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

Abstract
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.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02284-9
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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.

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