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‘Species’ is a tricky, but unavoidable term which makes biologists disagree with each other in their attempts to define it. The disagreement actually stems from the intractable ontological nature of species. Not only biologists but also philosophers are engaged in the endeavour to understand species. The former attempt to define species while the latter try to determine its ontology. As a result, antinomies such as monism/pluralism or realism/antirealism come into the picture. Our sense of ‘intractability’ grows along with the increasing debate between these antinomies. The present paper sketches out the intractable nature of species through a historical account of the species problem. Through this paper, we have tried to decipher a ‘common thread’ that, perhaps, binds all our ideas of species together. This has been arrived at after noticing that when we confront the term species we all know what it refers to but we are confused when it comes to answering the question ‘what it means’.
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