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  1.  45
    The Poverty of Taxonomic Characters.Olivier Rieppel & Maureen Kearney - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):95-113.
    The theory and practice of contemporary comparative biology and phylogeny reconstruction (systematics) emphasizes algorithmic aspects but neglects a concern for the evidence. The character data used in systematics to formulate hypotheses of relationships in many ways constitute a black box, subject to uncritical assessment and social influence. Concerned that such a state of affairs leaves systematics and the phylogenetic theories it generates severely underdetermined, we investigate the nature of the criteria of homology and their application to character conceptualization in the (...)
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  2.  57
    The Series, the Network, and the Tree: Changing Metaphors of Order in Nature.Olivier Rieppel - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):475-496.
    The history of biological systematics documents a continuing tension between classifications in terms of nested hierarchies congruent with branching diagrams (the ‘Tree of Life’) versus reticulated relations. The recognition of conflicting character distribution led to the dissolution of the scala naturae into reticulated systems, which were then transformed into phylogenetic trees by the addition of a vertical axis. The cladistic revolution in systematics resulted in a representation of phylogeny as a strictly bifurcating pattern (cladogram). Due to the ubiquity of character (...)
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  3.  4
    The PhyloCode: A Critical Discussion of its Theoretical Foundation.Olivier Rieppel - 2006 - Cladistics 22:186-197.
    The definition of taxon names as formalized by the PhyloCode is based on Kripke's thesis of “rigid designation” that applies to Millian proper names. Accepting the thesis of “rigid designation” into systematics in turn is based on the thesis that species, and taxa, are individuals. These largely semantic and metaphysical issues are here contrasted with an epistemological approach to taxonomy. It is shown that the thesis of “rigid designation” if deployed in taxonomy introduces a new essentialism into systematics, which is (...)
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  4.  8
    Species: Kinds of Individuals or Individuals of a Kind.Olivier Rieppel - 2007 - Cladistics 23:373-384.
    The “species-as-individuals” thesis takes species, or taxa, to be individuals. On grounds of spatiotemporal boundedness, any biological entity at any level of complexity subject to evolutionary processes is an individual. From evolutionary theory flows an ontology that does not countenance universal properties shared by evolving entities. If austere nominalism were applied to evolving entities, however, nature would be reduced to a mere flow of passing events, each one a blob in space–time and hence of passing interest only. Yet if there (...)
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  5.  71
    Species as a Process.Olivier Rieppel - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica (1-2):33-49.
    Species are generally considered to be the basic units of evolution, and hence to constitute spatio-temporally bounded entities. In addition, it has been argued that species also instantiate a natural kind. Evolution is fundamentally about change. The question then is how species can remain the same through evolutionary change. Proponents of the species qua individuals thesis individuate species through their unique evolutionary origin. Individuals, or spatio-temporally located particulars in general, can be bodies, objects, events, or processes, or a combination of (...)
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  6.  4
    Species Are Individuals—the German Tradition.Olivier Rieppel - 2011 - Cladistics 27 (6):629-645.
    The German tradition of considering species, and higher taxonomic entities, as individuals begins with the temporalization of natural history, thus pre-dating Darwin’s ‘Origin’ of 1859. In the tradition of German Naturphilosophie as developed by Friedrich Schelling, species came to be seen as parts of a complex whole that encompasses all (living) nature. Species were comprehended as dynamic entities that earn individuality by virtue of their irreversible passage through time. Species individuality was conceived in terms of species taxa forming a spatiotemporally (...)
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  7.  26
    New Essentialism in Biology.Olivier Rieppel - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):662-673.
    The architects of the modern synthesis banned essentialism from evolutionary theory. This rejection of essentialism was motivated by Darwin’s theory of natural selection, and the continuity of evolutionary transformation. Contemporary evolutionary biology witnesses a renaissance of essentialism in three contexts: “origin essentialism” with respect to species and supraspecific taxa, the bar coding of species on the basis of discontinuities of DNA variation between populations, and the search for laws of evolutionary developmental biology. Such “new essentialism” in contemporary biology must be (...)
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  8.  59
    Monophyly, Paraphyly, and Natural Kinds.Olivier Rieppel - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):465-487.
    A long-standing debate has dominated systematic biology and the ontological commitments made by its theories. The debate has contrasted individuals and the part – whole relationship with classes and the membership relation. This essay proposes to conceptualize the hierarchy of higher taxa is terms of a hierarchy of homeostatic property cluster natural kinds (biological species remain largely excluded from the present discussion). The reference of natural kind terms that apply to supraspecific taxa is initially fixed descriptively; the extension of those (...)
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  9.  5
    Karl Beurlen (1901-1985), Nature Mysticism, and Aryan Paleontology.Olivier Rieppel - 2012 - Journal of the History of Biology 45 (2):253 - 299.
    The relatively late acceptance of Darwinism in German biology and paleontology is frequently attributed to a lingering of Lamarckism, a persisting influence of German idealistic Naturphilosophie and Goethean romanticism. These factors are largely held responsible for the vitalism underlying theories of saltational and orthogenetic evolutionary change that characterize the writings of many German paleontologists during the first half of the 20th century. A prominent exponent of that tradition was Karl Beurlen, who is credited with having been the first German paleontologist (...)
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  10.  11
    Origins, Taxa, Names and Meanings.Olivier Rieppel - 2008 - Cladistics 24:598-610.
    In a recent contribution, Ereshefsky (2007a) maintained the following points against Nixon and Carpenter (2000), Keller et al. (2003), and Rieppel (2005a, 2006a,b): (1) that species and taxa are individuals, not natural kinds; (2) that “origin essentialism” conflates qualitative essentialism with genealogical connectedness; and (3) that rigid designation theory applies to taxon names. Here I argue that: (1) the conception of species as individuals or natural kinds is not mutually exclusive but rather context sensitive; species are best seen as spatio-temporally (...)
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  11.  37
    Parsimony, Likelihood, and Instrumentalism in Systematics.Olivier Rieppel - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):141-144.
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  12.  19
    Adolf Naef (1883–1949): On Foundational Concepts and Principles of Systematic Morphology. [REVIEW]Olivier Rieppel, David M. Williams & Malte C. Ebach - 2013 - Journal of the History of Biology 46 (3):445-510.
    During the early twentieth century, the Swiss Zoologist Adolf Naef (1883–1949) established himself as a leader in German comparative anatomy and higher level systematics. He is generally labeled an ‘idealistic morphologist’, although he himself called his research program ‘systematic morphology’. The idealistic morphology that flourished in German biology during the first half of the twentieth century was a rather heterogeneous movement, within which Adolf Naef worked out a special theoretical system of his own. Following a biographical sketch, we present an (...)
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  13.  7
    Reydon on Species, Individuals and Kinds: A Reply.Olivier Rieppel - 2009 - Cladistics 26 (4):341-343.
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  14.  51
    'Total Evidence' in Phylogenetic Systematics.Olivier Rieppel - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):607-622.
    Taking its clues from Popperian philosophy of science, cladistics adopted a number of assumptions of the empiricist tradition. These include the identification of a dichotomy between observation reports and theoretical statements and its subsequent abandonment on the basis of the insight that all observation reports are theory-laden. The neglect of the ‘context of discovery’, which is the step of theory (hypothesis) generation. The emphasis on coherentism in the ‘context of justification’, which is the step of evaluation of the relative merits (...)
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  15.  8
    Turtles as Hopeful Monsters.Olivier Rieppel - 2001 - Bioessays 23 (11):987-991.
    A recently published study on the development of the turtle shell(1) highlights the important role that development plays in the origin of evolutionary novelties(1). The evolution of the highly derived adult anatomy of turtles is a prime example of a macroevolutionary event triggered by changes in early embryonic development. Early ontogenetic deviation may cause patterns of morphological change that are not compatible with scenarios of gradualistic, stepwise transformation.
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  16.  18
    Structuralism, Functionalism, and the Four Aristotelian Causes.Olivier Rieppel - 1990 - Journal of the History of Biology 23 (2):291-320.
  17.  21
    Do Clades Cladogenerate?Olivier Rieppel - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (4):375-379.
  18.  83
    Against Species Essentialism.Olivier Rieppel - 2011 - Metascience 20 (2):339-341.
    Against species essentialism Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9448-6 Authors Olivier Rieppel, Department of Geology, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  19.  6
    Re-Writing Popper's Philosophy of Science for Systematics.Olivier Rieppel - 2008 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 30 (3/4):293 - 316.
    This paper explores the use of Popper's philosophy of science by cladists in their battle against evolutionary and numerical taxonomy. Three schools of biological systematics fiercely debated each other from the late 1960s: evolutionary taxonomy, phenetics or numerical taxonomy, and phylogenetic systematics or cladistics. The outcome of that debate was the victory of phylogenetic systematics/cladistics over the competing schools of thought. To bring about this "cladistic turn" in systematics, the cladists drew heavily on the philosopher K.R. Popper in order to (...)
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  20.  9
    The Reception of Leibniz's Philosophy in the Writings of Charles Bonnet (1720-1793).Olivier Rieppel - 1988 - Journal of the History of Biology 21 (1):119 - 145.
  21.  3
    Preformationist and Epigenetic Biases in the History of the Morphological Character Concept.Olivier Rieppel - 2001 - In G. P. Wagner (ed.), The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology. Academic Press.
  22.  22
    Biological Individuals and Natural Kinds.Olivier Rieppel - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):162-169.
    This paper takes a hierarchical approach to the question whether species are individuals or natural kinds. The thesis defended here is that species are spatiotemporally located complex wholes (individuals), that are composed of (i.e., include) causally interdependent parts, which collectively also instantiate a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) natural kind. Species may form open or closed genetic systems that are dynamic in nature, that have fuzzy boundaries due to the processual nature of speciation, that may have leaky boundaries as is manifest (...)
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  23.  17
    Louis Agassiz (1807–1873) and the Reality of Natural Groups.Olivier Rieppel - 1988 - Biology and Philosophy 3 (1):29-47.
    The philosophy of pattern cladism has been variously explained by reference to the work of Louis Agassiz. The present study analyzes Agassiz's attempt to combine an empirical approach to the study of nature with an idealistic philosophy. From this emerges the problem of empiricism and of the isomorphy between the order of nature and human thinking. The analysis of the writings of Louis Agassiz serves as the basis for discussion of the reality of natural groups as postulated by pattern cladists.
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  24.  1
    The Reception of Leibniz's Philosophy in the Writings of Charles Bonnet.Olivier Rieppel - 1988 - Journal of the History of Biology 21 (1):119-145.
  25.  9
    Hugo Dingler (1881–1954) and the Philosophical Foundation of the German Evolutionary Synthesis.Olivier Rieppel - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (2):162-168.
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  26.  8
    Wilhelm Troll (1897-1978): Idealistic Morphology, Physics, and Phylogenetics.Olivier Rieppel - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (3).
  27.  4
    Species Monophyly.Olivier Rieppel - 2009 - Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 48 (1):1-8.
    In biological systematics, as well as in the philosophy of biology, species and higher taxa are individuated through their unique evolutionary origin. This is taken by some authors to mean that monophyly is a (relational) property not only of higher taxa, but also of species. A species is said to originate through speciation, and to go extinct when it splits into two daughter species (or through terminal extinction). Its unique evolutionary origin is said to bestow identity on a species through (...)
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  28.  1
    Karl Beurlen , Nature Mysticism, and Aryan Paleontology.Olivier Rieppel - 2012 - Journal of the History of Biology 45 (2):253-299.
  29. Die Rückseite des Spiegels.Olivier Rieppel - 1995 - Ethik Und Sozialwissenschaften 6 (3):339.
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  30. Evolution - ein metaphysisches Forschungsprogramm?Olivier Rieppel - 1993 - Ethik Und Sozialwissenschaften 4 (1):60.
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  31. Evolutionäre Logik - eine Missgeburt des Zeitgeistes.Olivier Rieppel - 1993 - Ethik Und Sozialwissenschaften 4 (3):480.
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  32. Wiederholung ist keine Begründung.Olivier Rieppel - 1994 - Ethik Und Sozialwissenschaften 5 (2):243.
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