The individuality thesis (3 ways)

Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):913-930 (2016)
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Abstract
I spell out and update the individuality thesis, that species are individuals, and not classes, sets, or kinds. I offer three complementary presentations of this thesis. First, as a way of resolving an inconsistent triad about natural kinds; second, as a phylogenetic systematics theoretical perspective; and, finally, as a novel recursive account of an evolved character. These approaches do different sorts of work, serving different interests. Presenting them together produces a taxonomy of the debates over the thesis, and isolates ways it has been productive. This goes to the larger point of this paper: a defense of the individuality thesis in terms of its utility, and an update of it in light of recent theoretical developments and empirical work in biology.
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Archival date: 2020-09-11
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2016-10-25

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