Building on Bedrock: William Steel Creighton and the Reformation of Ant Systematics, 1925-1970 [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of the History of Biology 33 (1):27 - 70 (2000)
Ideas about the natural world are intertwined with the personalities, practices, and the workplaces of scientists. The relationships between these categories are explored in the life of the taxonomist William Steel Creighton. Creighton studied taxonomy under William Morton Wheeler at Harvard University. He took the rules he learned from Wheeler out of the museum and into the field. In testing the rules against a new situation, Creighton found them wanting. He sought a new set of taxonomic principles, one he eventually found in Ernst Mayr's "Systematics and the Origin of Species". Mayr's ideas tied together a number of themes running through Creighton's life: the need for a revised taxonomy, the emphasis on fieldwork, and the search for a new power center for ant taxonomy after Wheeler died. Creighton's adoption of Mayr's ideas as part of his professional identity also had very real implications for his career path: field studies required long and intensive studies, and Creighton would always be a slow worker. His method of taxonomy contrasted sharply not only with Wheeler's but also with two of his younger colleagues, William L. Brown and E. O. Wilson, who took over Wheeler's spot at Harvard in 1950. The disputes between these men over ant taxonomy involved, in addition to questions of technical interest, questions about where and how best to do taxonomy and who could speak with the most authority. Creighton's story reveals how these questions are interrelated. The story also reveals the importance of Mayr's book for changes occurring in taxonomy in the middle of the twentieth century.
|Keywords||ants E. O. Wilson Ernst Mayr systematics Systematics and the Origin of Species taxonomy William L. Brown William Morton Wheeler William Steel Creighton|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Carl Chung (2003). On the Origin of the Typological/Population Distinction in Ernst Mayr's Changing Views of Species, 1942-1959. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (2):277-296.
Mary Pickard Winsor (2000). Species, Demes, and the Omega Taxonomy: Gilmour and the Newsystematics. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):349-388.
William McBride (2008). Comments on W. Creighton Peden. Social Philosophy Today 24:171-175.
Mae-Wan Ho & Peter T. Saunders (1993). Rational Taxonomy and the Natural System. Acta Biotheoretica 41 (4):289-304.
John Beatty (1994). The Proximate/Ultimate Distinction in the Multiple Careers of Ernst Mayr. Biology and Philosophy 9 (3):333-356.
Walter J. Bock (1994). Ernst Mayr, Naturalist: His Contributions to Systematics and Evolution. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 9 (3):267-327.
J. E. Creighton (1912). The Determination of the Real. Philosophical Review 21 (3):303-321.
James Edwin Creighton & George Holland Sabine (eds.) (1917). Philosophical Essays in Honor of James Edwin Creighton. Freeport, N.Y.,Books for Libraries Press.
Creighton Peden (1978). Quality of Life and the Federal Reserve System. Journal of Social Philosophy 9 (1):18-22.
Marc Ereshefsky (2007). Species, Taxonomy, and Systematics. In Michael Ruse (ed.), Philosophy of Biology. Prometheus Books 403--428.
J. E. Creighton (1926). Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Modes of Thought. Philosophical Review 35 (1):1-21.
Creighton Peden (1979). Value-Increasing Experiences and the Scientific Method. Journal of Social Philosophy 10 (3):11-14.
David L. Creighton (1967). Book Review:Two Kinds of Values. L. M. Loring. [REVIEW] Ethics 78 (1):87-.
J. E. Creighton (1909). Book Review:Is Immortality Desirable? G. Lowes Dickinson. [REVIEW] Ethics 20 (1):102-.
J. E. Creighton (1906). Experience and Thought. Philosophical Review 15 (5):482-493.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads7 ( #444,908 of 1,934,791 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #434,672 of 1,934,791 )
How can I increase my downloads?