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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.Read more
- 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
Reviews & endorsements
'… an excellent work in the contemporary philosophy of biology …' CHOICESee more reviews
'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
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- Date Published: September 2016
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107687844
- length: 310 pages
- dimensions: 246 x 174 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.62kg
- contains: 13 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
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.
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