•  48
    Names, numbers and indentations: A guide to post-linnaean taxonomy
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32 (2): 361-383. 2001.
    The vast majority of biological taxonomists use the Linnaean system when constructing classifications. Taxa are assigned Linnaean ranks and taxon names are devised according to the Linnaean rules of nomenclature. Unfortunately, the Linnaean system has become theoretically outdated. Moreover, its continued use causes a number of practical problems. This paper begins by sketching the ontological and practical problems facing the Linnaean system. Those problems are sufficiently pressing that altern…Read more
  •  94
    Homology: Integrating Phylogeny and Development
    Biological Theory 4 (3): 225-229. 2009.
  • The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species
    Journal of the History of Biology 25 (3): 500-501. 1992.
  •  11
    Consilience, Historicity, and the Species Problem
    In R. Paul Thompson & Denis Walsh (eds.), Evolutionary biology: conceptual, ethical, and religious issues, Cambridge University Press. pp. 65-86. 2014.
  •  47
    The evolution of the linnaean hierarchy
    Biology and Philosophy 12 (4): 493-519. 1997.
    The Linnaean system of classification is a threefold system of theoretical assumptions, sorting rules, and rules of nomenclature. Over time, that system has lost its theoretical assumptions as well as its sorting rules. Cladistic revisions have left it less and less Linnaean. And what remains of the system is flawed on pragmatic grounds. Taking all of this into account, it is time to consider alternative systems of classification.
  •  55
    To cite this Article: Ereshefsky, Marc , 'Foundational Issues Concerning Taxa and Taxon Names', Systematic Biology, 56:2, 295 - 301 To link to this article: DOI: 10.1080/10635150701317401 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10635150701317401..
  •  21
    Linnaean Ranks: Vestiges of a Bygone Era
    Philosophy of Science 69 (S3). 2002.
    We tend to think that there are different types of biological taxa: some taxa are species, others are genera, while others are families. Linnaeus gave us his ranks in 1731. Biological theory has changed since Linnaeus’s time. Nevertheless, the vast majority of biologists still assign Linnaean ranks to taxa, even though that practice is at odds with evolutionary theory and even though it causes a number of practical problems. The Linnaean ranks should be abandoned and alternative methods for disp…Read more
  •  339
    Darwin’s solution to the species problem
    Synthese 175 (3). 2010.
    Biologists and philosophers that debate the existence of the species category fall into two camps. Some believe that the species category does not exist and the term 'species' should be eliminated from biology. Others believe that with new biological insights or the application of philosophical ideas, we can be confident that the species category exists. This paper offers a different approach to the species problem. We should be skeptical of the species category, but not skeptical of the existen…Read more
  •  204
    In her "Species Are Individuals" (1985), Mary Williams offers informal arguments and a sketched proof which allegedly show that species are individuals with respect to evolutionary theory. In this paper, I suggest that her informal arguments are insufficient for showing that clans are not sets and that species are individuals. I also argue that her sketched proof depends on three questionable assumptions
  •  252
    Some problems with the linnaean hierarchy
    Philosophy of Science 61 (2): 186-205. 1994.
    Most biologists use the Linnaean system for constructing classifications of the organic world. The Linnaean system, however, has lost its theoretical basis due to the shift in biology from creationist and essentialist tenets to evolutionary theory. As a result, the Linnaean system is both cumbersome and ontologically vacuous. This paper illustrates the problems facing the Linnaean system, and ends with a brief introduction to an alternative approach to biological classification
  •  25
    Names, numbers and indentations: a guide to post-Linnaean taxonomy
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32 (2): 361-383. 2001.
  •  71
    Homology thinking
    Biology and Philosophy 27 (3): 381-400. 2012.
    This paper explores an important type of biological explanation called ‘homology thinking.’ Homology thinking explains the properties of a homologue by citing the history of a homologue. Homology thinking is significant in several ways. First, it offers more detailed explanations of biological phenomena than corresponding analogy explanations. Second, it provides an important explanation of character similarity and difference. Third, homology thinking offers a promising account of multiple reali…Read more
  •  24
    Critical Notice
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1): 143-158. 1995.
  •  22
    The metaphysics of evolution (review)
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (3): 525-532. 1991.
  •  92
    Species, Historicity, and Path Dependency
    Philosophy of Science 81 (5): 714-726. 2014.
    This paper clarifies the historical nature of species by showing that species are path-dependent entities. A species’ identity is not determined by its intrinsic properties or its origin, but by its unique evolutionary path. Seeing that species are path-dependent entities has three implications: it shows that origin essentialism is mistaken, it rebuts two challenges to the species-are-historical-entities thesis, and it demonstrates that the identity of a species during speciation depends on futu…Read more