Kinds, Individuals and Theories

  • E. O. Wiley
Part of the Nijhoff International Philosophy Series book series (NIPS, volume 32)


Those of the systematic community who have considered the nature of taxa have tended to treat them in one of two ways, as natural kinds or as individuals. Many members of my research community (phylogenetics) will probably wonder why it matters. After all, so long as we arrive at the same empirical conclusions given the same data, can this controversy be so important? Perhaps not, at least within the small confines of our community. However, I have concluded that this seemingly minute controversy has importance in illuminating some larger philosophical issues that are not confined to the phylogenetics community.


Atomic Number Evolutionary Theory Natural Kind Monophyletic Group Helium Atom 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. O. Wiley
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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