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Species – A History of the Idea - California Scholarship Online
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Species: A History of the Idea

John Wilkins and Daniel Doak


The complex idea of “species” has evolved over time, yet its meaning is far from resolved. This work takes a fresh look at an idea central to the field of biology by tracing its history from antiquity to today. The book explores the essentialist view, a staple of logic from Plato and Aristotle through the Middle Ages to fairly recent times, and considers the idea of species in natural history—a concept often connected to reproduction. Tracing “generative conceptions” of species back through Darwin to Epicurus, the text provides a new perspective on the relationship between philosophical and bi ... More

Keywords: species, biology, Plato, Aristotle, Middle Ages, natural history, reproduction, generative conceptions, Darwin, Epicurus

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780520260856
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520260856.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Wilkins, author

Daniel Doak, editor

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