•  69
    Darwin offered an intriguing answer to the species problem. He doubted the existence of the species category as a real category in nature, but he did not doubt the existence of those taxa called ‘‘species’’. And despite his scepticism of the species category, Darwin continued using the word ‘‘species’’. Many have said that Darwin did not understand the nature of species. Yet his answer to the species problem is both theoretically sound and practical. On the theoretical side, DarwinÕs answer is co…Read more
  • The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species
    with Peter James
    History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2): 355. 1994.
  •  125
    Bridging the gap between human kinds and biological kinds
    Philosophy of Science 71 (5): 912-921. 2004.
    Many writers claim that human kinds are significantly different from biological and natural kinds. Some suggest that humans kinds are unique because social structures are essential for the etiology of human kinds. Others argue that human cultural evolution is decidedly different from other forms of evolution. In this paper I suggest that the gulf between humans and our biological relatives is not as wide as some argue. There is a taxonomic difference between human and nonhuman organisms, but suc…Read more
  •  23
    The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1): 143-158. 1995.
  •  93
    Linnaean ranks: Vestiges of a bygone era
    Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3). 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
  •  19
    Defining ‘health’ and ‘disease’
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (3): 221-227. 2009.
  •  46
    The question of whether biologists should continue to use the Linnaean hierarchy has been a hotly debated issue. Invented before the introduction of evolutionary theory, Linnaeus's system of classifying organisms is based on outdated theoretical assumptions, and is thought to be unable to provide accurate biological classifications. Marc Ereshefsky argues that biologists should abandon the Linnaean system and adopt an alternative that is more in line with evolutionary theory. He traces the evolu…Read more
  •  388
    Species pluralism and anti-realism
    Philosophy of Science 65 (1): 103-120. 1998.
    Species pluralism gives us reason to doubt the existence of the species category. The problem is not that species concepts are chosen according to our interests or that pluralism and the desire for hierarchical classifications are incompatible. The problem is that the various taxa we call 'species' lack a common unifying feature
  •  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