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Defining Species

A Sourcebook from Antiquity to Today


John S. Wilkins

«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)