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Multiplicity of Research Programs in the Biological Systematics: A Case for Scientific Pluralism

Research Zoological Museum, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 125009 Moscow, Russia
Philosophies 2020, 5(2), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5020007
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 11 April 2020 / Accepted: 13 April 2020 / Published: 15 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renegotiating Disciplinary Fields in the Life Sciences)
Biological diversity (BD) explored by biological systematics is a complex yet organized natural phenomenon and can be partitioned into several aspects, defined naturally with reference to various causal factors structuring biota. These BD aspects are studied by particular research programs based on specific taxonomic theories (TTs). They provide, in total, a framework for comprehending the structure of biological systematics and its multi-aspect relations to other fields of biology. General principles of individualizing BD aspects and construing TTs as quasi-axiomatics are briefly considered. It is stressed that each TT is characterized by a specific combination of interrelated ontological and epistemological premises most adequate to the BD aspect a TT deals with. The following contemporary research programs in systematics are recognized and characterized in brief: phenetic, rational (with several subprograms), numerical, typological (with several subprograms), biosystematic, biomorphic, phylogenetic (with several subprograms), and evo-devo. From a scientific pluralism perspective, all of these research programs, if related to naturally defined particular BD aspects, are of the same biological and scientific significance. They elaborate “locally” natural classifications that can be united by a generalized faceted classification. View Full-Text
Keywords: research programs; scientific pluralism; taxonomic theory; taxonomic pluralisms; typology; phylogenetics; biosystematics; numerical taxonomy; biomorphics; evo-devo research programs; scientific pluralism; taxonomic theory; taxonomic pluralisms; typology; phylogenetics; biosystematics; numerical taxonomy; biomorphics; evo-devo
MDPI and ACS Style

Pavlinov, I.Y. Multiplicity of Research Programs in the Biological Systematics: A Case for Scientific Pluralism. Philosophies 2020, 5, 7.

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