UW–Madison Libraries Services during COVID–19

COVID–19 Library Dashboard
Get the latest information on the status of library spaces and services

Species : the evolution of the idea

Wilkins, John S., 1955- author

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Creator John S. Wilkins
  • Format Books
  • Publication Second edition. Boca Raton, FL : CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, [2018]
  • Series
  • Physical Details
    • xxxviii, 389 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • ISBNs 9781138055742, 1138055743
  • OCLC on1013527051


  • Over time the complex idea of "species" has evolved, yet its meaning is far from resolved. This comprehensive work is a fresh look at an idea central to the field of biology by tracing its history from antiquity to today. Species is a benchmark exploration and clarification of a concept fundamental to the past, present, and future of the natural sciences. In this edition, a section is added on the debate over species since the time of the New Synthesis, and brings the book up to date. A section on recent philosophical debates over species has also been added. This edition is better suited non-specialists in philosophy, so that it will be of greater use for scientists wishing to understand how the notion came to be that living organisms form species.


  • "Revised edition of: Species : a history of the idea. Berkeley : University of California Press, c2009."--Title page verso CIP.
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • I. The historical development of "species" : -- The classical era : science by division -- The medieval bridge -- Species and the birth of modern science -- The nineteenth century, a period of change -- Darwin and the Darwinians -- The species problem arises -- The synthesis and species -- II. Modern debates : -- Reproductive isolation concepts -- Phylogenetic species concepts -- Other species concepts -- Historical summary and conclusions -- III. Philosophical discussions of the species concept : -- Philosophy and species : introduction -- The development of the philosophy of species -- Species realism -- Appendix A : Post-Linnaean ranks -- Appendix B : A summary list of species definitions
Checking the Web...