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  1. Species in the Age of Discordance.Matthew H. Haber - 2019 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11 (21).
    Biological lineages move through time, space, and each other. As they do, they diversify, diverge, and grade away from and into one another. One result of this is genealogical discordance; i.e., the lineages of a biological entity may have different histories. We see this on numerous levels, from microbial networks, to holobionts, to population-level lineages. This paper considers how genealogical discordance impacts our study of species. More specifically, I consider this in the context of three framing questions: (1) How, if (...)
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  2. The Hunting of the SNaRC: A Snarky Solution to the Species Problem.Brent D. Mishler & John S. Wilkins - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (1).
    We argue that the logical outcome of the cladistics revolution in biological systematics, and the move towards rankless phylogenetic classification of nested monophyletic groups as formalized in the PhyloCode, is to eliminate the species rank along with all the others and simply name clades. We propose that the lowest level of formally named clade be the SNaRC, the Smallest Named and Registered Clade. The SNaRC is an epistemic level in the classification, not an ontic one. Naming stops at that level (...)
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  3. Should We Colonize Other Planets?Adam Morton - 2018 - Cambridge , UK: Polity.
    A critical exposition of plans to colonize other planets , especially Mars, and their costs. The final chapter links with issues about the value and future of human life. See the extended summary uploaded to this site.
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  4. On the Authenticity of De-Extinct Organisms, and the Genesis Argument.Douglas Ian Campbell - 2017 - Animal Studies Journal 6 (1):61-79.
    Are the methods of synthetic biology capable of recreating authentic living members of an extinct species? An analogy with the restoration of destroyed natural landscapes suggests not. The restored version of a natural landscape will typically lack much of the aesthetic value of the original landscape because of the different historical processes that created it—processes that involved human intentions and actions, rather than natural forces acting over millennia. By the same token, it would appear that synthetically recreated versions of extinct (...)
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  5. World to Word: Nomenclature Systems of Color and Species.Tanya Kelley - 2017 - Dissertation, University Of Missouri
    As the digitization of information accelerates, the push to encode our surrounding numerically instead of linguistically increases. The role that language has traditionally played in the nomenclature of an integrative taxonomy is being replaced by the numeric identification of one or few quantitative characteristics. Nineteenth-century scientific systems of color identification divided, grouped, and named colors according to multiple characteristics. Now color identification relies on numeric values applied to spectrographic readings. This means of identification of color lacks the taxonomic rigor of (...)
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  6. Taxonomy for Humans or Computers? Cognitive Pragmatics for Big Data.Beckett Sterner & Nico M. Franz - 2017 - Biological Theory 12 (2):99-111.
    Criticism of big data has focused on showing that more is not necessarily better, in the sense that data may lose their value when taken out of context and aggregated together. The next step is to incorporate an awareness of pitfalls for aggregation into the design of data infrastructure and institutions. A common strategy minimizes aggregation errors by increasing the precision of our conventions for identifying and classifying data. As a counterpoint, we argue that there are pragmatic trade-offs between precision (...)
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  7. The Species Problem and its Logic: Inescapable Ambiguity and Framework-Relativity.Steven James Bartlett - 2015 - Willamette University Faculty Research Website, ArXiv.Org, and Cogprints.Org.
    For more than fifty years, taxonomists have proposed numerous alternative definitions of species while they searched for a unique, comprehensive, and persuasive definition. This monograph shows that these efforts have been unnecessary, and indeed have provably been a pursuit of a will o’ the wisp because they have failed to recognize the theoretical impossibility of what they seek to accomplish. A clear and rigorous understanding of the logic underlying species definition leads both to a recognition of the inescapable ambiguity that (...)
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  8. John S. Wilkins and Malte C. Ebach: The Nature of Classification: Relationships and Kinds in the Natural Sciences: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2014, Pp., Vii + 197, Price £60/$100.00.Catherine Kendig - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4):477-479.
    John Wilkins and Malte Ebach respond to the dismissal of classification as something we need not concern ourselves with because it is, as Ernest Rutherford suggested, mere ‘‘stamp collecting.’’ They contend that classification is neither derivative of explanation or of hypothesis-making but is necessarily prior and prerequisite to it. Classification comes first and causal explanations are dependent upon it. As such it is an important (but neglected) area of philosophical study. Wilkins and Ebach reject Norwood Russell Hanson’s thesis that classification (...)
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  9. Towards a Multidimensional Metaconception of Species.Catherine Kendig - 2014 - Ratio 27 (2):155-172.
    Species concepts aim to define the species category. Many of these rely on defining species in terms of natural lineages and groupings. A dominant gene-centred metaconception has shaped notions of what constitutes both a natural lineage and a natural grouping. I suggest that relying on this metaconception provides an incomplete understanding of what constitute natural lineages and groupings. If we take seriously the role of epigenetic, behavioural, cultural, and ecological inheritance systems, rather than exclusively genetic inheritance, a broader notion of (...)
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  10. The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis, by Richard Richards.: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Makmiller Pedroso - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):1180-1182.
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  11. Searching and Classifying.Vasil Penchev - 2013 - In Vera Gancheva & Elizaria Ruskova (eds.), The XVIII century and Europe. Sofia: Унижерситетско издателство "Св. Климент Охридски". pp. 20-25.
    The text discusses Linnaeus’ binominal classification and the idea of mathesis unversalis of Leibniz in the ground of Michel Foucault’s conception of ‘epistema’ as well the connexion of XVIII century’s representation of universal order with viewpoints of Descartes (Rules for the Direction of the Mind) and Kant (The Critique of Pure Reason, The Critique of (the Power of) Judgment).
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  12. Philosophically Speaking, How Many Species Concepts Are There?John S. Wilkins - 2011 - Zootaxa 2765:58–60.
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  13. Cohesion, Gene Flow, and the Nature of Species.Matthew J. Barker & Robert A. Wilson - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (2):59-77.
    A far-reaching and influential view in evolutionary biology claims that species are cohesive units held together by gene flow. Biologists have recognized empirical problems facing this view; after sharpening the expression of the view, we present novel conceptual problems for it. At the heart of these problems is a distinction between two importantly different concepts of cohesion, what we call integrative and response cohesion. Acknowledging the distinction problematizes both the explanandum of species cohesion and the explanans of gene flow that (...)
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  14. The Theoretical Costs of DNA Barcoding.Monika Piotrowska - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):235-239.
    I begin with a description of the benefits and limits of DNA barcoding as presented by its advocates not its critics. Next, I argue that due to the mutually dependent relationship between defining and delimiting species, all systems of classification are grounded in theory, even if only implicitly. I then proceed to evaluate DNA barcoding in that context. In particular, I focus on the barcoders’ use of a sharp boundary by which to delimit species, arguing that this boundary brings along (...)
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  15. Biometaphysics.Barry Smith - 2009 - In Robin Le Poidevin, Peter Simons, Andrew McGonigal & Ross Cameron (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge. pp. 537-544.
    While Darwin is commonly supposed to have demonstrated the inapplicability of the Aristotelian ontology of species to biological science, recent developments, especially in the wake of the Human Genome Project, have given rise to a new golden age of classification in which ontological ideas -- as for example in the Gene Ontology, the Cell Ontology, the Protein Ontology, and so forth -- are once again playing an important role. In regard to species, on the other hand, matters are more complex. (...)
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  16. Bacteria, Sex, and Systematics.L. R. Franklin - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (1):69-95.
    Philosophical discussions of species have focused on multicellular, sexual animals and have often neglected to consider unicellular organisms like bacteria. This article begins to fill this gap by considering what species concepts, if any, apply neatly to the bacterial world. First, I argue that the biological species concept cannot be applied to bacteria because of the variable rates of genetic transfer between populations, depending in part on which gene type is prioritized. Second, I present a critique of phylogenetic bacterial species, (...)
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  17. When Traditional Essentialism Fails.Robert A. Wilson, Matthew J. Barker & Ingo Brigandt - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):189-215.
    Essentialism is widely regarded as a mistaken view of biological kinds, such as species. After recounting why (sections 2-3), we provide a brief survey of the chief responses to the “death of essentialism” in the philosophy of biology (section 4). We then develop one of these responses, the claim that biological kinds are homeostatic property clusters (sections 5-6) illustrating this view with several novel examples (section 7). Although this view was first expressed 20 years ago, and has received recent discussion (...)
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  18. ¿Qué son realmente las especies? La búsqueda de clases naturales en biología.Santiago Ginnobili - 2005 - Análisis Filosófico 25 (1):45-61.
    En What Emotions Really Are y en otros artículos, Griffiths afirma que las clases naturales de los organismos vivos en Biología son cladistas. La afirmación está inmersa en una nueva teoría acerca de las clases naturales. En este trabajo examinaré los argumentos esgrimidos por Griffiths para sostener el estatus privilegiado de las clasificaciones cladistas frente a otras clasificaciones. No se discutirá la teoría de las clases naturales ofrecida, de cuyos méritos no dudo, sino su capacidad para ofrecer una solución en (...)
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  19. Kinds and Essences: Rescuing the New Biological Essentialism.Markel Kortabarria - manuscript
    After the rise of Darwin’s theory of evolution it seemed that the much-feared ghost of traditional essentialism had disappeared from biology. However, developments of the last century in analytic metaphysics (Kripke, Putnam, Wiggins) appear to have resurrected the Aristotelian monster in various forms. The aim of this paper is to investigate the revival of the essentialist doctrine as applied to biological species, namely the thesis that organisms belong to a particular natural kind in virtue of possessing certain essential properties, and (...)
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  20. What SPECIES Can Teach Us About THEORY.P. D. Magnus - manuscript
    This paper argues against the common, often implicit view that theories are some specific kind of thing. Instead, I argue for theory concept pluralism: There are multiple distinct theory concepts which we legitimately use in different domains and for different purposes, and we should not expect this to change. The argument goes by analogy with species concept pluralism, a familiar position in philosophy of biology. I conclude by considering some consequences for philosophy of science if theory concept pluralism is correct.
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