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  1. Current Perspectives in Philosophy of Biology.Joaquin Suarez Ruiz & Rodrigo A. Lopez Orellana - 2019 - Humanities Journal of Valparaiso 14:7-426.
    Current Perspectives in Philosophy of Biology.
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  • David Hull: A Memoir.Michael Ruse - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (5):739-747.
    David Hull: a memoir Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10539-010-9236-0 Authors Michael Ruse, Department of Philosophy, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867.
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  • Are Stellar Kinds Natural Kinds? A Challenging Newcomer in the Monism/Pluralism and Realism/Antirealism Debates.Stéphanie Ruphy - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):1109-1120.
    Stars are conspicuously absent from reflections on natural kinds and scientific classifications, with gold, tiger, jade, and water getting all the philosophical attention. This is too bad for, as this paper will demonstrate, interesting philosophical lessons can be drawn from stellar taxonomy as regards two central, on-going debates about natural kinds, to wit, the monism/pluralism debate and the realism/antirealism debate. I’ll show in particular that stellar kinds will not please the essentialist monist, nor for that matter will it please the (...)
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  • Dealing with the Changeable and Blurry Edges of Living Things: A Modified Version of Property-Cluster Kinds.María J. Ferreira Ruiz & Jon Umerez - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):493-518.
    Despite many attempts to achieve an adequate definition of living systems by means of a set of necessary and sufficient conditions, the opinion that such an enterprise is inexorably destined to fail is increasingly gaining support. However, we believe options do not just come down to either having faith in a future success or endorsing skepticism. In this paper, we aim to redirect the discussion of the problem by shifting the focus of attention from strict definitions towards a philosophical framework (...)
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  • Essential Properties and Individual Essences.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (1):65-77.
    According to Essentialism, an object’s properties divide into those that are essential and those that are accidental. While being human is commonly thought to be essential to Socrates, being a philosopher plausibly is not. We can motivate the distinction by appealing—as we just did—to examples. However, it is not obvious how best to characterize the notion of essential property, nor is it easy to give conclusive arguments for the essentiality of a given property. In this paper, I elaborate on these (...)
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  • The Series, the Network, and the Tree: Changing Metaphors of Order in Nature.Olivier Rieppel - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):475-496.
    The history of biological systematics documents a continuing tension between classifications in terms of nested hierarchies congruent with branching diagrams (the ‘Tree of Life’) versus reticulated relations. The recognition of conflicting character distribution led to the dissolution of the scala naturae into reticulated systems, which were then transformed into phylogenetic trees by the addition of a vertical axis. The cladistic revolution in systematics resulted in a representation of phylogeny as a strictly bifurcating pattern (cladogram). Due to the ubiquity of character (...)
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  • Species as a Process.Olivier Rieppel - 2008 - Acta Biotheoretica (1-2):33-49.
    Species are generally considered to be the basic units of evolution, and hence to constitute spatio-temporally bounded entities. In addition, it has been argued that species also instantiate a natural kind. Evolution is fundamentally about change. The question then is how species can remain the same through evolutionary change. Proponents of the species qua individuals thesis individuate species through their unique evolutionary origin. Individuals, or spatio-temporally located particulars in general, can be bodies, objects, events, or processes, or a combination of (...)
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  • Louis Agassiz (1807–1873) and the Reality of Natural Groups.Olivier Rieppel - 1988 - Biology and Philosophy 3 (1):29-47.
    The philosophy of pattern cladism has been variously explained by reference to the work of Louis Agassiz. The present study analyzes Agassiz's attempt to combine an empirical approach to the study of nature with an idealistic philosophy. From this emerges the problem of empiricism and of the isomorphy between the order of nature and human thinking. The analysis of the writings of Louis Agassiz serves as the basis for discussion of the reality of natural groups as postulated by pattern cladists.
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  • Biological Individuals and Natural Kinds.Olivier Rieppel - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):162-169.
    This paper takes a hierarchical approach to the question whether species are individuals or natural kinds. The thesis defended here is that species are spatiotemporally located complex wholes (individuals), that are composed of (i.e., include) causally interdependent parts, which collectively also instantiate a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) natural kind. Species may form open or closed genetic systems that are dynamic in nature, that have fuzzy boundaries due to the processual nature of speciation, that may have leaky boundaries as is manifest (...)
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  • The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem.Mark Ridley - 1989 - Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
    The correct explanation of why species, in evolutionary theory, are individuals and not classes is the cladistic species concept. The cladistic species concept defines species as the group of organisms between two speciation events, or between one speciation event and one extinction event, or (for living species) that are descended from a speciation event. It is a theoretical concept, and therefore has the virtue of distinguishing clearly the theoretical nature of species from the practical criteria by which species may be (...)
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  • Sexes, Species, and Genomes: Why Males and Females Are Not Like Humans and Chimpanzees.Sarah S. Richardson - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (5):823-841.
    This paper describes, analyzes, and critiques the construction of separate “male” and “female” genomes in current human genome research. Comparative genomic work on human sex differences conceives of the sexes as like different species, with different genomes. I argue that this construct is empirically unsound, distortive to research, and ethically questionable. I propose a conceptual model of biological sex that clarifies the distinction between species and sexes as genetic classes. The dynamic interdependence of the sexes makes them “dyadic kinds” that (...)
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  • Why Does the Species Problem Still Persist?Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2004 - Bioessays 26 (3):300-305.
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  • Why Organizational Ecology is Not a Darwinian Research Program.Thomas A. C. Reydon & Markus Scholz - 2009 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (3):408-439.
    Organizational ecology is commonly seen as a Darwinian research program that seeks to explain the diversity of organizational structures, properties and behaviors as the product of selection in past social environments in a similar manner as evolutionary biology seeks to explain the forms, properties and behaviors of organisms as consequences of selection in past natural environments. We argue that this explanatory strategy does not succeed because organizational ecology theory lacks an evolutionary mechanism that could be identified as the principal cause (...)
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  • Species in Three and Four Dimensions.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):161-184.
    There is an interesting parallel between two debates in different domains of contemporary analytic philosophy. One is the endurantism– perdurantism, or three-dimensionalism vs. four-dimensionalism, debate in analytic metaphysics. The other is the debate on the species problem in philosophy of biology. In this paper I attempt to cross-fertilize these debates with the aim of exploiting some of the potential that the two debates have to advance each other. I address two issues. First, I explore what the case of species implies (...)
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  • Species as Gene Flow Communities: Werner Kunz: Do Species Exist? Principles of Taxonomic Classification.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2013 - Acta Biotheoretica 61 (4):525-534.
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  • On the Nature of the Species Problem and the Four Meanings of ‘Species’.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (1):135-158.
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  • On Radical Solutions in the Philosophy of Biology: What Does “Individuals Thinking” Actually Solve?Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3389-3411.
    The philosophy of biology is witnessing an increasing enthusiasm for what can be called “individuals thinking”. Individuals thinking is a perspective on the metaphysics of biological entities according to which conceiving of them as individuals rather than kinds enables us to expose ongoing metaphysical debates as focusing on the wrong question, and to achieve better accounts of the metaphysics of biological entities. In this paper, I examine two cases of individuals thinking, the claim that species are individuals and the claim (...)
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  • Gene Names as Proper Names of Individuals: An Assessment.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):409-432.
    According to a recent suggestion, the names of gene taxa should be conceived of as referring to individuals with concrete genes as their parts, just as the names of biological species are often understood as denoting individuals with organisms as their parts. Although prima facie this suggestion might advance the debate on gene concepts in a similar way as the species-are-individuals thesis advanced the debate on species concepts, I argue that the principal arguments in support of the gene-individuality thesis are (...)
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  • Classifying Life, Reconstructing History and Teaching Diversity: Philosophical Issues in the Teaching of Biological Systematics and Biodiversity.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):189-220.
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  • Towards a Definition of Living Systems: A Theory of Ecological Support for Behavior.Edward S. Reed & Rebecca K. Jones - 1977 - Acta Biotheoretica 26 (3):153-163.
    It is proposed that the Darwinian theoretical approach and account of living systems has not yet been clearly given. A first approximation to this is attempted, focussing on behavior in evolving environments. A theoretical terminology is defined emphasizing the mutuality of organism and environment and the existence of biologically theoretical entities.
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  • Darwin's Evolutionary Philosophy: The Laws of Change.Edward S. Reed - 1978 - Acta Biotheoretica 27 (3-4):201-235.
    The philosophical or metaphysical architecture of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is analyzed and diflussed. It is argued that natural selection was for Darwin a paradigmatic case of a natural law of change — an exemplar of what Ghiselin (1969) has called selective retention laws. These selective retention laws lie at the basis of Darwin's revolutionary world view. In this essay special attention is paid to the consequences for Darwin's concept of species of his selective retention laws. Although (...)
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  • Classes or Individuals? The Paradox of Systematics Revisited.Alessandro Rapini - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (4):675-695.
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  • The Dynamics of Evolution.Ronald Rainger - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (1):109-121.
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  • Phylogenetic Definitions and Taxonomic Philosophy.Kevin Queiroz - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (3):295-313.
    An examination of the post-Darwinian history of biological taxonomy reveals an implicit assumption that the definitions of taxon names consist of lists of organismal traits. That assumption represents a failure to grant the concept of evolution a central role in taxonomy, and it causes conflicts between traditional methods of defining taxon names and evolutionary concepts of taxa. Phylogenetic definitions of taxon names (de Queiroz and Gauthier 1990) grant the concept of common ancestry a central role in the definitions of taxon (...)
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  • The Many Faces of Biological Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):761-773.
    Biological individuality is a major topic of discussion in biology and philosophy of biology. Recently, several objections have been raised against traditional accounts of biological individuality, including the objections of monism, theory-centrism, ahistoricity, disciplinary isolationism, and the multiplication of conceptual uncertainties. In this introduction, I will examine the current philosophical landscape about biological individuality, and show how the contributions gathered in this special issue address these five objections. Overall, the aim of this issue is to offer a more diverse, unifying, (...)
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  • Human Nature and Respect for the Evolutionarily Given: A Comment on Lewens.Russell Powell - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):485-493.
    Any serious ethical discussion of the enhancement of human nature must begin with a reasonably accurate picture of the causal-historical structure of the living world. In this Comment, I show that even biologically sophisticated ethical discussions of the biomedical enhancement of species and speciel natures are susceptible to the kind of essentialistic thinking that Lewens cautions against. Furthermore, I argue that the same evolutionary and developmental considerations that compel Lewens to reject more plausible conceptions of human nature pose equally serious (...)
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  • Meet the New Mammoth, Same as the Old? Resurrecting the Mammuthus Primigenius.Monika Piotrowska - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):5.
    Media reporters often announce that we are on the verge of bringing back the woolly mammoth, even while there is growing consensus among scientists that resurrecting the mammoth is unlikely. In fact, current “de-extinction” efforts are not designed to bring back a mammoth, but rather adaptations of the mammoth using close relatives. For example, Harvard scientists are working on creating an Asian elephant with the thick coat of a mammoth by merging mammoth and elephant DNA. But how should such creatures (...)
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  • Is ‘Assisted Reproduction’ Reproduction?Monika Piotrowska - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):138-157.
    With an increasing number of ways to ‘assist’ reproduction, some bioethicists have started to wonder what it takes to become a genetic parent. It is widely agreed that sharing genes is not enough to substantiate the parent–offspring relation, but what is? Without a better understanding of the concept of reproduction, our thinking about parent–offspring relations and the ethical issues surrounding them risk being unprincipled. Here, I address that problem by offering a principled account of reproduction—the Overlap, Development and Persistence account—which (...)
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  • Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being.Mark Pharoah - 2018 - Biosemiotics 11 (3):427-446.
    I argue that the physiological, phenomenal and conceptual constitute a trichotomous hierarchy of emergent categories. I claim that each category employs a distinctive type of interactive mechanism that facilitates a meaningful kind of environmental discourse. I advocate, therefore, that each have a causal relation with the environment but that their specific class of mechanism qualifies distinctively the meaningfulness of that interaction and subsequent responses. Consequently, I argue that the causal chain of physical interaction feeds distinctive value-laden constructions that are ontologically (...)
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  • Option Value, Substitutable Species, and Ecosystem Services.Erik Persson - 2016 - Environmental Ethics 38 (2):165-181.
    The concept of ecosystem services is a way of visualizing the instrumental value that nature has for human beings. Most ecosystem services can be performed by more than one species. This fact is sometimes used as an argument against the preservation of species. However, even though substitutability does detract from the instrumental value of a species, it also adds option value to it. The option value cannot make a substitutable species as instrumentally valuable as a non-substitutable species, but in many (...)
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  • Origin Essentialism in Biology.Makmiller Pedroso - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):60-81.
    Kripke argues for origin essentialism, the view that the same individual cannot have multiple origins. Sober hypothesises that Kripke's origin essentialism applies to biological species. This paper shows that Sober's hypothesis fails. Because Kripke's original argument is invalid, it cannot vindicate Sober's proposal. Salmon offers an influential reformulation of Kripke's argument but his argument fails to extend to species: the notion of an individual's origin is too narrow to apply to species, and Salmon's argument rests on a thought experiment that (...)
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  • Essentialism, History, and Biological Taxa.Makmiller Pedroso - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):182-190.
    de Queiroz (1995), Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) offer a new version of essentialism called "historical essentialism". According to this version of essentialism, relations of common ancestry are essential features of biological taxa. The main type of argument for this essentialism proposed by Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) is that the dominant school of classification, cladism, defines biological taxa in terms of common ancestry. The goal of this paper is to show that this argument for historical essentialism is unsatisfactory: cladism (...)
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  • Whose Boundary? An Individual Species Perspectival Approach to Borders.Steven L. Peck - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):274-279.
    Understanding ecological boundaries is recognized by ecologists as important for understanding ecosystem dynamics. All borders are borders in relation to some organism. However, much of the literature on habitat change ignores this basic ecological fact. In addition, borders are highly influenced by accidental or historical features of ecosystems, and researchers have in many cases defined them only in terms of convenience. Several viewpoints explored in this article reflect this skepticism about identifying ecosystems as real structured entities. I draw on Ghiselin’s (...)
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  • Are Homologies Really Natural Kinds?Christopher H. Pearson - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (4):42.
    The metaphysical nature of homologies has been variously characterized as natural kind, individualist, and pluralist-pragmatic. In this essay, I aim to build on the work of proponents of a natural kinds ontology for homologies using Richard Boyd’s influential HPC account of natural kinds. I aim to advance this position by showing the unique fit of extending the HPC account to homologies, deflecting individualist critiques, as well as the pluralist-pragmatic alternative, showing that homologies have a determinate metaphysical character as kinds. As (...)
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  • A Dilemma About Kinds and Kind Terms.T. Parent - forthcoming - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2987-3006.
    'The kind Lion' denotes a kind. Yet many generics are thought to denote kinds also, like the subject-terms in 'The lion has a mane', 'Dinosaurs are extinct', and 'The potato was cultivated in Ireland by the end of the 17th century.' This view may be adequate for the linguist's overall purposes--however, if we limit our attention to the theory of reference, it seems unworkable. The problem is that what is often predicated of kinds is not what is predicated of the (...)
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  • Species as Models.Jun Otsuka - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1075-1086.
    This article characterizes various species concepts in terms of set-theoretic models that license biological inferences and illustrates the logical connections among different species concepts. Species in this construal are abstract models, rather than biological or even tangible entities, and relate to individual organisms via representation, rather than the membership or mereological whole/part relationship. The proposal sheds new light on vexed issues of species and situates them within broader philosophical contexts of model selection, scientific representation, and scientific realism.
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  • The Taxon as an Ontological Problem.Alexei Oskolski - 2011 - Biosemiotics 4 (2):201-222.
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  • Biological Individuality and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: A Philosophical Conundrum in a (New) Biological Focus.Íñigo Ongay de Felipe - 2020 - Filozofia Nauki 28 (3):25-45.
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  • Darwinian Metaphysics: Species and the Question of Essentialism.Samir Okasha - 2002 - Synthese 131 (2):191-213.
    Biologists and philosophers of biology typically regard essentialism about speciesas incompatible with modern Darwinian theory. Analytic metaphysicians such asKripke, Putnam and Wiggins, on the other hand, believe that their essentialist thesesare applicable to biological kinds. I explore this tension. I show that standard anti-essentialist considerations only show that species do not have intrinsic essential properties. I argue that while Putnam and Kripke do make assumptions that contradict received biological opinion, their model of natural kinds, suitably modified, is partially applicable to (...)
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  • The Edges and Boundaries of Biological Objects.Jay Odenbaugh & Matt H. Haber - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):219-224.
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  • Booknotes. Mr - 1987 - Biology and Philosophy 2 (1):117-122.
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  • Booknotes. Mr - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (4):569-575.
    Of articles which are submitted for publication in Philosophy, a surprisingly large proportion are about the views of Richard Rorty. Some, indeed, we have published. They, along with pretty well all the articles we receive on Professor Rorty, are highly critical. On the perverse assumption that there must be something to be said for anyone who attracts widespread hostility, it is only right to see what can be said in favour of Rorty's latest collection of papers, entitled, Truth and Progress.
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  • Booknotes. Mr - 1987 - Biology and Philosophy 2 (1):569-575.
    Of articles which are submitted for publication in Philosophy, a surprisingly large proportion are about the views of Richard Rorty. Some, indeed, we have published. They, along with pretty well all the articles we receive on Professor Rorty, are highly critical. On the perverse assumption that there must be something to be said for anyone who attracts widespread hostility, it is only right to see what can be said in favour of Rorty's latest collection of papers, entitled, Truth and Progress.
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  • Rethinking Cohesion and Species Individuality.Celso Neto - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (3):01-12.
    According to the species-as-individuals thesis(hereafter S-A-I), species are cohesive entities. Barker and Wilson recently pointed out that the type of cohesion exhibited by species is fundamentally different from that of organisms (paradigmatic individuals), suggesting that species are homeostatic property cluster kinds. In this article, I propose a shift in how to approach cohesion in the context of S-A-I: instead of analyzing the different types of cohesion and questioning whether species have them, I focus on the role played by cohesion in (...)
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  • The Representationalism Versus Relationalism Debate: Explanatory Contextualism About Perception.Bence Nanay - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):321-336.
    There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to representationalism, perceptual states are representations: they represent the world as being a certain way. They have content, which may or may not be different from the content of beliefs. They represent objects as having properties, sometimes veridically, sometimes not. According to relationalism, perception is a relation between the agent and the perceived object. Perceived objects are literally constituents of our perceptual states and not of the contents thereof. Perceptual (...)
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  • Population Thinking as Trope Nominalism.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):91 - 109.
    The concept of population thinking was introduced by Ernst Mayr as the right way of thinking about the biological domain, but it is difficult to find an interpretation of this notion that is both unproblematic and does the theoretical work it was intended to do. I argue that, properly conceived, Mayr’s population thinking is a version of trope nominalism: the view that biological property-types do not exist or at least they play no explanatory role. Further, although population thinking has been (...)
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  • Entities on a Temporal Scale.Christopher M. Murray & Brian I. Crother - 2015 - Acta Biotheoretica 64 (1):1-10.
    Ontological understanding of biological units is crucial to their use in experimental design, analysis, and interpretation. Conceptualizing fundamental units in biology as individuals or classes is important for subsequent development of discovery operations. While the criteria for diagnosing individuals are acknowledged, temporal boundedness is often misinterpreted and temporal minima are applied to units in question. This results in misdiagnosis or abandonment of ontological interpretation altogether. Biological units such as areas of endemism in biogeography and species in evolutionary biology fall victim (...)
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  • 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.
    College of Medicine, University of South Alabama Mobile, AL 36688-0002, USA wbp501{at}jaguar1.usouthal.edu ' + u + '@' + d + ' '//--> Abstract Recent work in viral genomics has shown that bacteriophages exhibit a high degree of mosaicism, which is most likely due to a long history of prolific horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Given these findings, we argue that each of the most plausible attempts to properly classify bacteriophages into distinct species fail. Mayr's biological species concept fails because there is (...)
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  • Against A Posteriori Functionalism.Marc A. Moffett - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):83-106.
    There are two constraints on any functionalist solution to the Mind-Body Problem construed as an answer to the question, “What is the relationship between the mental properties and relations (hereafter, simply the mental properties) and physical properties and relations?” The first constraint is that it must actually address the Mind-Body Problem and not simply redefine the debate in terms of other, more tractable, properties (e.g., the species-specific property of having human-pain). Such moves can be seen to be spurious by the (...)
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  • 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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