The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy
A Philosophical Study of Biological Taxonomy (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology)
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|Format:||Hardback, 328 pages|
|Other Information: ||23 b/w illus.|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 27 November 2000|
The question of whether biologists should continue to use the Linnaean hierarchy is a hotly debated issue. Invented before the introduction of evolutionary theory, Linnaeus' system of classifying organisms is based on outdated theoretical assumptions, and is thought to be unable to provide accurate biological classifications. Ereshefsky argues that biologists should abandon the Linnaean system and adopt an alternative that is more in line with evolutionary theory. 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.
Table of Contents
Preface; Introduction; Part I. The Historical Turn: 1. The philosophy of classification; 2. A primer of biological taxonomy; 3. History and classification; Part II. The Multiplicity of Nature: 4. Species pluralism; 5. How to be a discerning pluralist; Part III. Hierarchies and Nomenclature: 6. The evolution of the Linnaean hierarchy; 7. Post-Linnaean taxonomy; 8. The future of biological nomenclature; Notes; References; Index.
'Linnaean classification is pre-Darwinian, yet evolutionary biologists continue to use it to describe life's diversity. In this clearly written and incisive book, Ereshefsky shows that this makes no sense. His message isn't just that the Linnaean system should be junked; in addition, Ereshefsky constructs a better system to take its place. This book is of practical importance to biologists, but its analysis of the relationship between theories and classification schemes will also be of compelling interest to philosophers of science.' Elliott Sober, University of Wisconsin, Madison 'I found the contribution more than worthwhile to read. Thus, I recommend the book to graduate students and systematists of all disciplines who certainly will profit from study ...' Spixiana 'I found The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy to be interesting and thought provoking, and I recommend Ereshefsky's book to anyone curious about the issues that taxonomists are currently debating.' Science 'Ereshefsky addresses a variety of controversial topics. Therefore, his book is recommendable for everyone interested in critical discussions of biological systematics.' Anthropologischer Anzeiger
|Publisher: ||Cambridge University Press|
|Dimensions: ||22.0 x 15.0 x 2.0 centimeters (0.57 kg)|