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This is an examination of the relationship between classification and evolutionary theory, with reference to the competing schools of taxonomic thinking. Emphasis is placed on one of these schools, the transformed cladists who have attempted to reject all evolutionary thinking in classification and to cast doubt on evolution in general. The author examines the limits to this line of thought from a philosophical and methodological perspective. He concludes that transformed cladistics does not achieve what it claims and that it either implicitly assumes a Platonic World View, or is unintelligible without taking into account evolutionary processes--the very processes it claims to reject. Through this analysis the author attempts to formulate criteria of an objective and consistent nature that can be used to judge competing methodologies and theories. Philosophers of science, zoologists interested in taxonomy, and evolutionary biologists will find this a compelling study.
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"...the present book is by far the most rigorous available, and its criticisms are much more pointed and direct. In particular, the critique of transformed cladism goes well beyond the usual rather bland remarks..." Geological Magazine
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- Date Published: January 2011
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511828256
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Part I. Issues Pertaining to the Philosophy of Science:
1. Theoretical and descriptive attitudes in taxonomy
Part II. The Status of Theoretical Classifications:
2. Evolutionary systematics and theoretical information
3. Phylogenetic cladistics and theoretical information
Part III. The Status of Descriptive Classifications:
4. Phenetics and the descriptive attitude
5. Transformed cladistics and the methodological turn
6. Transformed cladistics and evolution
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