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Principles of Animal Taxonomy

Columbia University Press (1961)

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  1. Eliminative Pluralism and Integrative Alternatives: The Case of Species.Matthew J. Barker - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):657-681.
    Pluralisms of various sorts are popular in philosophy of science, including those that imply some scientific concept x should be eliminated from science in favour of a plurality of concepts x1, x2, … xn. This article focuses on influential and representative arguments for such eliminative pluralism about the concept species. The main conclusions are that these arguments fail, that all other extant arguments also fail, and that this reveals a quite general dilemma, one that poses a defeasible presumption against many (...)
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  • On the Metaphysics of Species.Judith K. Crane - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (2):156-173.
    This paper explains the metaphysical implications of the view that species are individuals (SAI). I first clarify SAI in light of the separate distinctions between individuals and classes, particulars and universals, and abstract and concrete things. I then show why the standard arguments given in defense of SAI are not compelling. Nonetheless, the ontological status of species is linked to the traditional "species problem," in that certain species concepts do entail that species are individuals. I develop the idea that species (...)
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  • Modern Synthesis is the Light of Microbial Genomics.Austin Booth, Carlos Mariscal & W. Ford Doolittle - 2016 - Annual Reviews of Microbiology 70 (1):279-297.
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  • Moving Past the Systematics Wars.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - 2018 - Journal of the History of Biology 51 (1):31-67.
    It is time to escape the constraints of the Systematics Wars narrative and pursue new questions that are better positioned to establish the relevance of the field in this time period to broader issues in the history of biology and history of science. To date, the underlying assumptions of the Systematics Wars narrative have led historians to prioritize theory over practice and the conflicts of a few leading theorists over the less-polarized interactions of systematists at large. We show how shifting (...)
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  • Individuating Population Lineages: A New Genealogical Criterion.Beckett Sterner - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (5):683-703.
    Contemporary biology has inherited two key assumptions from the Modern Synthesis about the nature of population lineages: sexual reproduction is the exemplar for how individuals in population lineages inherit traits from their parents, and random mating is the exemplar for reproductive interaction. While these assumptions have been extremely fruitful for a number of fields, such as population genetics and phylogenetics, they are increasingly unviable for studying the full diversity and evolution of life. I introduce the “mixture” account of population lineages (...)
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  • The Normative Structure of Mathematization in Systematic Biology.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46 (1):44-54.
    We argue that the mathematization of science should be understood as a normative activity of advocating for a particular methodology with its own criteria for evaluating good research. As a case study, we examine the mathematization of taxonomic classification in systematic biology. We show how mathematization is a normative activity by contrasting its distinctive features in numerical taxonomy in the 1960s with an earlier reform advocated by Ernst Mayr starting in the 1940s. Both Mayr and the numerical taxonomists sought to (...)
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  • 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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  • Promiscuous Realism.R. A. Wilson - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (2):303-316.
    This paper is a critical discussion of John Dupré's recent defence of promiscuous realism in Part 1 of his The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science. It also discusses some more general issues in the philosophy of biology and science. Dupré's chief strategy of argumentation appeals to debates within the philosophy of biology, all of which concern the nature of species. While the strategy is well motivated, I argue that Dupré's challenge to essentialist and unificationist views (...)
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  • Biological Species: Natural Kinds, Individuals, or What?,„.Ruse Michael - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):225-242.
    What are biological species? Aristotelians and Lockeans agree that they are natural kinds; but, evolutionary theory shows that neither traditional philosophical approach is truly adequate. Recently, Michael Ghiselin and David Hull have argued that species are individuals. This claim is shown to be against the spirit of much modern biology. It is concluded that species are natural kinds of a sort, and that any 'objectivity' they possess comes from their being at the focus of a consilience of inductions.
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  • Biological Classification.Vernon Pratt - 1972 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 23 (4):305-327.
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  • What Are Biological Species? : The Impact of the Current Debate in Taxonomy on the Species Problem.Nicole Leroux - unknown
    For the past twenty years, taxonomy has been in a state of turmoil. This confusion brings along with it four distinct schools of thought, each of which offers a different concept of biological species. The thesis will show that these concepts are purely operational and have only a weak theoretical force. In turn, it will be argued that a sound definition of species uses the notion of natural kinds, which is itself defined in term of non-causal nomological regularities.
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  • Cain on Linnaeus: The Scientist-Historian as Unanalysed Entity.Mary P. Winsor - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (2):239-254.
    Zoologist A. J. Cain began historical research on Linnaeus in 1956 in connection with his dissatisfaction over the standard taxonomic hierarchy and the rules of binomial nomenclature. His famous 1958 paper ‘Logic and Memory in Linnaeus's System of Taxonomy’ argues that Linnaeus was following Aristotle's method of logical division without appreciating that it properly applies only to ‘analysed entities’ such as geometric figures whose essential nature is already fully known. The essence of living things being unanalysed, there is no basis (...)
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  • Classes or Individuals? The Paradox of Systematics Revisited.Alessandro Rapini - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 35 (4):675-695.
    The circumscription of taxa and classification of organisms are fundamental tasks in the systematization of biological diversity. Their success depends on a unified idea concerning the species concept, evolution, and taxonomy; paradoxically, however, it requires a complete distinction between taxa and evolutionary units. To justify this view, I discuss these three topics of systematics. Species concepts are examined, and I propose a redefinition for the Taxonomic Species Concept based on nomenclatural properties, in which species are classes conventionally represented by a (...)
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  • The Creation of the Essentialism Story: An Exercise in Metahistory.Mary P. Winsor - 2006 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 28 (2):149 - 174.
    The essentialism story is a version of the history of biological classification that was fabricated between 1953 and 1968 by Ernst Mayr, who combined contributions from Arthur Cain and David Hull with his own grudge against Plato. It portrays pre-Darwinian taxonomists as caught in the grip of an ancient philosophy called essentialism, from which they were not released until Charles Darwin's 1859 Origin of Species. Mayr's motive was to promote the Modern Synthesis in opposition to the typology of idealist morphologists; (...)
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  • Species as Ranked Taxa.David A. Baum - 2009 - Systematic Biology 58 (1):74-86.
    -/- Because species names play an important role in scientific communication, it is more important that species be understood to be taxa than that they be equated with functional ecological or evolutionary entities. Although most biologists would agree that taxa are composed of organisms that share a unique common history, 2 major challenges remain in developing a species-as-taxa concept. First, grouping: in the face of genealogical discordance at all levels in the taxonomic hierarchy, how can we understand the nature of (...)
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  • An Aristotelian Account of Evolution and the Contemporary Philosophy of Biology.Mariusz Tabaczek - 2014 - Dialogo 1 (1):57-69.
    The anti-reductionist character of the recent philosophy of biology and the dynamic development of the science of emergent properties prove that the time is ripe to reintroduce the thought of Aristotle, the first advocate of a “top-down” approach in life-sciences, back into the science/philosophy debate. His philosophy of nature provides profound insights particularly in the context of the contemporary science of evolution, which is still struggling with the questions of form, teleology, and the role of chance in evolutionary processes. However, (...)
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  • Cancer: A de‐Repression of a Default Survival Program Common to All Cells?Mark Vincent - 2012 - Bioessays 34 (1):72-82.
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  • Crossing Species Boundaries.Jason Scott Robert & Françoise Baylis - 2003 - American Journal of Bioethics 3 (3):1 – 13.
    This paper critically examines the biology of species identity and the morality of crossing species boundaries in the context of emerging research that involves combining human and nonhuman animals at the genetic or cellular level. We begin with the notion of species identity, particularly focusing on the ostensible fixity of species boundaries, and we explore the general biological and philosophical problem of defining species. Against this backdrop, we survey and criticize earlier attempts to forbid crossing species boundaries in the creation (...)
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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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  • A History of Character Concepts in Evolutionary Biology.Kurt M. Fristrup - 2001 - In G. P. Wagner (ed.), The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology. Academic Press. pp. 15--37.
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  • A Hierarchy of Species Concepts: The Denouement in the Saga of the Species Problem.R. L. Mayden - 1997 - In M. F. Claridge, H. A. Dawah & M. R. Wilson (eds.), Species: The units of diversity,. Chapman & Hall. pp. 381–423.
    At least 22 concepts of species are in use today and many of these are notably incompatible in their accounts of biological diversity. Much of the traditional turmoil embodied in the species problem ultimately derives from the packaging of inappropriate criteria for species into a single concept. This results from a traditional conflation of function of concepts with their applications, definitions with concepts, taxonomic categories with groups, and the ontological status of real species with teleological approaches to recover them. Analogous (...)
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  • Homology and the Origin of Correspondence.Ingo Brigandt - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (3):389–407.
    Homology is a natural kind term and a precise account of what homologyis has to come out of theories about the role of homologues in evolution anddevelopment. Definitions of homology are discussed with respect to the questionas to whether they are able to give a non-circular account of thecorrespondenceor sameness referred to by homology. It is argued that standard accounts tiehomology to operational criteria or specific research projects, but are not yetable to offer a concept of homology that does not (...)
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  • Species Pluralism Does Not Imply Species Eliminativism.Ingo Brigandt - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1305–1316.
    Marc Ereshefsky argues that pluralism about species suggests that the species concept is not theoretically useful. It is to be abandoned in favor of several concrete species concepts that denote real categories. While accepting species pluralism, the present paper rejects eliminativism about the species category. It is argued that the species concept is important and that it is possible to make sense of a general species concept despite the existence of different concrete species concepts.
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  • Homology in Comparative, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology: The Radiation of a Concept.Ingo Brigandt - 2003 - Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular and Developmental Evolution) 299:9-17.
    The present paper analyzes the use and understanding of the homology concept across different biological disciplines. It is argued that in its history, the homology concept underwent a sort of adaptive radiation. Once it migrated from comparative anatomy into new biological fields, the homology concept changed in accordance with the theoretical aims and interests of these disciplines. The paper gives a case study of the theoretical role that homology plays in comparative and evolutionary biology, in molecular biology, and in evolutionary (...)
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  • The Composite Species Concept: A Rigorous Basis for Cladistic Practice.D. J. Kornet & James W. McAllister - 2005 - In Thomas Reydon & Lia Hemerik (eds.), Current Themes in Theoretical Biology. Springer. pp. 95--127.
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  • Representing the Past.Ludovica Lorusso - unknown
    In my dissertation I define historical disciplines as disciplines that aim to give a historical interpretation of the evidence. Phylogenetic systematics is a historical discipline and therefore in my definition phylogenies should be thought of as historical interpretations of relationships between taxa.
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  • Multilevel Lineages and Multidimensional Trees: The Levels of Lineage and Phylogeny Reconstruction.Matthew H. Haber - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):609-623.
    The relation between method, concept and theory in science is complicated. I seek to shed light on that relation by considering an instance of it in systematics: The additional challenges phylogeneticists face when reconstructing phylogeny not at a single level, but simultaneously at multiple levels of the hierarchy. How does this complicate the task of phylogenetic inference, and how might it inform and shape the conceptual foundations of phylogenetics? This offers a lens through which the interplay of method, theory and (...)
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  • Consilience and a Hierarchy of Species Concepts: Advances Toward Closure on the Species Puzzle.Richard L. Mayden - 1999 - Journal of Nematology 31 (2):95–116.
    Numerous concepts exist for biological species. This diversity of ideas derives from a number of sources ranging from investigative study of particular taxa and character sets to philosophical aptitude and world view to operationalism and nomenclatorial rules. While usually viewed as counterproductive, in reality these varied concepts can greatly enhance our efforts to discover and understand biological diversity. Moreover, this continued "turf war" and dilemma over species can be resolved if the various concepts are viewed in a hierarchical system and (...)
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  • Aristotelian Species Pluralism.Justin Bzovy - unknown
    Species pluralism allows for multiple species concepts. Given the overwhelming number of such concepts, this seems like an obvious interpretation of how `species' is used in contemporary biology. But why has it taken so long for this approach to be considered? I argue that part of the reason pluralism was overlooked due to the widespread use of a particular rhetorical strategy developed by Ernst Mayr. This strategy provided a framework for debates about the correct conception of species. That is, the (...)
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  • Os dinossauros de Hennig: sobre a importância do monofiletismo para a sistemática biológica.Charles Morphy Dias dos Santos - 2008 - Scientiae Studia 6 (2):179-200.
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  • Linear Correlates in the Speech Signal: The Orderly Output Constraint.Harvey M. Sussman, David Fruchter, Jon Hilbert & Joseph Sirosh - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):241-259.
    Neuroethological investigations of mammalian and avian auditory systems have documented species-specific specializations for processing complex acoustic signals that could, if viewed in abstract terms, have an intriguing and striking relevance for human speech sound categorization and representation. Each species forms biologically relevant categories based on combinatorial analysis of information-bearing parameters within the complex input signal. This target article uses known neural models from the mustached bat and barn owl to develop, by analogy, a conceptualization of human processing of consonant plus (...)
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  • Species Pluralism: Conceptual, Ontological, and Practical Dimensions.Bzovy Justin - unknown
    Species are central to biology, but there is currently no agreement on what the adequate species concept should be, and many have adopted a pluralist stance: different species concepts will be required for different purposes. This thesis is a multidimensional analysis of species pluralism. First I explicate how pluralism differs monism and relativism. I then consider the history of species pluralism. I argue that we must re-frame the species problem, and that re-evaluating Aristotle's role in the histories of systematics can (...)
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  • Typology Now: Homology and Developmental Constraints Explain Evolvability.Ingo Brigandt - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):709-725.
    By linking the concepts of homology and morphological organization to evolvability, this paper attempts to (1) bridge the gap between developmental and phylogenetic approaches to homology and to (2) show that developmental constraints and natural selection are compatible and in fact complementary. I conceive of a homologue as a unit of morphological evolvability, i.e., as a part of an organism that can exhibit heritable phenotypic variation independently of the organism’s other homologues. An account of homology therefore consists in explaining how (...)
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  • Phylogeny as Population History.Joel D. Velasco - 2013 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 5:e402.
    The project of this paper is to understand what a phylogenetic tree represents and to discuss some of the implications that this has for the practice of systematics. At least the first part of this task, if not both parts, might appear trivial—or perhaps better suited for a single page in a textbook rather than a scholarly research paper. But this would be a mistake. While the task of interpreting phylogenetic trees is often treated in a trivial way, their interpretation (...)
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  • Suppressing Synonymy with a Homonym: The Emergence of the Nomenclatural Type Concept in Nineteenth Century Natural History.Joeri Witteveen - 2016 - Journal of the History of Biology 49 (1):135-189.
    ‘Type’ in biology is a polysemous term. In a landmark article, Paul Farber (Journal of the History of Biology 9(1): 93–119, 1976) argued that this deceptively plain term had acquired three different meanings in early nineteenth century natural history alone. ‘Type’ was used in relation to three distinct type concepts, each of them associated with a different set of practices. Important as Farber’s analysis has been for the historiography of natural history, his account conceals an important dimension of early nineteenth (...)
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  • Phylogenetic Definitions and Taxonomic Philosophy.Kevin de 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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  • Individuality, Pluralism, and the Phylogenetic Species Concept.Brent D. Mishler & Robert N. Brandon - 1987 - Biology and Philosophy 2 (4):397-414.
    The concept of individuality as applied to species, an important advance in the philosophy of evolutionary biology, is nevertheless in need of refinement. Four important subparts of this concept must be recognized: spatial boundaries, temporal boundaries, integration, and cohesion. Not all species necessarily meet all of these. Two very different types of pluralism have been advocated with respect to species, only one of which is satisfactory. An often unrecognized distinction between grouping and ranking components of any species concept is necessary. (...)
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  • How is a Species Kept Together?Peter J. Beurton - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (2):181-196.
    Over the decades, there has been substantial empirical evidence showing that the unity of species cannot be maintained by gene flow. The biological species concept is inconclusive on this point. The suggestion is made that the unity of species is maintained rather by selection constantly spreading new alleles throughout the species, or bygene circulation. There is a lack in conceptual distinction between gene flow and gene circulation which lies at the heart of the problem. The concept of gene circulation also (...)
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  • Species in Three and Four Dimensions.Thomas 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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  • Threads That Guide or Ties That Bind: William Kirby and the Essentialism Story.Charissa S. Varma - 2009 - Journal of the History of Biology 42 (1):119-149.
    Nineteenth-century British entomologist William Kirby is best known for his generic division of bees based on tongues and his vigorous defence of natural theology. Focusing on these aspects of Kirby's work has lead many current scholars to characterise Kirby as an "essentialist." As a result of this characterisation, many important aspects of his work, Monographia Apum Angliœ (1802) have been over-looked or misunderstood. Kirby's religious devotion, for example, have lead some scholars to assume Kirby used the term "type" for connecting (...)
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  • Reply to “Humans as Second Orangutans: Sense or Nonsense?”.Jeffrey H. Schwartz & John Grehan - 2009 - Bioessays 31 (11):1263-1266.
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  • Units and Passages: A View for Evolutionary Biology and Ecology. [REVIEW]Masakado Kawata - 1987 - Biology and Philosophy 2 (4):415-434.
    Many authors, including paleobiologists, cladists and so on, adopt a nested hierarchical viewpoint to examine the relationships among different levels of biological organization. Furthermore, species are often considered to be unique entities in functioning evolutionary processes and one of the individuals forming a nested hierarchy.I have attempted to show that such a hierarchical view is inadequate in evolutionary biology. We should define units depending on what we are trying to explain. Units that play an important role in evolution and ecology (...)
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  • The Threefold Parallelism of Agassiz and Haeckel, and Polarity Determination in Phylogenetic Systematics.Harold N. Bryant - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (2):197-217.
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  • 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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  • Complexity and Evolution: What Everybody Knows.Daniel W. McShea - 1991 - Biology and Philosophy 6 (3):303-324.
    The consensus among evolutionists seems to be that the morphological complexity of organisms increases in evolution, although almost no empirical evidence for such a trend exists. Most studies of complexity have been theoretical, and the few empirical studies have not, with the exception of certain recent ones, been especially rigorous; reviews are presented of both the theoretical and empirical literature. The paucity of evidence raises the question of what sustains the consensus, and a number of suggestions are offered, including the (...)
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  • Vague Kinds and Biological Nominalism.Peter Simons - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):275-282.
    Among biological kinds, the most important are species. But species, however defined, have vague boundaries, both synchronically owing to hybridization and ongoing speciation, and diachronically owing to genetic drift and genealogical continuity despite speciation. It is argued that the solution to the problems of species and their vague boundaries is to adopt a thoroughgoing nominalism in regard to all biological taxa, from species to domains. The base entities are individual organisms: populations of these compose species and higher taxa. This accommodates (...)
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  • Connecting the Dots: Anatomical Network Analysis in Morphological EvoDevo.Diego Rasskin-Gutman & Borja Esteve-Altava - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (2):178-193.
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  • Origin of the Species and Genus Concepts: An Anthropological Perspective.Scott Atran - 1987 - Journal of the History of Biology 20 (2):195-279.
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  • Species as Historical Individuals.Arnold G. Kluge - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (4):417-431.
    The species category is defined as thesmallest historical individual within which there is a parental pattern of ancestry and descent. The use of historical individual in this definition is consistent with the prevailing notion that speciesper se are not involved in processes — they are effects, not effectors. Reproductive isolation distinguishes biparental historical species from their parts, and it provides a basis for understanding the nature of the evidence used to discover historical individuals.
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  • 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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