Systematics and the Darwinian revolution

Philosophy of Science 55 (2):238-259 (1988)
Taxonomies of living things and the methods used to produce them changed little with the institutionalization of evolutionary thinking in biology. Instead, the relationships expressed in existing taxonomies were merely reinterpreted as the result of evolution, and evolutionary concepts were developed to justify existing methods. I argue that the delay of the Darwinian Revolution in biological taxonomy has resulted partly from a failure to distinguish between two fundamentally different ways of ordering identified by Griffiths : classification and systematization. Classification consists of ordering entities into classes, groups defined by the attributes of their members; in contrast, systematization consists of ordering entities into systems, more inclusive entities whose existence depends on some natural process through which their parts are related. Evolutionary, or phylogenetic, systematics takes evolutionary descent to be the natural process of interest in biological taxonomy. I outline a general framework for a truly phylogenetic systematics and examine some of its consequences
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/289430
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,463
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Joel D. Velasco (2010). Species, Genes, and the Tree of Life. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):599-619.
Olivier Rieppel (2010). New Essentialism in Biology. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):662-673.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

26 ( #184,275 of 1,925,522 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,589 of 1,925,522 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.