Character individuation in phylogenetic inference

Philosophy of Science 70 (2):264-279 (2003)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Ontological questions in biology have typically focused on the nature of species: what are species; how are they identified and individuated? There is an analogous, but much neglected concern: what are characters; how are they identified and individuated? Character individuation is significant because biological systematics relies on a parsimony principle to determine phylogeny and classify taxa, and the parsimony principle is usually interpreted to favor the phylogenetic hypothesis that requires the fewest changes in characters. But no character individuation principle identified so far is adequate. For biological systematics we need a better way of conceiving characters.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,197

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

123 (#147,670)

6 months
34 (#102,617)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Richard A. Richards
University of Alabama

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references