Synthese 198 (4):3369-3387 (2019)

This paper uses two case studies to explore an interest-relative view of taxonomy and how it complements kind pluralism in biology. First, I consider the ABC island bear, which can be correctly classified into more than one species. I argue that this classificatory pluralism can be explained by reference to the range of alternative explanatory interests in biology. In the second half of the paper, I pursue an interest-relative view of classification more generally. I then apply the resultant view to a second case study: whether whales are fish. I argue that this question is not one about scientific vs folk usage, as has been assumed. I also develop a new view: that Fish should be rejected as a category, both from the point of view of biological science, and from the point of view of folk taxonomy. Along the way, I use the interest-relative view to shed light on the circumstances under which higher taxa should be accepted as legitimate categories for biological science.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02284-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,811
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

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Phylogenetic Systematics.Willi Hennig - 1966 - University of Illinois Press.

View all 43 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Kinds of Value Pluralism.Miles Tucker - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):333-346.
Why Do Biologists Argue Like They Do?John Beatty - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):443.
Pluralism, Normative Naturalism, and Biological Taxonomy.Marc Ereshefsky - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:382-389.
Varieties of Logic.Stewart Shapiro - 2014 - Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
For Pluralism and Against Realism About Species.P. Kyle Stanford - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (1):70-91.
How to Be a Function Pluralist.Justin Garson - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1101-1122.
Pluralism About Knowledge.Robin McKenna - 2017 - In Annalisa Coliva & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), Epistemic Pluralism. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 171-198.
On the Relationship Between Biology and Medicine.James K. Krueger - 2004 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame


Added to PP index

Total views
18 ( #595,023 of 2,463,154 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,391 of 2,463,154 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes