Biological Theory 7 (4):338-345 (2013)

Sabina Leonelli
University of Exeter
Scientific classification has long been recognized as involving a specific style of reasoning and doing research, and as occasionally affecting the development of scientific theories. However, the role played by classificatory activities in generating theories has not been closely investigated within the philosophy of science. I argue that classificatory systems can themselves become a form of theory, which I call classificatory theory, when they come to formalize and express the scientific significance of the elements being classified. This is particularly evident in some of the classification practices used in contemporary experimental biology, such as bio-ontologies used to classify genomic data and typologies used to classify “normal” stages of development in developmental biology. In this paper, I explore some characteristics of classificatory theories and ways in which they differ from other types of scientific theories and other components of scientific epistemology, such as models and background assumptions
Keywords Biology  Bio-ontologies  Classification  Data  Theory
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DOI 10.1007/s13752-012-0049-z
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Science Without Laws.Ronald N. Giere - 1999 - University of Chicago Press.

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Bacterial Species Pluralism in the Light of Medicine and Endosymbiosis.Javier Suárez - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (1):91-105.

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