The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy: A Philosophical Study of Biological Taxonomy
The question of whether biologists should continue to use the Linnaean hierarchy has been a hotly debated issue. Invented before the introduction of evolutionary theory, Linnaeus's system of classifying organisms is based on outdated theoretical assumptions, and is thought to be unable to provide accurate biological classifications. Marc Ereshefsky argues that biologists should abandon the Linnaean system and adopt an alternative that is more in line with evolutionary theory. He traces the evolution of the Linnaean hierarchy from its introduction to the present. He illustrates how the continued use of this system hampers our ability to classify the organic world, and then goes on to make specific recommendations for a post-Linnaean method of classification. Accessible to a wide range of readers by providing introductory chapters to the philosophy of classification and the taxonomy of biology, the book will interest both scholars and students of biology and the philosophy of science.
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according annotated Linnaean annotated system approach to classification approach to species asexual organisms assigned assumptions binomials biological species concept biological taxonomy biologists Chapter characters cite cladogram common ancestor Consider constructing classifications ecological empirical essentialism evolution evolutionary biology evolutionary taxonomists evolutionary theory example existence gene flow genealogical genera genetic genus Ghiselin Hennig higher taxa historical approach historical entities homeostatic homoplasies Hull interbreeding approach Kitcher lineages Linnaean categories Linnaean hierarchy Linnaean ranks Linnaean system Linnaeus Mayr methodological rules Mishler monists monophyletic monophyletic taxa ontological organic world ostensive definitions paraphyletic pattern cladists phenetic pheneticists phylogenetic phylogenetic approach phylogenetic definitions pluralist polyphyletic polyploidy populations positional numbers post-Linnaean system problems Queiroz and Gauthier real essence recent common ancestor require rules of nomenclature sexual speciation species category species pluralism species taxa suggest synapomorphies system of nomenclature taxon names taxonomic approaches taxonomic pluralism taxonomic units theoretical tion traits types uninomials Wiley Wiley’s