Whales, fish and Alaskan bears: interest-relative taxonomy and kind pluralism in biology
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Colleges, School and Institutes
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.
|Number of pages||19|
|Early online date||8 Jun 2019|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2019|