Philosophy of Biology - There are many concepts of species. Much has been written about them in the philosophical and technical literatures. What trends in species concepts can you see? How trends relate to the wider scientific and philosophical context? - Essay Example

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Philosophy of Biology - There are many concepts of species. Much has been written about them in the philosophical and technical literatures. What trends in species concepts can you see? How trends relate to the wider scientific and philosophical context?

One of the concepts that are subjected to disambiguation and debate is the concept of species as it may have multiple meanings. In general, it is used in many ways but it pertains to subdivision or smaller parts of a whole. It is nominal or name given for the parts of a bigger group. For example, a square is considered as a rectangle though it differs from other forms of rectangles as it has four equal sides. Another example is spouse wherein there are various kinds of spouse like husband or wife (Parry and Hacker 1991, pp. 104-106). Basically, species is used for distinguishing particular subgroup from the others. When it comes to life sciences, species is defined based upon the discovery and theory of Charles Darwin which is about evolution. Species therefore when it comes to biological species concept popularized by Mayr. Species in biology then is the group of natural organisms that has the capacity to reproduce and interbreed and should be isolated from the existence of other groups and populations. The definition then tend to avoid two issues which are species mixing from unrelated by structurally similar and extreme separation of one species from the others. Population dynamics and genetics of organisms are then connected by the said definition as the concept of class was avoided to be intertwined with species. That definition is limiting as the bacteria are not included in that meaning of species. It is not then a problem as Mayr pointed out since the definition focused on preserving the gene pool and its harmony which is not essential for bacteria as those prokaryotes do not suffer from out-crossing (Auletta 2011, pp. 282-283). The definition may look like limiting, but Mayr got a point as bacteria do not reproduce sexually which primarily separate bacteria or prokaryotes from eukaryotes like animals and plants.
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One may say that science is a more rigid form of discipline than philosophy as the former involves experimentation and the truth must be duplicable (Reichenbach 1951, p. 303). On the other hand, philosophy had given…
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