Comparative personality research in human and nonhuman species advances many areas of empirical and theoretical research. The methodological foundations underlying these attempts to explain personality, however, remain an unpopular and often ignored topic. The target paper and this rejoinder explore three methodological core issues in the philosophy of science for comparative personality research: Conceptualising personality variation, identifying domains of variation and measuring variation. Clear distinctions among these issues may help to avoid misunderstandings among different disciplines concerned with personality. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.