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Carving Nature at Its JointsNatural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science$
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Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015936

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.001.0001

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Similarity and Species Concepts

Similarity and Species Concepts

(p.253) 12 Similarity and Species Concepts
Carving Nature at Its Joints

Jason G. Rheins

The MIT Press

This chapter presents a theory of species referred to as “kind-conceptions” of species that understands species as kinds or concepts. This usage does not suggest that an individual can ever be a concept, but rather that this view of species regards them as individuals. In this chapter, species “concepts” are meant to refer to “conceptions” since they are conceptions of what species are. Similarity plays a major part in adopting a kind-conception of species, and it is argued here that the rejection of the view that species are groups of organisms united conceptually by similarity relationships is mistaken. Not only is the similarity conception superior to the biological, ecological, or evolutionary conception, any kind-based conception of species must ultimately be based on similarity relationships of some sort.

Keywords:   theory of species, kind-conceptions of species, species concepts, conceptions, similarity relationships

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