Deep conventionalism about evolutionary groups

Matthew J. Barker, Joel D. Velasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We reject a widespread objectivism about kinds of evolutionary groups in favor of a new conventionalism. Surprisingly, being any one kind of evolutionary group typically depends on which of many incompatible values are taken by suppressed variables. This novel pluralism underlies almost any single evolutionary group concept, unlike familiar pluralisms claiming that multiple concepts of certain sorts are legitimate. Consequently, we must help objective facts determine which candidate evolutionary groups satisfy the definition of a given evolutionary group concept, regardless of whether we also help determine the legitimacy of that concept's applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-982
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2013


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