Cladistic classification and functional explanation
Griffiths (Paul)
Source: Philosophy of Science 61 Jun94, Issue 2, p206, 22p, 3 diagrams
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Philosophers Index Abstract

    I adopt a cladistic view of species, and explore the possibility that there exists an equally valuable cladistic view of organismic traits. This suggestion seems to run counter to the stress on functional views of biological traits in recent work in philosophy and psychology. I show how the tension between these two views can be defused with a multilevel view of biological explanation. Despite the attractions of this compromise, I conclude that we must reject it, and adopt an essentially cladistic conception of biological traits. (EBSCOHost): Explores the possibility that there exists a cladistic view of organismic traits. Historical view of species; Species as clades; Clades as natural kinds1; Natural kinds2 and biological characters; Levels of explanation in biology; Two-level theory of adaptive and historical classifications; Adaptive-historical classifications; Parallel evolution and general ecology; Adaptive historical explanation.

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