David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):269-294 (2009)
Despite the amount of work that has been produced on the subject over the years, the ‘transformation of cladistics’ is still a misunderstood episode in the history of comparative biology. Here, I analyze two outstanding, highly contrasting historiographic accounts on the matter, under the perspective of an influential dichotomy in the philosophy of science: the opposition between Scientific Realism and Empiricism. Placing special emphasis on the notion of ‘causal grounding’ of morphological characters in modern developmental biology’s theories, I arrive at the conclusion that a ‘new transformation of cladistics’ is philosophically plausible. This ‘reformed’ understanding of ‘pattern cladistics’ entails retaining the interpretation of cladograms as ‘schemes of synapomorphies’, but in association to construing cladogram nodes as ‘developmental-genetic taxic homologies’, instead of ‘standard Darwinian ancestors’. The reinterpretation of pattern cladistics presented here additionally proposes to take Bas Van Fraassen’s ‘constructive empiricism’ as a philosophical stance that could properly support such analysis of developmental-genetic data for systematic purposes. The latter suggestion is justified through a reappraisal of previous ideas developed by prominent pattern cladists , which concerned a scientifically efficient ‘observable/non-observable distinction’ linked to the conceptual pair ‘ontogeny and phylogeny’. Finally, I argue that a robust articulation of Antirealist alternatives in systematics may provide a rational basis for its disciplinary separation from evolutionary biology, as well as for a critical reconsideration of the proper role of certain Scientific Realist positions, currently popular in comparative biology
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
|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
Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva (2013). The Phylogeography Debate and the Epistemology of Model-Based Evolutionary Biology. Biology and Philosophy 29 (6):833-850.
Similar books and articles
Nico M. Franz (2005). Outline of an Explanatory Account of Cladistic Practice. Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):489-515.
David M. Williams, Robert W. Scotland, Christopher J. Humphries & Darrell J. Siebert (1996). Confusion in Philosophy: A Comment on Williams (1992). Synthese 108 (1):127 - 136.
Olivier Rieppel (2009). 'Total Evidence' in Phylogenetic Systematics. Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):607-622.
Francisco Vergara-Silva (2003). Plants and the Conceptual Articulation of Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):249-284.
D. M. Williams & M. C. Ebach (2009). What, Exactly, is Cladistics?: Re-Writing the History of Systematics and Biogeography. Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):249-268.
Gareth Nelson & Colin Patterson (1993). Cladistics, Sociology and Success: A Comment on Donoghue's Critique of David Hull. Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):441-443.
Olivier Rieppel (2010). The Series, the Network, and the Tree: Changing Metaphors of Order in Nature. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):475-496.
C. Ebach Malte, J. Morrone Juan & M. Williams David (2008). A New Cladistics of Cladists. Biology and Philosophy 23 (1).
Malte C. Ebach, Juan J. Morrone & David M. Williams (2008). A New Cladistics of Cladists. Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):153-156.
Added to index2009-06-13
Total downloads48 ( #39,942 of 1,410,148 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #42,130 of 1,410,148 )
How can I increase my downloads?