Species Essentialism

Discipline: Philosophy

Also known as: the natural state model of species

This theory is based on the ideas of Aristotle (384-322 BC), and is applied by Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) and others in their search for the perfect 'type specimen' for each species.

It is the concept that all members of a species share a common natural state that serves to define and separate them from other species, with observed variations in individuals of a species being caused by forces that interfere with the organism's attainment of its natural state.

This pre-evolution perspective holds that species are fixed entities, a view no longer accepted by biologists.

Also see: population thinking, theory of speciation, theory of species

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