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Species Pluralism and Anti-Realism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2022

Marc Ereshefsky*
Department of Philosophy, University of Calgary


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.

Research Article
Copyright © Philosophy of Science Association 1998

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Send requests for reprints to the author, Department of Philosophy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada; e-mail:

A version of this paper was presented at a meeting of the Pittsburgh International Fellows, Castiglioncello, Italy, May 1996. I would like to thank David Baumslag, Michael Bradie, Mohamed Elsamahi, David Hull, Jim Lennox, Gerald Massey, Elliott Sober, Ken Waters, and two anonymous referees for their helpful comments. Financial support and pleasant surroundings for work on this paper were provided by the Calgary Institute for the Humanities.


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