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THE SPECIES PROBLEM AND ITS LOGIC: Inescapable Ambiguity and Framework-relativity

Bartlett, Steven James (2015) THE SPECIES PROBLEM AND ITS LOGIC: Inescapable Ambiguity and Framework-relativity. [Preprint]

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Abstract

For more than fifty years, taxonomists have proposed numerous alternative definitions of species while they searched for a unique, comprehensive, and persuasive definition. This monograph shows that these efforts have been unnecessary, and indeed have provably been a pursuit of a will o’ the wisp because they have failed to recognize the theoretical impossibility of what they seek to accomplish. A clear and rigorous understanding of the logic underlying species definition leads both to a recognition of the inescapable ambiguity that affects the definition of species, and to a framework-relative approach to species definition that is logically compelling, i.e., cannot not be accepted without inconsistency. An appendix reflects upon the conclusions reached, applying them in an intellectually whimsical taxonomic thought experiment that conjectures the possibility of an emerging new human species.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bartlett, Steven Jamessbartlet@willamette.edu
Keywords: species problem, species concepts, definitions of species, philosophy of biology, similarity theory, logic of commonality, Theorem of the Ugly Duckling, Satosi Watanabe, Nelson Goodman, framework-relativity, Löwenheim-Skolem Theorem, Hilary Putnam, human speciation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Dr. Steven Bartlett
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2015 13:27
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2015 13:27
Item ID: 11655
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 4 September 2015
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11655

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