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  1. Threads That Guide or Ties That Bind: William Kirby and the Essentialism Story.Charissa S. Varma - 2009 - Journal of the History of Biology 42 (1):119-149.
    Nineteenth-century British entomologist William Kirby is best known for his generic division of bees based on tongues and his vigorous defence of natural theology. Focusing on these aspects of Kirby's work has lead many current scholars to characterise Kirby as an "essentialist." As a result of this characterisation, many important aspects of his work, Monographia Apum Angliœ (1802) have been over-looked or misunderstood. Kirby's religious devotion, for example, have lead some scholars to assume Kirby used the term "type" for connecting (...)
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  • The Evolution of the Linnaean Hierarchy.Marc Ereshefsky - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (4):493-519.
    The Linnaean system of classification is a threefold system of theoretical assumptions, sorting rules, and rules of nomenclature. Over time, that system has lost its theoretical assumptions as well as its sorting rules. Cladistic revisions have left it less and less Linnaean. And what remains of the system is flawed on pragmatic grounds. Taking all of this into account, it is time to consider alternative systems of classification.
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  • Linnaean Ranks: Vestiges of a Bygone Era.Marc Ereshefsky - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S305-S315.
    We tend to think that there are different types of biological taxa: some taxa are species, others are genera, while others are families. Linnaeus gave us his ranks in 1731. Biological theory has changed since Linnaeus’s time. Nevertheless, the vast majority of biologists still assign Linnaean ranks to taxa, even though that practice is at odds with evolutionary theory and even though it causes a number of practical problems. The Linnaean ranks should be abandoned and alternative methods for displaying the (...)
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  • Linnaean Ranks: Vestiges of a Bygone Era.Marc Ereshefsky - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S305-S315.
    We tend to think that there are different types of biological taxa: some taxa are species, others are genera, while others are families. Linnaeus gave us his ranks in 1731. Biological theory has changed since Linnaeus’s time. Nevertheless, the vast majority of biologists still assign Linnaean ranks to taxa, even though that practice is at odds with evolutionary theory and even though it causes a number of practical problems. The Linnaean ranks should be abandoned and alternative methods for displaying the (...)
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  • Names, Numbers and Indentations: A Guide to Post-Linnaean Taxonomy.M. Ereshefsky - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (2):361-383.
    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 (...)
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  • Names, Numbers and Indentations: A Guide to Post-Linnaean Taxonomy.Marc Ereshefsky - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32 (2):361-383.
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  • Anthropocentricisms in Cladograms.Hanno Sandvik - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):425-440.
    Both written and graphic accounts of history can be biased by the perspective of the historian. O’Hara (Biol Philos 7:135–160, 1992) has demonstrated that this also applies to evolutionary history and its historians, and identified four narrative devices that introduce anthropocentricisms into accounts of phylogeny. In the current paper, I identify a fifth such narrative device, viz. the left–right ordering of the taxa at the tips of cladograms. I define two measures that make it possible to quantify the degree of (...)
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