Aleta Quinn
University of Idaho
Sterner and Lidgard urge that philosophers of phylogenetics move beyond the “systematics wars”, referring to the 1960s–80s debates between numerical taxonomists, evolutionary taxonomists, and phylogenetic systematists. Indeed, philosophers would do well to move beyond those wars, and to focus even more recently than the parsimony versus likelihood debates of the 1980s–90s. In this paper I use integrated historical-philosophical analysis of those debates to clarify a contemporary dispute between proponents of coalescence-based methods and proponents of concatenation. My intent is to illuminate the present state of the field of phylogenetics by tracing the use of one particular philosophical argument, “total evidence”, through several distinct scientific debates.
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DOI 10.3998/ptpbio.16039257.0011.017
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