Draft articles for critical review

Draft articles for critical review

This page is reserved for draft articles and reports written by members but not yet ready for  publication. The authors seek ‘good-faith’ comments from both the general public and the scholarly community, with the intent of improving the paper before submitting to formal peer review.

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Essentialistic Pluralism in Species Conception: Stephen Maxwell

Essentialistic Pluralism in Species Conception

Keywords: Essentialism, evolution, taxonomy, species

Essentialistic pluralism allows the taxonomist the freedom to delineate species outside of any rigid conceptual framework. An overview of a select number of current species concepts is provided, offering these as potential choices to the pluralist. We argue for a refocusing of the species debate on criteria rather than concept, thereby highlighting the real with the context of the hypothetical nature of species. Finally, we will examine the complexity of species demarcation, noting the continuing failure for explicitness in conceptual application. Finally, we argue that essentialistic pluralism is a means of achieving the gold standard for universality through its refocus of the species debate on criteria rather than concept, and thereby highlighting the hypothetical nature of species.

The resurrection of essentialist arguments, in the context of the modern evolutionary synthesis, highlights the need for a break from historical definitions of kind and essence in order to bring a new paradigm in which these terms are used to conceptualise and understand evolutionary processes.