[tdwg-content] Name is species concept thinking

Mark Wilden mark at mwilden.com
Fri Jun 11 00:12:46 CEST 2010

On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 2:55 PM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:
> Hmm...not sure I agree.  At the moment that spcific atom is part of the ant,
> then it seems to me that it is also part of Formicidae.  It gets weird,
> though, because atoms enter and leave the circumscribed individual ant over
> time, whereas the abstract notion of "the ant" stays the same from its birth
> to its death.  But then again, if Formicidae is circumscribed by its member
> individual ants, then these individual ants then enter and leave the
> circumscription (when they are born or conceived, and when they die).

I don't think it's enough to say "is circumscribed by its member
individual ants." You have to also state the basis of that
circumscription, as it obviously can't just be by enumeration. For
example, I think it would be fair to say that in order to be a member
of Formicidae, an entity must be an ant (there may be other, better
criteria, but you get the idea). That's why I say that a specimen is
the ultimate circumscription, at least of the taxonomic kind.

An atom isn't a kind of ant, but an ant has an atom. Inheritance vs.


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