Supporting your high street Find out how »
Basket Image


The Species Problem : A Philosophical Analysis, Hardback Book


There is long-standing disagreement among systematists about how to divide biodiversity into species.

Over twenty different species concepts are used to group organisms, according to criteria as diverse as morphological or molecular similarity, interbreeding and genealogical relationships.

This, combined with the implications of evolutionary biology, raises the worry that either there is no single kind of species, or that species are not real.

This book surveys the history of thinking about species from Aristotle to modern systematics in order to understand the origin of the problem, and advocates a solution based on the idea of the division of conceptual labor, whereby species concepts function in different ways - theoretically and operationally.

It also considers related topics such as individuality and the metaphysics of evolution, and how scientific terms get their meaning.

This important addition to the current debate will be essential for philosophers and historians of science, and for biologists.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Philosophy of science
  • ISBN: 9780521196833



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops

Also in the Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology series   |  View all