Names, numbers and indentations: A guide to post-linnaean taxonomy

The vast majority of biological taxonomists use the Linnaean system when constructing classifications. Taxa are assigned Linnaean ranks and taxon names are devised according to the Linnaean rules of nomenclature. Unfortunately, the Linnaean system has become theoretically outdated. Moreover, its continued use causes a number of practical problems. This paper begins by sketching the ontological and practical problems facing the Linnaean system. Those problems are sufficiently pressing that alternative systems of classification should be investigated. A number of proposals for an alternative system are introduced and evaluated. The best aspects of those proposals are brought together to form a post-Linnaean system, and a comparison of the Linnaean and post-Linnaean systems is conducted. The final section of this paper considers not only the theoretical reasons for replacing the Linnaean system, but also the practical feasibility of adopting an alternative system.
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DOI 10.1016/S1369-8486(01)00004-8
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References found in this work BETA
Philip Kitcher (1984). Species. Philosophy of Science 51 (2):308-333.
Marc Ereshefsky (1992). Eliminative Pluralism. Philosophy of Science 59 (4):671-690.

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Alessandro Rapini (2004). Classes or Individuals? The Paradox of Systematics Revisited. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 35 (4):675-695.

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