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  1. Coordination Instead of Consensus Classification: Insights From Systematics for Bio-Ontologies.Beckett Sterner, Joeri Witteveen & Nico Franz - forthcoming - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.
    Big data is opening new angles on old questions about scientific progress. Is scientific knowledge cumulative? If yes, how does it make progress? In the life sciences, what we call the Consensus Principle has dominated the design of data discovery and integration tools: the design of a formal classificatory system for expressing a body of data should be grounded in consensus. Based on current approaches in biomedicine and systematic biology, we formulate and compare three types of the Consensus Principle: realist, (...)
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  • Moving Past the Systematics Wars.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - 2018 - Journal of the History of Biology 51 (1):31-67.
    It is time to escape the constraints of the Systematics Wars narrative and pursue new questions that are better positioned to establish the relevance of the field in this time period to broader issues in the history of biology and history of science. To date, the underlying assumptions of the Systematics Wars narrative have led historians to prioritize theory over practice and the conflicts of a few leading theorists over the less-polarized interactions of systematists at large. We show how shifting (...)
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  • When is a Cladist Not a Cladist?Aleta Quinn - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (4):581-598.
    The term “cladist” has distinct meanings in distinct contexts. Communication between philosophers, historians, and biologists has been hindered by different understandings of the term in various contexts. In this paper I trace historical and conceptual connections between several broadly distinct senses of the term “cladist”. I propose seven specific definitions that capture distinct contemporary uses. This serves to disambiguate some cases where the meaning is unclear, and will help resolve apparent disagreements that in fact result from conflicting understandings of the (...)
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