Article/Publication Details

Species as Individuals: Just another Class View of Species

Organon F, 2017, vol. 24, No 1, pp. 37-53.
Language: English
File to download: PDF*

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Abstract

In this paper I will present an argument that the view of species having the ontological status of individuals implies that species actually have the ontological status of classes, despite the fact that the representatives of the view that species are individuals (or SAI) claim the contrary. Representatives of the SAI view try to argue that species cannot be classes because classes cannot change. I will show that, according to the representatives of the SAI view, groups of organisms must fulfill four necessary conditions in order to be treated as species. They must be: 1. integrated and continuous spatiotemporal genealogical lineages of organisms that are their constituent elements; 2. separated from the continuous genealogical lineage, from the last known common ancestor to modern organisms, by evolutionary unity; 3. made up of organisms going through the same or similar evolutionary processes; 4. groups of organisms whose members reproduce sexually. I will also show that when these conditions are compared to the list of extrinsic essential properties made by Caplan and Devitt it will be apparent that they are the same. In conclusion I will argue that if, under the SAI view, one of the necessary conditions that groups of organisms must fulfill in order to be treated as species is that members of the species must reproduce sexually, then each member of the species must possess the same specific mate recognition system or SMRS, which in turn makes SMRS an intrinsic essential property of each member of the species. What follows from this is that, according to the species and individuals view, species are in fact classes.

Keywords

essential properties, ontological status of species, species as classes, species as individuals, specific mate recognition system

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