incompatible. The problem is that the various taxa we call 'species' lack a common unifying feature.
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  11. Darwin's Solution to the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Synthese 175 (3):405 - 425.
    Biologists and philosophers that debate the existence of the species category fall into two camps. Some believe that the species category does not exist and the term 'species' should be eliminated from biology. Others believe that with new biological insights or the application of philosophical ideas, we can be confident that the species category exists. This paper offers a different approach to the species problem. We should be skeptical of the species category, but not skeptical of the existence of those (...)
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  12.  53
    Homology Thinking.Marc Ereshefsky - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):381-400.
    This paper explores an important type of biological explanation called ‘homology thinking.’ Homology thinking explains the properties of a homologue by citing the history of a homologue. Homology thinking is significant in several ways. First, it offers more detailed explanations of biological phenomena than corresponding analogy explanations. Second, it provides an important explanation of character similarity and difference. Third, homology thinking offers a promising account of multiple realizability in biology.
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  13. The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy: A Philosophical Study of Biological Taxonomy.Marc Ereshefsky - 2001 - Journal of the History of Biology 34 (3):600-602.
     
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  14.  86
    Psychological Categories as Homologies: Lessons From Ethology.Marc Ereshefsky - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):659-674.
  15.  67
    Species, Higher Taxa, and the Units of Evolution.Marc Ereshefsky - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (1):84-101.
    A number of authors argue that while species are evolutionary units, individuals and real entities, higher taxa are not. I argue that drawing the divide between species and higher taxa along such lines has not been successful. Common conceptions of evolutionary units either include or exclude both types of taxa. Most species, like all higher taxa, are not individuals, but historical entities. Furthermore, higher taxa are neither more nor less real than species. None of this implies that there is no (...)
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  16.  56
    Species, Historicity, and Path Dependency.Marc Ereshefsky - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):714-726.
    This paper clarifies the historical nature of species by showing that species are path-dependent entities. A species’ identity is not determined by its intrinsic properties or its origin, but by its unique evolutionary path. Seeing that species are path-dependent entities has three implications: it shows that origin essentialism is mistaken, it rebuts two challenges to the species-are-historical-entities thesis, and it demonstrates that the identity of a species during speciation depends on future events.
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  17.  73
    Homology: Integrating Phylogeny and Development.Marc Ereshefsky - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):225-229.
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  18.  5
    Historicity and Explanation.Marc Ereshefsky & Derek Turner - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
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  19. Some Problems with the Linnaean Hierarchy.Marc Ereshefsky - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (2):186-205.
    Most biologists use the Linnaean system for constructing classifications of the organic world. The Linnaean system, however, has lost its theoretical basis due to the shift in biology from creationist and essentialist tenets to evolutionary theory. As a result, the Linnaean system is both cumbersome and ontologically vacuous. This paper illustrates the problems facing the Linnaean system, and ends with a brief introduction to an alternative approach to biological classification.
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  20. Bridging the Gap Between Human Kinds and Biological Kinds.Marc Ereshefsky - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):912-921.
    Many writers claim that human kinds are significantly different from biological and natural kinds. Some suggest that humans kinds are unique because social structures are essential for the etiology of human kinds. Others argue that human cultural evolution is decidedly different from other forms of evolution. In this paper I suggest that the gulf between humans and our biological relatives is not as wide as some argue. There is a taxonomic difference between human and nonhuman organisms, but such factors as (...)
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  21.  37
    The Evolution of the Linnaean Hierarchy.Marc Ereshefsky - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (4):493-519.
    The Linnaean system of classification is a threefold system of theoretical assumptions, sorting rules, and rules of nomenclature. Over time, that system has lost its theoretical assumptions as well as its sorting rules. Cladistic revisions have left it less and less Linnaean. And what remains of the system is flawed on pragmatic grounds. Taking all of this into account, it is time to consider alternative systems of classification.
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  22.  3
    Natural Kinds, Mind Independence, and Defeasibility.Marc Ereshefsky - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):845-856.
    A standard requirement on natural kinds is that they be mind independent. However, many kinds in the human and social sciences, even the natural sciences, depend on human thought. This article suggests that the mind independence requirement on natural kinds be replaced with the requirement that natural kind classifications be defeasible. The defeasibility requirement does not require that natural kinds be mind independent, so it does not exclude mind dependent scientific kinds from being natural kinds. Furthermore, the defeasibility requirement captures (...)
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  23.  35
    The Semantic Approach to Evolutionary Theory.Marc Ereshefsky - 1991 - Biology and Philosophy 6 (1):59-80.
    Paul Thompson, John Beatty, and Elisabeth Lloyd argue that attempts to resolve certain conceptual issues within evolutionary biology have failed because of a general adherence to the received view of scientific theories. They maintain that such issues can be clarified and resolved when one adopts a semantic approach to theories. In this paper, I argue that such conceptual issues are just as problematic on a semantic approach. Such issues arise from the complexity involved in providing formal accounts of theoretical laws (...)
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  24. Axiomatics and Individuality: A Reply to Williams' "Species Are Individuals".Marc Ereshefsky - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (3):427-434.
    In her "Species Are Individuals" (1985), Mary Williams offers informal arguments and a sketched proof which allegedly show that species are individuals with respect to evolutionary theory. In this paper, I suggest that her informal arguments are insufficient for showing that clans are not sets and that species are individuals. I also argue that her sketched proof depends on three questionable assumptions.
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  25. Where the Wild Things Are: Environmental Preservation and Human Nature.Marc Ereshefsky - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):57-72.
    Environmental philosophers spend considerable time drawing the divide between humans and the rest of nature. Some argue that humans and our actions are unnatural. Others allow that humans are natural, but maintain that humans are nevertheless distinct. The motivation for distinguishing humans from the rest of nature is the desire to determine what aspects of the environment should be preserved. The standard view is that we should preserve those aspects of the environment outside of humans and our influence. This paper (...)
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  26. 10. The Facts of the Matter: A Discussion of Norton's Material Theory of Induction The Facts of the Matter: A Discussion of Norton's Material Theory of Induction (Pp. 188-197). [REVIEW]Marc Ereshefsky, Mohan Matthen, Matthew H. Slater, Alex Rosenberg, D. M. Kaplan, Kevin Js Zollman, Peter Vanderschraaf, J. McKenzie Alexander, Andreas Hüttemann & Gordon Belot - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1).
  27. The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species.Marc Ereshefsky & Peter James - 1994 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.
     
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  28. The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species.Marc Ereshefsky - 1992 - Journal of the History of Biology 25 (3):500-501.
     
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  29.  69
    Linnaean Ranks: Vestiges of a Bygone Era.Marc Ereshefsky - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S305-S315.
    We tend to think that there are different types of biological taxa: some taxa are species, others are genera, while others are families. Linnaeus gave us his ranks in 1731. Biological theory has changed since Linnaeus’s time. Nevertheless, the vast majority of biologists still assign Linnaean ranks to taxa, even though that practice is at odds with evolutionary theory and even though it causes a number of practical problems. The Linnaean ranks should be abandoned and alternative methods for displaying the (...)
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  30.  69
    Species, Taxonomy, and Systematics.Marc Ereshefsky - 2007 - In Michael Ruse (ed.), Philosophy of Biology. Prometheus Books. pp. 403--428.
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  31.  49
    Where's the Species? Comments on the Phylogenetic Species Concepts.Marc Ereshefsky - 1989 - Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):89-96.
  32.  20
    Pluralism, Normative Naturalism, and Biological Taxonomy.Marc Ereshefsky - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:382-389.
    Several authors have argued for taxonomic pluralism in biology -the position that there is a plurality of equally legitimate classifications of the organic world. Others have objected that such pluralism boils down to a position of anything goes. This paper offers a response to the anything goes objection by showing how one can be a discerning pluralist. In particular, methodological standards for choosing taxonomic projects are derived using Laudan's normative naturalism. This paper also sheds light on why taxonomic pluralism occurs (...)
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  33.  66
    Mystery of Mysteries: Darwin and the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - unknown
    Darwin offered an intriguing answer to the species problem. He doubted the existence of the species category as a real category in nature, but he did not doubt the existence of those taxa called ‘‘species’’. And despite his scepticism of the species category, Darwin continued using the word ‘‘species’’. Many have said that Darwin did not understand the nature of species. Yet his answer to the species problem is both theoretically sound and practical. On the theoretical side, DarwinÕs answer is (...)
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  34. Consilience, Historicity, and the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - 2014 - In R. Paul Thompson & Denis Walsh (eds.), Evolutionary biology: conceptual, ethical, and religious issues. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 65-86.
     
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  35.  2
    Linnaean Ranks: Vestiges of a Bygone Era.Marc Ereshefsky - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S305-S315.
    We tend to think that there are different types of biological taxa: some taxa are species, others are genera, while others are families. Linnaeus gave us his ranks in 1731. Biological theory has changed since Linnaeus’s time. Nevertheless, the vast majority of biologists still assign Linnaean ranks to taxa, even though that practice is at odds with evolutionary theory and even though it causes a number of practical problems. The Linnaean ranks should be abandoned and alternative methods for displaying the (...)
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  36.  10
    Critical Notice.Marc Ereshefsky - 1995 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1):143-158.
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  37.  23
    Individuality and Macroevolutionary Theory.Marc Ereshefsky - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:216 - 222.
    A number of authors have argued that the thesis that species are individuals has important implications for macroevolutionary theory. More specifically, some authors claim that the thesis lends support to the Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium and indicates the existence of species selection. In this paper, I argue that the alleged individuality of species is neither necessary nor sufficient for the truth of that theory or for the existence of species selection. I also argue, contrary to the claims of some, that (...)
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  38. Systematic Biology.Marc Ereshefsky - manuscript
    To cite this Article: Ereshefsky, Marc , 'Foundational Issues Concerning Taxa and Taxon Names', Systematic Biology, 56:2, 295 - 301 To link to this article: DOI: 10.1080/10635150701317401 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10635150701317401..
     
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  39. Elliott Sober, Reconstructing the Past: Parsimony, Evolution, and Inference Reviewed By.Marc Ereshefsky - 1993 - Philosophy in Review 13 (3):122-123.
     
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  40.  7
    The Metaphysics of Evolution: David Hull, , Viii + 331 Pp., ISBN 0-7914-0211-8 Hardback $73.50, Paperback $24.95. Michael Ruse , What the Philosophy of Biology Is: Essays Dedicated to David Hull , Ix + 337 Pp., ISBN 90-247-3778-8 Hardback Dfl 180.00/$99.00/£59.00. [REVIEW]Marc Ereshefsky - 1991 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (3):525-532.
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  41.  19
    The Metaphysics of Evolution. [REVIEW]Marc Ereshefsky - 1991 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (3):525-532.
  42.  18
    The Disorder of Things.Marc Ereshefsky - 1995 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1):143-158.
  43.  16
    Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life Daniel Dennett New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995, 586 Pp., $40.00. [REVIEW]Marc Ereshefsky - 1997 - Dialogue 36 (3):639-.
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  44.  6
    Names, Numbers and Indentations: A Guide to Post-Linnaean Taxonomy.Marc Ereshefsky - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32 (2):361-383.
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  45.  1
    Toward a New Philosophy of Biology. Ernst Mayr.Marc Ereshefsky - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (4):725-727.
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  46.  7
    Book Review:Toward a New Philosophy of Biology Ernst Mayr. [REVIEW]Marc Ereshefsky - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (4):725-.
  47. The Ontological Status of Species: A Study of Individuality and its Role in Evolutionary Theory.Marc F. Ereshefsky - 1988 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
    Traditionally, species have been treated by biologists and philosophers as natural kinds. However, this conception of species has posed several problems for evolutionary theory. For example, biologists have been hard pressed to find traits had by all and only the members of a species. This has caused some philosophers to doubt that evolutionary theory is a scientific theory. ;In an effort to resolve such problems, Michael Ghiselin and David Hull have argued that species are not kinds but individuals. A number (...)
     
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