Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays

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The concept of species has played a central role in both evolutionary biology and the philosophy of biology, and has been the focus of a number of books in recent years. This book differs from other recent collections in two ways. It is more explicitly integrative and analytical, centering on issues of general significance such as pluralism and realism about species. It also draws on a broader range of disciplines and brings neglected cognitive, anthropological, and historical dimensions to philosophical debates over species.

The chapters are organized around five themes: unity, integration, and pluralism; species realism; historical dimensions; cognitive underpinnings; and practical import. The contributors include prominent researchers from anthropology, botany, developmental psychology, the philosophy of biology and science, protozoology, and zoology.

Contributors: Scott Atran, Richard Boyd, Kevin de Queiroz, John Dupré, Marc Ereshefsky, Paul E. Griffiths, David L. Hull, Frank C.

Keil, Brent D. Mishler, David L. Nanney, Daniel C. Richardson, Kim Sterelny, Robert A. Wilson

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What People Are Saying

Robert N. Brandon
This is a fresh, well-conceived collection on one of the most persistent problems in the philosophy of biology — the species problem. Unlike most anthologies, but like many species, it is cohesive and integrated.
From the Publisher
"This is a fresh, well-conceived collection on one of the most persistent problems in the philosophy of biology—the species problem. Unlike most anthologies, but like many species, it is cohesive and integrated." Robert N. Brandon , Professor ofPhilsophy and Zoology, Duke University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262731232
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 2.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Wilson received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cornell University in 1992, and has taught at Queen's University, Canada (1992-1996), and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1996-2001), where he was a member of the Cognitive Science Group at the university's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Since July 2000 he has been professor of philosophy at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada. His areas of professional interest are the philosophy of the mind, the foundations of cognitive science, and the philosophy of biology. He recently edited Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays (MIT Press,1999), and with Frank Keil, is the general editor of The MIT Press Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MIT Press, 1999). See also his webpage: http://www.ualberta.ca/~philosop/faculty/wilson/.

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Table of Contents

I Monism, Pluralism, Unity, and Diversity 1
1 On the Impossibility of a Monistic Account of Species 3
2 On the Plurality of Species: Questioning the Party Line 23
3 The General Lineage Concept of Species and the Defining Properties of the Species Category 49
II Species and Life's Complications 91
4 When Is a Rose?: The Kinds of Tetrahymena 93
5 Species as Ecological Mosaics 119
III Rethinking Natural Kinds 139
6 Homeostasis, Species, and Higher Taxa 141
7 Realism, Essence, and Kind: Resuscitating Species Essentialism? 187
8 Squaring the Circle: Natural Kinds with Historical Essences 209
IV Species in Mind and Culture 229
9 The Universal Primacy of Generic Species in Folkbiological Taxonomy: Implications for Human Biological, Cultural, and Scientific Evolution 231
10 Species, Stuff, and Patterns of Causation 263
V Species Begone! 283
11 Species and the Linnaean Hierarchy 285
12 Getting Rid of Species? 307
Index 317
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