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The Species Problem: Biological Species, Ontology, and the Metaphysics of Biology Hardcover – Mar 17 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (March 17 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739105035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739105030
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3.3 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
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Product Description


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, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa884ce1c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa87f00e4) out of 5 stars The Species Problem, Biological Species, Ontology, and the Metaphysics of Biology Sept. 19 2006
By F. Emilia Cirstea - Published on
Format: Paperback
Above any expectations!The book is very comprehensive and cohesive. Bright writer, Stamos combined in an informative whole the modern species problem and is equally skillful at speaking to a broad audience including scholars and students alike. In a provocative but delightfull style, Stamos critically appraises the major comtemporary views of species and offers an interesting solution to the "problem".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa87f0528) out of 5 stars Great contribution! Feb. 18 2008
By Tonci Kokic - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ontological position of biological species (are biological species real, and if, what is their nature) is one of hard, and still unsolved issues in philosophy and biology. Stamos gave a great contribution in philosophical inquiry of species problem, with original and interesting solution. His view of species as relation is well-founded in philosophy, with comprehensive, balance and serious treatment of species concept. The Species Problem is unavoidable reading for anybody who want to study the philosophy of biology. The future of Stamos book is to be a classic literature.
HASH(0xa87ff294) out of 5 stars An amazing review on the philosophy of the Species Problem May 24 2016
By Juan Pablo Aguilar - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An amazing review on the philosophy of the Species Problem. Not just a simple book, but if not the very best book on this delicate and controversial subject, one of the very best! A must for anyone interested in either Philosophy, Biology, or both!