Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Biological Classification
A Philosophical Introduction

$30.00 ( ) USD

Part of Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Biology

  • Date Published: September 2016
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781316944295

$ 30.00 USD ( )
Adobe eBook Reader

You will be taken to for this purchase
Buy eBook Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, Hardback

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Modern biological classification is based on the system developed by Linnaeus, and interpreted by Darwin as representing the tree of life. But despite its widespread acceptance, the evolutionary interpretation has some problems and limitations. This comprehensive book provides a single resource for understanding all the main philosophical issues and controversies about biological classification. It surveys the history of biological classification from Aristotle to contemporary phylogenetics and shows how modern biological classification has developed and changed over time. Readers will also be able to see how biological classification is in part a consequence of human psychology, language development and culture. The book will be valuable for student readers and others interested in a range of topics in philosophy and biology.

    • Comprehensive, covering all the main philosophical issues in biological classification
    • Includes a survey of the history of biological classification from Aristotle to the present
    • Naturalistic, in the sense that it begins with what the sciences tell us about the cultural, psychological and linguistic foundations of biological classification
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… an excellent work in the contemporary philosophy of biology …' CHOICE

    'Richards’ book offers the balanced, veteran synopticism one expects from an introduction, but also some bright surprises.' Phillip Honenberger, Metascience

    'Though many have dismissed biological classification as mere stamp collecting, Richards’ introduction shows that it is an important and philosophically demanding area of science. This work is valuable for those new to the topic, and for those coming at it from only one side.' Justin Bzovy, The Philosophical Quarterly

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2016
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781316944295
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Why classify?
    2. The Aristotelian framework
    3. The Darwinian pivot
    4. Evolutionary taxonomy and the Cladistic challenge
    5. The tree of life
    6. The species problem
    7. The metaphysics of biological classification
    8. Theory and the world
    9. The essential tension.

  • Author

    Richard A. Richards, University of Alabama
    Richard A. Richards is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama. His publications include The Species Problem (Cambridge, 2010) and many journal articles.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.