Wilkins, John S.
A Sourcebook from Antiquity to Today
Year of Publication: 2009
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 238 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0216-5 hardback (Hardcover)
Weight: 0.450 kg, 0.992 lbs
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Defining Species: A Sourcebook from Antiquity to Today provides excerpts and commentary on the definition of «species» from source material ranging from the Greeks, through the middle ages, to the modern era. It demonstrates that the logical meaning of species is in direct contrast to the use of kind terms and concepts in natural history and biology, and that the myth that biologists or natural historians were ever essentialists about kinds is mistaken.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Author: John S. Wilkins is a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Species: A History of the Idea (2009), and works on cultural evolution, the philosophy of biology and the interface of religion and biology.
«Species - what does it mean to be one? 'Defining Species' reviews the more influential answers from ancient times to today, when the answers are more diverse than ever before. John S. Wilkins' review is an invaluable resource to the continuing discussion.» (Gareth Nelson, University of Melbourne)
«A good deal of current understanding of species and their evolution originates within the Modern Synthesis, the grand overhaul of evolutionary biology that began in the 1930s and became the dominant paradigm for evolutionary biology. The philosophical positioning of the species debate is now around what has been called the Essentialism Story, or, more pointedly, the Essentialism Myth. 'Defining Species', an anthology of thought from Plato to Cracraft, provides relevant information in abundance, including a compendium of views on the species question and evidence to evaluate the various intellectual threads of the Essentialism Story - perhaps laying it finally to rest and pointing the way to progress.» (David Williams, Natural History Museum, London)
American University Studies: Series 5, Philosophy. Vol. 203