The Classical Era: Science by Division

John S. Wilkins

in Species

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780520260856
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945074 | DOI:
The Classical Era: Science by Division

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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

Chapter.  9591 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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