The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy: A Philosophical Study of Biological Taxonomy

Synopsis

The question of whether biologists should continue to use the Linnaean hierarchy is a hotly debated issue. Invented before the introduction of evolutionary theory, Linnaeus' system of classifying organisms is based on outdated theoretical assumptions, and is thought to be unable to provide accurate biological classifications. Ereshefsky argues that biologists should abandon the Linnaean system and adopt an alternative that is more in line with evolutionary theory. He illustrates how the continued use of this system hampers our ability to classify the organic world, and then goes on to make specific recommendations for a post-Linnaean method of classification.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Cambridge, England
Publication year:
  • 2001