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Prototypical Reasoning about Species and the Species Problem

Amitani, Yuichi (2015) Prototypical Reasoning about Species and the Species Problem. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The species problem is often described as the abundance of conflicting definitions of _species_, such as the biological species concept and phylogenetic species concepts. But biologists understand the notion of species in a non-definitional as well as a definitional way. In this article I argue that when they understand _species_ without a definition in their mind, their understanding is often mediated by the notion of _good species_, or prototypical species, as the idea of ``prototype'' is explicated in cognitive psychology. This distinction helps us make sense of several puzzling phenomena regarding biologists' dealing with species, such as the fact that in everyday research biologists often behave as if the species problem is solved, while they should be fully aware that it is not. I also briefly discuss implications of this finding, including that some extant attempts to answer what the nature of species is have an inadequate assumption about how the notion of species is represented in biologists' minds.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Amitani, Yuichiyuiami@gmail.com
Additional Information: Note: This is the penultimate version of the published paper (Amitani, Y., 2015, Prototypical Reasoning about Species and the Species Problem, _Biological Theory_). But since in the published version many paragraphs are unintentionally divided to a miscommunication in the editing process, you may find this version more readable.
Keywords: Definition, Good species, Prototype theory, Species problem
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Depositing User: Yuichi Amitani
Date Deposited: 17 May 2015 18:36
Last Modified: 17 May 2015 18:36
Item ID: 11464
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s13752-015-0204-4
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Date: 2015
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11464

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