Stamos provides a thorough introduction to the debate over the ontological status of species. He offers the innovative suggestion that species are neither classes nor individuals, but relations. Stamos's approach is a fresh alternative to the standard, well-worn positions. -- Marc Ereshefsky, University of Calgary This is an important book on an important topic. David Stamos deals with one of the hardest issues in the philosophy of biology, the 'species problem,' showing philosophical sensitivity and scientific understanding. It will be essential reading for all further work on the topic, and is a real joy to read in its own right. -- Michael Ruse, Florida State University ...I recommend this book as a handy reference for a wide range of views on the species question... -- Bryson Brown, University of Lethbridge Stamos' study deserves high praise. It is the most comprehensive survey of the literature on the question of "species" - how to define the term, how to classify it among other biological terms, how it was historically used and misused, how it relates to other questions of ontology (what there is) and epistemology (what do we know and how we get to know it), and how it is bound with serious philosophical questions about Universals (do they exist?, are they nothing but a collection of Individuals?) and Essentialism (does something have certain characteristics that are essential or secondary to its very nature and existence?), to name just two categories. The book is well organized, clearly written, broadly researched, and meticulously referenced...as such, this book should become a standard reference to anyone interested in biology form theoretical and practical perspectives alike. Bridges Stamos has brought together in one substantial volume almost everything one would ever want to know about how biologists and philosophers of biology have understood the word 'species.' More than that, he has shown what makes understanding this word crucial for biological explanation and scientific ontology. His book honors the close connection between analytical metaphysics and biological theorizing. -- Alex Rosenberg, Duke University
About the Author
David Stamos teaches Philosophy at York University in Toronto.