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Science & Education

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 391–398 | Cite as

John S. Wilkins: Species: A History of the Idea

University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 2009, ISBN: 978-0-520-26085-6, 303 pp, price: $29.95
  • Richard A. Richards
Book Review
  • 234 Downloads

Introduction

Species: A History of the Idea, by John Wilkins, is a recent entry into the long enduring debate about the nature of species. Other books that have engaged this debate in the last few years include The Species Problem, Biological Species, Ontology, and the Metaphysics of Biology by David Stamos (Stamos 2004); and my own The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis (Richards 2010). There have also appeared numerous edited volumes, including Marc Ereshefsky’s The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species (Ereshefsky 1992). This topic, the nature of species, has been the focus of much attention because species have great significance in both biology and philosophy. Species have traditionally been taken by biologists to be the basic units of evolution—the things that evolve; and the basic units of classification—the things that get grouped into genera, families, classes, orders, kingdoms etc. Species are also often taken to be the basic units of biodiversity, as...

References

  1. Darwin, C. (1964). On the origin of species, a facsimile of the first edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Dennett, D. (1995). Darwin’s dangerous idea. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  3. Ereshefsky, M. (1992). Species, higher taxa, and the units of evolution. In M. Ereshefsky (Ed.), The units of evolution: Essays on the nature of species. Cambridge, MA: Bradford Books.Google Scholar
  4. Richards, R. (2010). The species problem: A philosophical analysis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Stamos, D. (2004). The species problem. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  6. Winsor, M. (2006). The creation of the essentialism story: An exercise in meta history. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 28, 149–174.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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