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  1. Evolutionary Species in Light of Population Genomics.Beckett Sterner - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1087-1098.
    Evolutionary conceptions of species place special weight on each species having dynamic independence as a unit of evolution. However, the idea that species have their own historical fates, tendencies, or roles has resisted systematic analysis. Growing evidence from population genomics shows that many paradigm species regularly engage in hybridization. How can species be defined in terms of independent evolutionary identities if their genomes are dynamically coupled through lateral exchange? I introduce the concept of a “composite lineage” to distinguish species and (...)
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  • What Is It Like To Be an Environment? A Semantic and Epistemological Inquiry.Philippe Huneman - 2022 - Biological Theory 17 (1):94-112.
    In this article, I consider the term “environment” in various claims and models by evolutionists and ecologists. I ask whether “environment” is amenable to a philosophical explication, in the same way some key terms of evolutionary theorizing such as “fitness,” “species,” or more recently “population” have been. I will claim that it cannot. In the first section, I propose a typology of theoretical terms, according to whether they are univocal or equivocal, and whether they have been the object of formal (...)
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  • Measuring Evolutionary Independence: A Pragmatic Approach to Species Classification.Stijn Conix - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (6):1-18.
    After decades of debates about species concepts, there is broad agreement that species are evolving lineages. However, species classification is still in a state of disorder: different methods of delimitation lead to competing outcomes for the same organisms, and the groups recognised as species are of widely different kinds. This paper considers whether this problem can be resolved by developing a unitary scale for evolutionary independence. Such a scale would show clearly when groups are comparable and allow taxonomists to choose (...)
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  • Integrative Taxonomy and the Operationalization of Evolutionary Independence.Stijn Conix - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):587-603.
    There is growing agreement among taxonomists that species are independently evolving lineages. The central notion of this conception, evolutionary independence, is commonly operationalized by taxonomists in multiple, diverging ways. This leads to a problem of operationalization-dependency in species classification, as species delimitation is not only dependent on the properties of the investigated groups, but also on how taxonomists choose to operationalize evolutionary independence. The question then is how the operationalization-dependency of species delimitation is compatible with its objectivity and reliability. In (...)
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  • Reconstructing the Last Common Ancestor: Epistemological and Empirical Challenges.Arturo Becerra, Edna Suárez-Díaz & Amadeo Estrada - 2022 - Acta Biotheoretica 70 (2):1-19.
    Reconstructing the genetic traits of the Last Common Ancestor and the Tree of Life are two examples of the reaches of contemporary molecular phylogenetics. Nevertheless, the whole enterprise has led to paradoxical results. The presence of Lateral Gene Transfer poses epistemic and empirical challenges to meet these goals; the discussion around this subject has been enriched by arguments from philosophers and historians of science. At the same time, a few but influential research groups have aimed to reconstruct the LCA with (...)
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