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SpeciesA History of the Idea$
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John Wilkins and Daniel Doak

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260856

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260856.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

The Classical Era: Science by Division

The Classical Era: Science by Division

(p.9) The Classical Era: Science by Division

John S. Wilkins

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the history of the species concept and the philosophical foundations of classification. The species concept is divided into universal and biological taxonomic notions. The universal taxonomy began with Plato and held that species are any distinguishable or naturally distinguished categories with an essence or definition. The biological taxonomy developed from this conception and recognizes the biological usage of species. The chapter examines the works of Aristotle and his student Theophrastus and philosophical treatments of the idea of division in living things during the classical period.

Keywords:   species, classification, universal taxonomy, Plato, biological taxonomy, Aristotle, Theophrastus, division, classical period

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