Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Species Essentialism

Idea based on the ideas of Aristotle and practiced by Linnaeus, that members of a species share a common natural inner state or essence that is different from other species, that each individual is capable of attainment of the perfect state (a type specimen), but that outside forces interfere with its attainment, producing observed individual variations.

See fixity of species and essentialism.

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