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Species: a history of the idea

Univ of California Pr (2009)

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  1. Coordination Instead of Consensus Classification: Insights From Systematics for Bio-Ontologies.Beckett Sterner, Joeri Witteveen & Nico Franz - forthcoming - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.
    Big data is opening new angles on old questions about scientific progress. Is scientific knowledge cumulative? If yes, how does it make progress? In the life sciences, what we call the Consensus Principle has dominated the design of data discovery and integration tools: the design of a formal classificatory system for expressing a body of data should be grounded in consensus. Based on current approaches in biomedicine and systematic biology, we formulate and compare three types of the Consensus Principle: realist, (...)
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  • Bacterial Species Pluralism in the Light of Medicine and Endosymbiosis.Javier Suárez - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (1):91-105.
    This paper aims to offer a new argument in defence bacterial species pluralism. To do so, I shall first present the particular issues derived from the conflict between the non-theoretical understanding of species as units of classification and the theoretical comprehension of them as units of evolution. Secondly, I shall justify the necessity of the concept of species for the bacterial world, and show how medicine and endosymbiotic evolutionary theory make use of different concepts of bacterial species due to their (...)
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  • Prototypical Reasoning About Species and the Species Problem.Yuichi Amitani - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (4):289-300.
    The species problem is often described as the abundance of conflicting definitions of _species_, such as the biological species concept and phylogenetic species concepts. But biologists understand the notion of species in a non-definitional as well as a definitional way. In this article I argue that when they understand _species_ without a definition in their mind, their understanding is often mediated by the notion of _good species_, or prototypical species, as the idea of ``prototype'' is explicated in cognitive psychology. This (...)
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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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  • Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards.P. D. Magnus - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Some scientific categories seem to correspond to genuine features of the world and are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind and puts the account to work illuminating numerous specific examples.
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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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  • The Species Problem and its Logic: Inescapable Ambiguity and Framework-Relativity.Steven James Bartlett - 2015 - Willamette University Faculty Research Website, ArXiv.Org, and Cogprints.Org.
    For more than fifty years, taxonomists have proposed numerous alternative definitions of species while they searched for a unique, comprehensive, and persuasive definition. This monograph shows that these efforts have been unnecessary, and indeed have provably been a pursuit of a will o’ the wisp because they have failed to recognize the theoretical impossibility of what they seek to accomplish. A clear and rigorous understanding of the logic underlying species definition leads both to a recognition of the inescapable ambiguity that (...)
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  • The Mystery of the Triceratops’s Mother: How to Be a Realist About the Species Category.Adrian Currie - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (4):795-816.
    Can we be realists about a general category but pluralists about concepts relating to that category? I argue that paleobiological methods of delineating species are not affected by differing species concepts, and that this underwrites an argument that species concept pluralists should be species category realists. First, the criteria by which paleobiologists delineate species are ‘indifferent’ to the species category. That is, their method for identifying species applies equally to any species concept. To identify a new species, paleobiologists show that (...)
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  • The Economy of Nature: The Structure of Evolution in Linnaeus, Darwin, and the Modern Synthesis.Charles H. Pence & Daniel G. Swaim - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):435-454.
    We argue that the economy of nature constitutes an invocation of structure in the biological sciences, one largely missed by philosophers of biology despite the turn in recent years toward structural explanations throughout the philosophy of science. We trace a portion of the history of this concept, beginning with the theologically and economically grounded work of Linnaeus, moving through Darwin’s adaptation of the economy of nature and its reconstitution in genetic terms during the first decades of the Modern Synthesis. What (...)
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  • Aristotelian Naturalism Vs. Mutants, Aliens and the Great Red Dragon.Scott Woodcock - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (4):313-328.
    In this paper I present a new objection to the Aristotelian Naturalism defended by Philippa Foot. I describe this objection as a membership objection because it reveals the fact that AN invites counterexamples when pressed to identify the individuals bound by its normative claims. I present three examples of agents for whom the norms generated by AN are not obviously authoritative: mutants, aliens, and the Great Red Dragon. Those who continue to advocate for Foot's view can give compelling replies to (...)
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  • Fighting Nature: An Analysis and Critique of Breed-Specific Flourishing Arguments for Dog Fights.Ian Werkheiser - 2015 - Society and Animals 23 (5):502-520.
    Social science literature on dog fighting illustrates an important element in the discourse of dog fighters, namely patriarchy. However, it has not addressed another common element, namely flourishing. According to this element of that discourse, some dog breeds are born to fight, and therefore dog fighters are helping them achieve their best lives. This argument is explicitly made by dog fighters, and it is inadvertently supported by those trying to give other dogs breed-specific flourishing, and those who advocate for breed-specific (...)
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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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  • Review of Wesley J. Smith's A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement. [REVIEW]Angus Taylor - 2010 - Between the Species 13 (10):14.
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  • Species, Genes, and the Tree of Life.Joel Velasco - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):599-619.
    A common view is that species occupy a unique position on the Tree of Life. Evaluating this claim requires an understanding of what the Tree of Life represents. The Tree represents history, but there are at least three biological levels that are often said to have genealogies: species, organisms, and genes. Here I focus on defending the plausibility of a gene-based account of the Tree. This leads to an account of species that are determined by gene genealogies. On this view, (...)
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  • José Barbosa de Sá's Idea of Nature, with Special Reference to Plants.Rafael Dias da Silva Campos & Christian Fausto Moraes Dos Santos - 2015 - Scientiae Studia 13 (3):519-545.
    RESUMOEste artigo visa discutir elementos filosóficos presentes na obra de José Barbosa de Sá. Buscamos analisar o sistema de classificação botânica do autor, observando a relação com a construção de analogias e similitudes, avaliando em que medida tais ideias se coadunavam com concepções religiosas. Procuramos ainda discutir o conhecido debate sobre a reprodução vegetal no século XVIII, analisando concepções não acadêmicas. ABSTRACTThis article aims to discuss philosophical elements of the work of José Barbosa de Sá. We seek to analyze the (...)
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  • The Communication Puzzle of the Species Problem.Yuichi Amitani - 2013 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 21:1-20.
    The species problem is the longstanding puzzle regarding the nature of species. This paper aims to describe how biologists experience little communication breakdown when they have different conceptions of species. For this purpose, I analyze two debates on species and speciation between Guy Bush and Jerry Coyne & H. Allen Orr. Although they have radically different ideas on species, they experience little communication difficulty. I will argue that this is because they implicitly agreed on the referent of the group of (...)
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  • Nicolai Hartmann and the Metaphysical Foundation of Phylogenetic Systematics.Frederic Tremblay - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (1):56-68.
    When developing phylogenetic systematics, the entomologist Willi Hennig adopted elements from Nicolai Hartmann’s ontology. In this historical essay I take on the task of documenting this adoption. I argue that in order to build a metaphysical foundation for phylogenetic systematics, Hennig adopted from Hartmann four main metaphysical theses. These are (1) that what is real is what is temporal; (2) that the criterion of individuality is to have duration; (3) that species are supra-individuals; and (4) that there are levels of (...)
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  • The Species Problem: Seeking New Solutions for Philosophers and Biologists.Geoff Chambers - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):755-765.
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  • Microbial Neopleomorphism.W. Ford Doolittle - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):351-378.
    Our understanding of what microbes are and how they evolve has undergone many radical shifts since the late nineteenth century, when many still believed that bacteria could be spontaneously generated and most thought microbial “species” (if any) to be unstable and interchangeable in form and function (pleomorphic). By the late twentieth century, an ontology based on single cells and definable species with predictable properties, evolving like species of animals or plants, was widely accepted. Now, however, genomic and metagenomic data show (...)
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