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  1. Form, Substance, and Mechanism.Robert Pasnau - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (1):31-88.
    Philosophers today have largely given up on the project of categorizing being. Aristotle’s ten categories now strike us as quaint, and no attempt to improve on that effort meets with much interest. Still, no one supposes that reality is smoothly distributed over space. The world at large comes in chunks, and there remains a widespread intuition, even among philosophers, that some of these chunks have a special sort of unity and persistence. These, we tend to suppose, are most truly agents (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Naturalised Kantianism.Michela Massimi - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):416-449.
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  • What is Scientific Progress?Alexander Bird - 2007 - Noûs 41 (1):64–89.
    I argue that scientific progress is precisely the accumulation of scientific knowledge.
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  • Two Notions of Metaphysical Modality.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-22.
    The paper explores the project of an ambitious modal epistemology that attempts to combine the a priori methods of Chalmers’ 2D semantics with Kripke’s modal metaphysics. I argue that such a project is not viable. The ambitious modal epistemology involves an inconsistent triad composed of (1) Modal Monism, (2) Two-Dimensionalism, and what I call (3) “Metaphysical Kripkeanism”. I present the three theses and show how only two of those can be true at a time. There is a fundamental incompatibility between (...)
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  • Natural Categories and Human Kinds: Classification in the Natural and Social Sciences.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    The notion of 'natural kinds' has been central to contemporary discussions of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Although explicitly articulated by nineteenth-century philosophers like Mill, Whewell and Venn, it has a much older history dating back to Plato and Aristotle. In recent years, essentialism has been the dominant account of natural kinds among philosophers, but the essentialist view has encountered resistance, especially among naturalist metaphysicians and philosophers of science. Informed by detailed examination of classification in the natural and social sciences, (...)
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  • Real Patterns.Daniel C. Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.
    Are there really beliefs? Or are we learning (from neuroscience and psychology, presumably) that, strictly speaking, beliefs are figments of our imagination, items in a superceded ontology? Philosophers generally regard such ontological questions as admitting just two possible answers: either beliefs exist or they don't. There is no such state as quasi-existence; there are no stable doctrines of semi-realism. Beliefs must either be vindicated along with the viruses or banished along with the banshees. A bracing conviction prevails, then, to the (...)
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  • A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive.John Stuart Mill - 1843 - University of Toronto Press.
    Ethics and jurisprudence are liable to the remark in common with logic. Almost every writer having taken a different view of some of the particulars which ...
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  • Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    The book presents a new way of understanding Darwinism and evolution by natural selection, combining work in biology, philosophy, and other fields.
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  • On Clear and Confused Ideas: An Essay About Substance Concepts.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    Written by one of today's most creative and innovative philosophers, Ruth Garrett Millikan, this book examines basic empirical concepts; how they are acquired, how they function, and how they have been misrepresented in the traditional philosophical literature. Millikan places cognitive psychology in an evolutionary context where human cognition is assumed to be an outgrowth of primitive forms of mentality, and assumed to have 'functions' in the biological sense. Of particular interest are her discussions of the nature of abilities as different (...)
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  • Replaying Life’s Tape.John Beatty - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (7):336-362.
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  • The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
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  • Biological Species Are Natural Kinds.Crawford L. Elder - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):339-362.
    This paper argues that typical biological species are natural kinds, on a familiar realist understanding of natural kinds—classes of individuals across which certain properties cluster together, in virtue of the causal workings of the world. But the clustering is far from exceptionless. Virtually no properties, or property-combinations, characterize every last member of a typical species—unless they can also appear outside the species. This motivates some to hold that what ties together the members of a species is the ability to interbreed, (...)
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  • Central Subjects and Historical Narratives.David L. Hull - 1975 - History and Theory 14 (3):253-274.
    A central subject is the main strand around which the fabric of an historical narrative is woven. Such a subject must possess both spatial and temporal continuity. It is integrated into an historical entity through the relationship between those properties which make it an individual, and their interaction with the historical event. Scientific theory is useful in the reconstruction of past events and the definition of the central subject. Ideas used as central subjects present the problem of finding internal principles (...)
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  • Conceptual Progress and Word/World Relations: In Search of the Essence of Natural Kinds.Paul M. Churchland - 1985 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):1-17.
    The problem of natural kinds forms the busy crossroads where a number of larger problems meet: the problem of universals, the problem of induction and projectibility, the problem of natural laws and de re modalities, the problem of meaning and reference, the problem of intertheoretic reduction, the question of the aim of science, and the problem of scientific realism in general. Nor do these exhaust the list. Not surprisingly then, different writers confront a different ‘problem of natural kinds,’ depending on (...)
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  • Confirmation for a Modest Realism.Laura J. Snyder - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):839-849.
    In the nineteenth century, William Whewell claimed that his confirmation criterion of consilience was a truth-guarantor: we could, he believed, be certain that a consilient theory was true. Since that time Whewell has been much ridiculed for this claim by critics such as J. S. Mill and Bas van Fraassen. I have argued elsewhere that, while Whewell's claim that consilience can guarantee the truth of a theory is clearly wrong, consilience is indeed quite useful as a confirmation criterion (Snyder 2005). (...)
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  • Natural Kindness.Matthew H. Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):375-411.
    Philosophers have long been interested in a series of interrelated questions about natural kinds. What are they? What role do they play in science and metaphysics? How do they contribute to our epistemic projects? What categories count as natural kinds? And so on. Owing, perhaps, to different starting points and emphases, we now have at hand a variety of conceptions of natural kinds—some apparently better suited than others to accommodate a particular sort of inquiry. Even if coherent, this situation isn’t (...)
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  • Gender as a Historical Kind: A Tale of Two Genders?Marion Godman - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):21.
    Is there anything that members of each binary category of gender have in common? Even many non-essentialists find the lack of unity within a gender worrying as it undermines the basis for a common political agenda for women. One promising proposal for achieving unity is by means of a shared historical lineage of cultural reproduction with past binary models of gender. I demonstrate how such an account is likely to take on board different binary and also non-binary systems of gender. (...)
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  • Inductive Inference and its Natural Ground: An Essay in Naturalistic Epistemology.Hilary Kornblith - 1993 - International Phenomenological Society.
    An account of inductive inference is presented which addresses both its epistemological and metaphysical dimensions. It is argued that inductive knowledge is possible by virtue of the fit between our innate psychological capacities and the causal structure of the world.
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  • Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
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  • Inductive Inference and its Natural Ground-An Essay in Naturalistic Epistemology.Hilary Kornblith & N. Vassallo - 1996 - Epistemologia 19 (1):175-176.
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  • Real Patterns.Daniel Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.
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  • Squaring the Circle: Natural Kinds with Historical Essences.Paul E. Griffiths - 1999 - In Robert A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press. pp. 209-228.
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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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  • On Clear and Confused Ideas: An Essay About Substance Concepts. [REVIEW]Robert Cummins, Alexa Lee, Martin Roth, David Byrd & Pierre Poirier - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):102-108.
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  • Is There a Single Objective, Evolutionary Tree of Life?Joseph LaPorte - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (7):357-374.
    It is often said that there is just one “objective” tree of life: a single accurate branching hierarchy of species reflecting order of descent. For any two species, there is a single correct answer as to whether one is a “daughter” of the other, whether the two are “sister species” by virtue of their descent from a common parental species, whether they belong to a family line that excludes any given third species, and so on. The idea is intrinsically interesting. (...)
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  • Taxonomy, Polymorphism, and History: An Introduction to Population Structure Theory.Marc Ereshefsky & Mohan Matthen - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):1-21.
    Homeostatic Property Cluster (HPC) theory suggests that species and other biological taxa consist of organisms that share certain similarities. HPC theory acknowledges the existence of Darwinian variation within biological taxa. The claim is that “homeostatic mechanisms” acting on the members of such taxa nonetheless ensure a significant cluster of similarities. The HPC theorist’s focus on individual similarities is inadequate to account for stable polymorphism within taxa, and fails properly to capture their historical nature. A better approach is to treat distributions (...)
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  • How to Fix Kind Membership: A Problem for Hpc Theory and a Solution.Thomas Reydon - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):724-736.
    Natural kinds are often contrasted with other kinds of scientific kinds, especially functional kinds, because of a presumed categorical difference in explanatory value: supposedly, natural kinds can ground explanations, while other kinds of kinds cannot. I argue against this view of natural kinds by examining a particular type of explanation—mechanistic explanation—and showing that functional kinds do the same work there as traditionally recognized natural kinds are supposed to do in “standard” scientific explanations. Breaking down this categorical distinction between traditional natural (...)
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  • Realism, Anti-Foundationalism and the Enthusiasm for Natural Kinds.Richard Boyd - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 61 (1):127-148.
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  • Conceptual Progress and Word/World Relations: In Search of the Essence of Natural Kinds.Paul M. Churchland - 1985 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):1-17.
    The problem of natural kinds forms the busy crossroads where a number of larger problems meet: the problem of universals, the problem of induction and projectibility, the problem of natural laws and de re modalities, the problem of meaning and reference, the problem of intertheoretic reduction, the question of the aim of science, and the problem of scientific realism in general. Nor do these exhaust the list. Not surprisingly then, different writers confront a different ‘problem of natural kinds,’ depending on (...)
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  • Historical Kinds and the "Special Sciences".Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):45-65.
    There are no "special sciences" in Fodor's sense. There is a large group of sciences, "historical sciences," that differ fundamentally from the physical sciences because they quantify over a different kind of natural or real kind, nor are the generalizations supported by these kinds exceptionless. Heterogeneity, however, is not characteristic of these kinds. That there could be an univocal empirical science that ranged over multiple realizations of a functional property is quite problematic. If psychological predicates name multiply realized functionalist properties, (...)
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  • Historicity and Experimental Evolution.Eric Desjardins - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):339-364.
    Biologists in the last 50 years have increasingly emphasized the role of historical contingency in explaining the distribution and dynamics of biological systems. However, recent work in philosophy of biology has shown that historical contingency carries various interpretations and that we are still lacking a general understanding of historicity, i.e., a framework from which to interpret why and to what extent history matters in biological processes. Building from examples and analyses of the long-term experimental evolution (LTEE) project, this paper argues (...)
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  • Drakes, Seadevils, and Similarity Fetishism.P. D. Magnus - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):857-870.
    Homeostatic property clusters (HPCs) are offered as a way of understanding natural kinds, especially biological species. I review the HPC approach and then discuss an objection by Ereshefsky and Matthen, to the effect that an HPC qua cluster seems ill-fitted as a description of a polymorphic species. The standard response by champions of the HPC approach is to say that all members of a polymorphic species have things in common, namely dispositions or conditional properties. I argue that this response fails. (...)
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  • Homology Thinking.Marc Ereshefsky - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):381-400.
    This paper explores an important type of biological explanation called ‘homology thinking.’ Homology thinking explains the properties of a homologue by citing the history of a homologue. Homology thinking is significant in several ways. First, it offers more detailed explanations of biological phenomena than corresponding analogy explanations. Second, it provides an important explanation of character similarity and difference. Third, homology thinking offers a promising account of multiple realizability in biology.
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  • Aristotle on Essence and Explanation.Joan Kung - 1977 - Philosophical Studies 31 (6):361 - 383.
    Three claims about essential properties are frequently advanced in recent discussions: (1) a property belongs essentially to a thing only if that thing would cease to exist without that property, (2) an essential property is explanatory, And (3) an essential property is such that it must belong to everything to which it belongs. I argue that the "only if" in (1) cannot be changed to "if and only if" and (1) needs to be supplemented by (2), And that (2) is (...)
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  • Introduction.Robert A. Wilson - 1999 - In Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. Cambridge, MA, USA:
    This volume of twelve specially commissioned essays about species draws on the perspectives of prominent researchers from anthropology , botany, developmental psychology , the philosophy of biology and science, protozoology, and zoology . The concept of species has played a focal role in both evolutionary biology and the philosophy of biology , and the last decade has seen something of a publication boom on the topic (e.g., Otte and Endler 1989; Ereshefsky 1992b; Paterson 1994; lambert and Spence 1995; Claridge, Dawah, (...)
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  • Darwinian Metaphysics: Species and the Question of Essentialism.Samir Okasha - 2002 - Synthese 131 (2):191-213.
    Biologists and philosophers of biology typically regard essentialism about speciesas incompatible with modern Darwinian theory. Analytic metaphysicians such asKripke, Putnam and Wiggins, on the other hand, believe that their essentialist thesesare applicable to biological kinds. I explore this tension. I show that standard anti-essentialist considerations only show that species do not have intrinsic essential properties. I argue that while Putnam and Kripke do make assumptions that contradict received biological opinion, their model of natural kinds, suitably modified, is partially applicable to (...)
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  • Natural Kinds: Rosy Dawn, Scholastic Twilight: Ian Hacking.Ian Hacking - 2007 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 61:203-239.
    The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...)
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  • Kinds, Projectibility and Explanation.Sören Häggqvist - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):71-87.
    Two ways of characterizing natural kinds are currently popular: the Kripke-Putnam appeal to microstructure and Boyd’s appeal to causal homeostasis. I argue that these conceptions are more divergent than is often acknowledged, that they give no credence to essentialism, and that they are both faulty. In their place, I sketch an alternative view of natural kinds, which I call “bare projectibilism”. This conception avoids the appeal to explanation common to microstructuralism and the causal homeostasis view, but is still compatible with (...)
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  • Evidential Diversity and the Triangulation of Phenomena.Jaakko Kuorikoski & Caterina Marchionni - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (2):227-247.
    The article argues for the epistemic rationale of triangulation, namely, the use of multiple and independent sources of evidence. It claims that triangulation is to be understood as causal reasoning from data to phenomenon, and it rationalizes its epistemic value in terms of controlling for likely errors and biases of particular data-generating procedures. This perspective is employed to address objections against triangulation concerning the fallibility and scope of the inference, as well as problems of independence, incomparability, and discordance of evidence. (...)
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  • Gender Is a Natural Kind with a Historical Essence.Theodore Bach - 2012 - Ethics 122 (2):231-272.
    Traditional debate on the metaphysics of gender has been a contrast of essentialist and social-constructionist positions. The standard reaction to this opposition is that neither position alone has the theoretical resources required to satisfy an equitable politics. This has caused a number of theorists to suggest ways in which gender is unified on the basis of social rather than biological characteristics but is “real” or “objective” nonetheless – a position I term social objectivism. This essay begins by making explicit the (...)
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  • The Special Science Dilemma and How Culture Solves It.Marion Godman - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):1-18.
    I argue that there is a tension between the claim that at least some kinds in the special sciences are multiply realized and the claim that the reason why kinds are prized by science is that they enter into a variety of different empirical generalizations. Nevertheless, I show that this tension ceases in the case of ‘cultural homologues’—such as specific ideologies, religions, and folk wisdom. I argue that the instances of such special science kinds do have several projectable properties in (...)
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  • Global Arguments and Local Realism About the Social Sciences.Harold Kincaid - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):678.
    This paper argues that realism issue in the social sciences is not one that can be decided by general philosophical arguments that evaluate entire domains at once. The realism issue is instead many different empirical issues. To defend these claims, I sort issues that are often run together, explicate and criticize several standard realist and antirealist arguments about the social sciences, and use the example of the productive/nonproductive distinction to illustrate the approach to realism questions that I favor.
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  • Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism.Steven French - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):164-173.
    Within the philosophy of science, the realism debate has been revitalised by the development of forms of structural realism. These urge a shift in focus from the object oriented ontologies that come and go through the history of science to the structures that remain through theory change. Such views have typically been elaborated in the context of theories of physics and are motivated by, first of all, the presence within such theories of mathematical equations that allow straightforward representation of the (...)
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  • Species, Essence and Explanation.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (4):751-757.
    Michael and has argued that species have intrinsic essences. This paper rebuts Devitt’s arguments, but in so doing it shores up the anti-essentialist consensus in two ways that have more general interest. First, species membership can be explanatory even when species have no essences; that is, Tamsin’s membership of the tiger species can explain her stripyness, without this committing us to any further claim about essential properties of tigers. Second, even the views of species that appear most congenial to essentialism—namely (...)
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  • Species, Historicity, and Path Dependency.Marc Ereshefsky - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):714-726.
    This paper clarifies the historical nature of species by showing that species are path-dependent entities. A species’ identity is not determined by its intrinsic properties or its origin, but by its unique evolutionary path. Seeing that species are path-dependent entities has three implications: it shows that origin essentialism is mistaken, it rebuts two challenges to the species-are-historical-entities thesis, and it demonstrates that the identity of a species during speciation depends on future events.
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  • Species Have (Partly) Intrinsic Essences.Michael Devitt - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):648-661.
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  • A Matter of Individuality.David L. Hull - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (3):335-360.
    Biological species have been treated traditionally as spatiotemporally unrestricted classes. If they are to perform the function which they do in the evolutionary process, they must be spatiotemporally localized individuals, historical entities. Reinterpreting biological species as historical entities solves several important anomalies in biology, in philosophy of biology, and within philosophy itself. It also has important implications for any attempt to present an "evolutionary" analysis of science and for sciences such as anthropology which are devoted to the study of single (...)
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  • Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
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  • Realism, Natural Kinds, and Philosophical Methods.Richard Boyd - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge. pp. 212--234.
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  • The Species Concept.George Gaylord Simpson - 1951 - Evolution 5 (4):285-298.
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