Richard A. Richards's Biological classification: a philosophical introduction PDF

By Richard A. Richards

ISBN-10: 1107065372

ISBN-13: 9781107065376

ISBN-10: 1107687845

ISBN-13: 9781107687844

Glossy organic category relies at the approach constructed by way of Linnaeus, and interpreted by way of Darwin as representing the tree of lifestyles. yet regardless of its frequent popularity, the evolutionary interpretation has a few difficulties and obstacles. This entire ebook presents a unmarried source for figuring out all of the major philosophical matters and controversies approximately organic category. It surveys the heritage of organic type from Aristotle to modern phylogenetics and exhibits how glossy organic category has constructed and adjusted through the years. Readers may also be capable of see how organic class is partially a final result of human psychology, language improvement and tradition. The e-book may be priceless for scholar readers and others drawn to various issues in philosophy and biology.

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Extra resources for Biological classification: a philosophical introduction

Sample text

Gelman 2003, 6) There is even a bias in how this bias is applied: The question of which categories we essentialize is a tricky one. In a nutshell, I argue that essentialism is the result of several converging psychological capacities, each of which is domain-general yet invoked differently in different domains. Collectively, when these capacities come together to form essentialism, they apply most powerfully to natural kinds (including animal and plant species, and natural substances such as water and gold) and social kinds (including race and gender), but not to artifacts made by people (such as tables and socks).

But perhaps an even more significant problem for the method of logical division is that many creatures have equivocal attributes: they cross-divide based on resemblances to different classes, such as animals and vegetables. Aristotle recognized this fact (emphasis added): In the sea, there are certain objects concerning which one would be at a loss to determine whether they be animal or vegetable. For instance, certain of these objects are fairly rooted, and in several cases perish if detached; thus the pinna is rooted to a particular spot, and the razor-shell cannot survive withdrawal from its burro.

So if another novel term is introduced, that term is normally taken to apply to another, previously unnamed object. Finally, according to the principle of conventionality, names don’t change. If an object has been dubbed with a particular word, that word will continue to apply. The value of this principle should be obvious. If names were allowed to change regularly, there would be little value in learning an object name (Capone et al. 2010, 206–7). The second cluster of biases is related to the formation of object categories.

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Biological classification: a philosophical introduction by Richard A. Richards


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