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Abstract
There is growing agreement among taxonomists that species are independently evolving lineages. The central notion of this conception, evolutionary independence, is commonly operationalized by taxonomists in multiple, diverging ways. This leads to a problem of operationalization-dependency in species classification, as species delimitation is not only dependent on the properties of the investigated groups, but also on how taxonomists choose to operationalize evolutionary independence. The question then is how the operationalization-dependency of species delimitation is compatible with its objectivity and reliability. In response to this problem, various taxonomists have proposed to integrate multiple operationalizations of evolutionary independence for delimiting species. This paper first distinguishes between a standard and a sophisticated integrative approach to taxonomy, and argues that it is unclear how either of these can support the reliability and objectivity of species delimitation. It then draws a parallel between the measurement of physical quantities and species delimitation to argue that species delimitation can be considered objective and reliable if we understand the sophisticated integrative approach as assessing the coherence between the idealized models of multiple operationalizations of evolutionary independence.
Keywords integrative taxonomy  species  classification  measurement
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-018-0202-z
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References found in this work BETA

Old and New Problems in Philosophy of Measurement.Eran Tal - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1159-1173.
How Accurate Is the Standard Second?Eran Tal - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1082-1096.
Eliminative Pluralism.Marc Ereshefsky - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (4):671-690.
Species Concepts and Species Delimitation.Kevin de Queiroz - 2007 - Systematic Biology 56 (6):879-886.
The Appeal to Robustness in Measurement Practice.Alessandra Basso - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 65:57-66.

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