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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

Historical Summary and Conclusions

Historical Summary and Conclusions

(p.226) (p.227) Historical Summary and Conclusions

John S. Wilkins

University of California Press

This book considers the historical and several philosophical and biological claims about the species concept. From Aristotle through to the end of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the notion of species has not remained static. Aristotle's notions were modified by neo-Platonists. The generative conception of species began as early as the fourth century, and this recurs until the biological tradition during the seventeenth century. In the biological tradition, species has always been thought to mean the generation of similar form. The generative conception of species was the common view from the Greeks to the beginnings of Mendelian genetics. Prior to this, there were debates on the origin of new species. After this, there were debates on the species problem, in which various attempts were made to identify the genetic substructure of species.

Keywords:   species, Aristotle, Middle Ages, Renaissance, neo-Platonists, generative conception, biological tradition, genetics

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