The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species
MIT Press, 1992 - Psychology - 405 pages
The Units of Evolution is the first anthology devoted solely to the nature ofspecies, one of the most hotly debated issues in biology and the philosophy of biology. Theanthology is evenly balanced between biological and philosophical issues, making it equally usefulfor workers in both fields.In his general introduction, Marc Ereshefsky sketches the framework forthe debate, explaining how biologists disagree over the definition of the term species, andphilosophers struggle to evaluate the scientific utility of a categorization device that might lacka single defining characteristic.Essays in the first section offer various definitions of thespecies category, starting with Ernst Mayr's seminal work on species and including essays by RobertSokal and Theodore Crovello, Paul Ehrlich and Peter Raven, Leigh Van Valen, Edward Wiley, JoelCracraft, Brent Mishler and Michael Donoghue, Hugh Paterson, and Alan Templeton.The essays in thesecond section focus on such philosophical issues as whether species taxa are individuals or naturalkinds, whether a monistic or pluralistic approach to systematics should be adopted, and thedistinction between species and higher taxa. Contributors to this section include Michael Ghiselin,David Hull, John Beatty, Michael Ruse, Elliott Sober, Philip Kircher, and Marc Ereshefsky.MarcEreshefsky is Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the University of Calgary.
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