Chapter

Historical Summary and Conclusions

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520260856.003.0009
Historical Summary and Conclusions

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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

Chapter.  3077 words. 

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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