Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 225–232 | Cite as

Discussion: Phylogenetic Species Concept: Pluralism, Monism, and History



Species serve as both the basic units of macroevolutionary studies and as the basic units of taxonomic classification. In this paper I argue that the taxa identified as species by the Phylogenetic Species Concept (Mishler and Brandon 1987) are the units of biological organization most causally relevant to the evolutionary process but that such “units” exist at multiple levels within the hierarchy of any phylogenetic lineage. The PSC gives us no way of identifying one of these levels as the privileged level on which taxonomic classifications can be based.


Evolutionary Process Multiple Level Basic Unit Species Concept Taxonomic Classification 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNorthwestern UniversityEvanston

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