Biological Classification


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Table of Contents

1. Why classify?; 2. The Aristotelian framework; 3. The Darwinian pivot; 4. Evolutionary taxonomy and the Cladistic challenge; 5. The tree of life; 6. The species problem; 7. The metaphysics of biological classification; 8. Theory and the world; 9. The essential tension.

Promotional Information

This book is a comprehensive introduction to the philosophical foundations and development of modern biological classification.

About the Author

Richard A. Richards is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama. His publications include The Species Problem (Cambridge, 2010) and many journal articles.


'... an excellent work in the contemporary philosophy of biology ...' CHOICE
'Richards' book offers the balanced, veteran synopticism one expects from an introduction, but also some bright surprises.' Phillip Honenberger, Metascience
'Though many have dismissed biological classification as mere stamp collecting, Richards' introduction shows that it is an important and philosophically demanding area of science. This work is valuable for those new to the topic, and for those coming at it from only one side.' Justin Bzovy, The Philosophical Quarterly

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