Philosophy versus Science: The Species Debate and the Practice of Taxonomy

Abstract
A reading of a sample of taxonomical papers leads to the conclusion that new species identification is both taxonomically plausible and philosophically incoherent. As a result, taxonomy becomes a science that apparently violates a necessary condition of its rationality. It is this apparent violation that is the focus of the philosophical debate, a debate whose goal for taxonomy is theoretical coherence at a global level. In this paper, I assess the appropriateness of this goal.
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