Barcodes and historical essences: a critique of the moderate version of intrinsic biological essentialism

Julio Torres Meléndez

Abstract


The current tendency to moderate expectations that DNA barcode can be a method of discovering new species is due to the essentialist interpretation of this scientific analogy that is conceptually unsustainable. Something similar has happened in the philosophical field with the weakening of the initial versions of intrinsic biological essentialism (EBI). To examine the nature of this transition, I propose two principles that define a moderate EBI: one that assumes that the history of the taxon is metaphysically dependent on the evolution of its intrinsic properties and another that assumes the necessary coextensivity between the intrinsic properties that explain the phenotype of the species and the bearers of identity conditions of a species. I argue that both principles are conceptually and empirically unsatisfactory.


Keywords


species; DNA barcodes; path dependence; mating/ecology pleiotropy; ecological speciation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22370/rhv2019iss14pp75-89

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