Elena Casetta

From the Platypus to Chimeras. A Challenge to Taxonomic Realism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Philosophy of Biology; Taxonomy; Chimeras; Realism; Classification.

The paper focuses on the philosophy of classification with special reference to taxa that is those groups of organisms designated by terms such as Homo sapiens or Drosophila melanogaster. First, the two traditional approaches to biological classifications - Aristotelian realism and Kantian conceptualism - are introduced. Then, the realist approach is taken under consideration. It is argued that, just as the conceptualist approach is in trouble because of such unforeseen oddities as the platypus, Aristotelian realism is ultimately deeply troubled by those transcategorical (by definition) organisms that go under the name of «chimeras».

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