Individualism, type specimens, and the scrutability of species membership

Biology and Philosophy 16 (3):325-38 (2001)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The view that species are individuals, as developed by Ghiselinand Hull, has been touted as explaining the role of type specimens intaxonomy. The kinship of this explanation with the Kripke-Putnam theoryof names has long been recognized. In light of this kinship, however,Hull's account of type specimens can be seen to entail two relatedinscrutability problems – unreasonable limits placed on the natureand extent of biological knowledge. An appreciation for these problemsinvites us to consider the proper relation between metaphysical andepistemological inquires in the philosophy of science.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,509

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem.Mark Ridley - 1989 - Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Arthritis and Nature's Joints.Neil E. Williams - 2011 - In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press.
Biological Species: Natural Kinds, Individuals, or What?Michael Ruse - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):225-242.
Biological Species as Natural Kinds.David B. Kitts & David J. Kitts - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (4):613-622.
Comments on David Hull's Paper on Exemplars and Type Specimens.Ernst Mayr - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:504 - 511.
Biological Species Are Natural Kinds.Crawford L. Elder - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):339-362.


Added to PP

27 (#427,989)

6 months
1 (#417,896)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Individual Essentialism in Biology.Michael Devitt - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):39.
How to Misidentify a Type Specimen.Matthew H. Haber - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):767-784.
Type Specimens and Scientific Memory.Lorraine Daston - 2004 - Critical Inquiry 31 (1):153.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
On the Origin of Species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.

View all 25 references / Add more references