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Whales, fish and Alaskan bears: interest-relative taxonomy and kind pluralism in biology.

Taylor, Henry (2019) Whales, fish and Alaskan bears: interest-relative taxonomy and kind pluralism in biology. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper uses two case studies to explore an interest-relative view of taxonomy and how it complements kind pluralism in biology. First, I consider the ABC island bear, which can be correctly classified into more than one species. I argue that this classificatory pluralism can be explained by reference to the range of alternative explanatory interests in biology. In the second half of the paper, I pursue an interest-relative view of classification more generally. I then apply the resultant view to a second case study: whether whales are fish. I argue that this question is not one about scientific vs folk usage, as has been assumed. I also develop a new view: that Fish should be rejected as a category, both from the point of view of biological science, and from the point of view of folk taxonomy. Along the way, I use the interest-relative view to shed light on the circumstances under which higher taxa should be accepted as legitimate categories for biological science.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Taylor, Henryj.h.taylor.1@bham.ac.uk0000-0001-7504-0283
Keywords: Taxonomy, Higher Taxa, Cladism, Interest-relative taxonomy
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
Depositing User: Dr Henry Taylor
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2019 13:20
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2019 13:20
Item ID: 16095
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
Date: 5 June 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16095

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