Books  Animal & General Biology  Animal & General Biology 

Transformed Cladistics, Taxonomy and Evolution

By: NR Scott-Ram

238 pages, 29 figures

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Mar 2008 | #174743 | ISBN-13: 9780521055130
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £27.99 $34/€31 approx
Hardback | Apr 1990 | #5857 | ISBN: 0521340861
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £92.99 $114/€104 approx

About this book

This book examines the relationship between classification and evolutionary theory, with reference to the competing schools of taxonomic thinking. Emphasis is placed on one of these schools, the transformed cladists, who have attempted to reject all evolutionary thinking in classification and to cast doubt on evolution in general.

The author examines the limits to this line of thought from a philosophical and methodological perspective rather than from a biological viewpoint. He concludes that transformed cladistics does not achieve what it claims and that it either implicity assumes a Platonic World View, or is unintelligible without taking into account evolutionary processes - the very processes it claims to reject. Through this analysis the author attempts to formulate criteria, of an objective and consistent nature, that can be used to judge competing methodologies and theories without resorting to any particular theoretical standpoint for justification. Philosophers of science, zoologists interested in taxonomy and evolutionary biologists will find this a compelling study of an area of biological thought that has been attracting a great deal of attention.

Re-print, originally published in 1990.

...the present book is by far the most rigorous available, and its criticisms are much more pointed and direct. In particular, the critique of transformed cladism goes well beyond the usual rather bland remarks... Geological Magazine


Preface; Introduction; Part I. Issues Pertaining to the Philosophy of Science: 1. Theoretical and descriptive attitudes in taxonomy; Part II. The Status of Theoretical Classifications: 2. Evolutionary systematics and theoretical information; 3. Phylogenetic cladistics and theoretical information; Part III. The Status of Descriptive Classifications: 4. Phenetics and the descriptive attitude; 5. Transformed cladistics and the methodological turn; 6. Transformed cladistics and evolution; Notes; Bibliography; Author index; Subject index.

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