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Principles of Animal Taxonomy

Columbia University Press (1961)

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  1. Of Elephants and Errors: Naming and Identity in Linnaean Taxonomy.Joeri Witteveen & Staffan Müller-Wille - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (4):1-34.
    What is it to make an error in the identification of a named taxonomic group? In this article we argue that the conditions for being in error about the identity of taxonomic groups through their names have a history, and that the possibility of committing such errors is contingent on the regime of institutions and conventions governing taxonomy and nomenclature at any given point in time. More specifically, we claim that taxonomists today can be in error about the identity of (...)
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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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  • Resurrecting Biological Essentialism.Michael Devitt - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (3):344-382.
    The article defends the doctrine that Linnaean taxa, including species, have essences that are, at least partly, underlying intrinsic, mostly genetic, properties. The consensus among philosophers of biology is that such essentialism is deeply wrong, indeed incompatible with Darwinism. I argue that biological generalizations about the morphology, physiology, and behavior of species require structural explanations that must advert to these essential properties. The objection that, according to current “species concepts,” species are relational is rejected. These concepts are primarily concerned with (...)
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  • How Are Biology Concepts Used and Transformed?Ingo Brigandt - forthcoming - In Philosophy of Science for Biologists. Cambridge University Press.
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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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  • Defining Sameness: Historical, Biological, and Generative Homology.Ann B. Butler & William M. Saidel - 2000 - Bioessays 22 (9):846-853.
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  • A Theory of Conceptual Advance: Explaining Conceptual Change in Evolutionary, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2006 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    The theory of concepts advanced in the dissertation aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. Traditional accounts in the philosophy of science have usually studied concepts in terms only of their reference; their concern is to establish a stability of reference in order to address the incommensurability problem. My discussion, in contrast, suggests that each scientific concept consists of (...)
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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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  • Hierarchical Structures.Stanley N. Salthe - 2012 - Axiomathes 22 (3):355 - 383.
    This paper compares the two known logical forms of hierarchy, both of which have been used in models of natural phenomena, including the biological. I contrast their general properties, internal formal relations, modes of growth (emergence) in applications to the natural world, criteria for applying them, the complexities that they embody, their dynamical relations in applied models, and their informational relations and semiotic aspects.
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  • Species Pluralism Does Not Imply Species Eliminativism.Ingo Brigandt - 2003 - 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Lineage Population: A Concept Needed by an Observer of Nature?John Fuerst - 2017 - Mankind Quarterly 57 (4):590-631.
    The genealogy-based classificatory programs of Kant and Darwin are briefly discussed for context. It is detailed how in biology there is no unambiguous term to reference infraspecific-level descent-based divisions. The term lineage population is introduced and defined for analytic purposes as one of a set of inter-fertile divisions of organisms into which members are arranged by propinquity of descent. It is argued that the lineage population concept avoids the ambiguities associated with related biological and anthropological concepts and polysemes such as (...)
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  • The Nature of Race: The Genealogy of the Concept and the Biological Construct’s Contemporaneous Utility.John Fuerst - 2015 - Open Behavioral Genetics.
    Racial constructionists, anti-naturalists, and anti-realists have challenged users of the biological race concept to provide and defend, from the perspective of biology, biological philosophy, and ethics, a biologically informed concept of race. In this paper, an ontoepistemology of biology is developed. What it is, by this, to be "biological real" and "biologically meaningful" and to represent a "biological natural division" is explained. Early 18th century race concepts are discussed in detail and are shown to be both sensible and not greatly (...)
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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.
    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Biological Classification.Vernon Pratt - 1972 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 23 (4):305-327.
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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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  • Well-Structured Biology: Numerical Taxonomy's Epistemic Vision for Systematics.Beckett Sterner - 2014 - In Andrew Hamilton (ed.), The Evolution of Phylogenetic Systematics. University of California Press. pp. 213-244.
    What does it look like when a group of scientists set out to re-envision an entire field of biology in symbolic and formal terms? I analyze the founding and articulation of Numerical Taxonomy between 1950 and 1970, the period when it set out a radical new approach to classification and founded a tradition of mathematics in systematic biology. I argue that introducing mathematics in a comprehensive way also requires re-organizing the daily work of scientists in the field. Numerical taxonomists sought (...)
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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: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.
    Morphological EvoDevo is a field of biological inquiry in which explicit relations between evolutionary patterns and growth or morphogenetic processes are made. Historically, morphological EvoDevo results from the coming together of several traditions, notably Naturphilosophie, embryology, the study of heterochrony, and developmental constraints. A special feature binding different approaches to morphological EvoDevo is the use of formalisms and mathematical models. Here we will introduce anatomical network analysis, a new approach centered on connectivity patterns formed by anatomical parts, with its own (...)
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  • The 'Division of Physiological Labour': The Birth, Life and Death of a Concept. [REVIEW]Emmanuel D’Hombres - 2012 - Journal of the History of Biology 45 (1):3 - 31.
    The notion of the ‘division of physiological labour’ is today an outdated relic in the history of science. This contrasts with the fate of another notion, which was so frequently paired with the division of physiological labour, which is the concept of ‘morphological differentiation.’ This is one of the elementary modal concepts of ontogenesis. In this paper, we intend to target the problems and causes that gradually led biologists to combine these two notions during the 19th century, and to progressively (...)
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  • The ‘Division of Physiological Labour’: The Birth, Life and Death of a Concept.Emmanuel D’Hombres - 2012 - Journal of the History of Biology 45 (1):3-31.
    The notion of the ‘division of physiological labour’ is today an outdated relic in the history of science. This contrasts with the fate of another notion, which was so frequently paired with the division of physiological labour, which is the concept of ‘morphological differentiation.’ This is one of the elementary modal concepts of ontogenesis. In this paper, we intend to target the problems and causes that gradually led biologists to combine these two notions during the 19th century, and to progressively (...)
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  • Why Development Matters.Rachael L. Brown - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (6):889-899.
    Günter Wagner’s Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation is a compelling, and empirically well-supported account of the evolution of character identity and character origination which emphasizes the importance of homology and novelty as central explananda for 21st century evolutionary biology. In this essay review, I focus on the similarities and differences between the structuralist picture of evolutionary biology advocated by Wagner, and that presented by standard evolutionary theory. First, I outline the ways in which Wagner’s genetic theory of homology diverges from (...)
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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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  • Can Abstractions Be Causes?David M. Johnson - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (1):63-77.
    The Empiricist or Lockean view says natural kinds do not exist objectively in nature but are practical categories reflecting use of words. The Modern, Ostensive view says they do exist, and one can refer to such a kind by ostention and recursion, assuming his designation of it is related causally to the kind itself. However, this leads to a problem: Kinds are abstract repeatables, and it seems impossible that abstractions could have causal force. In defence of the Modern view, I (...)
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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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  • 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 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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