John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Wed Jun 16 10:39:16 CDT 2004

I would take a slightly different view of Derrida from that of Richard
in that my understanding of Derrida's representation of knowledge and
meaning rested with the logic of text rather than cultural differences.
Admittedly my knowledge of post-structuralist theory is rather weak so
maybe I am wrong. My understanding is that post-modernism, particularly
the American movement, co-opted Derrida for its own purposes rather than
Derrida's analyses necessarily being 'post-modernist'. The
panbiogeographic method appears to be pure Derrida in its metaphysics,
but that does not make it postmodern.

John Grehan

John R. Grehan
Director of Science and Collections
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14211-1193
email: jgrehan at
Phone: (716) 896-5200 ext 372

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Richard.Zander at MOBOT.ORG
> Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 10:28 AM
> Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Characters.
> John Grehan has mentioned Derrida in the past, and his (below) recent
> message is rather postmodernist. Postmodernists recognize e.g. the
> and value of cultural differences and extremists go to the length of
> saying
> that aboriginal science is every bit as valid as modernist science.
> science is dead. Every cultural group has different definitions and
> practical applications of "science." The only thing one can do, across
> cultural boundaries, is negotiate as all thought processes and
> philosophies
> and sciences are perfectly valid.
> Oh, oh. Most of us cherish BOTH the Enlightenment belief that
> and
> science apply to everyone and can further easily definable human
> AND cultural beliefs and activities need respect and preservation.
> Somewhere
> along the line, though, definitions must be decided on and respected
> the
> exchange is merely a negotiation. If a negotiation, then exactly what
> being negotiated, John?
> Those avid for more on postmodernism and cladistics may visit my
> at:
> ______________________
> Richard H. Zander
> Bryology Group
> Missouri Botanical Garden
> PO Box 299
> St. Louis, MO 63166-0299
> richard.zander at <mailto:richard.zander at>
> Voice: 314-577-5180
> Fax: 314-577-9595
> Websites
> Bryophyte Volumes of Flora of North America:
> Res Botanica:
> Shipping address for UPS, etc.:
> Missouri Botanical Garden
> 4344 Shaw Blvd.
> St. Louis, MO 63110
> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Grehan [mailto:jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 8:14 AM
> Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Characters.
> If one wants to be ruled by definitions of one's choice then one is
> always going to have trouble - but that trouble is not mine.
> of terms always vary and always will. Witness various discussions on
> this list arguing over differences of opinion about definitions of
> various terms (and not just cladistics). And 'newer' terminology is
> necessarily any less confused than older and, in the example cited by
> Don, does not change anything (it was clear that Don understood what I
> was talking about). Even in panbiogeography there is more than one
> definition of, for example, a node. In the end definitions don't
> It's also ironic to see some berate my supposed lack of cladistic
> understanding only to see others disagree with their supposedly
> authoritative position.
> John Grehan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU
> Oh dear. Here we go again, on an unacknowledged distinction between
> "character" and "character state"! In the latter terminology only a
> CHARACTER STATE can be primitive, etc. If John wishes to adhere to an
> older, confused terminology, it's his privilege to do so - but he's
> going to find trouble in discussions in TAXACOM.
> Don Colless,
> Div of Entomology, CSIRO,
> GPO Box 1700,
> Canberra. 2601.
> Email: don.colless at
> Tuz li munz est miens envirun

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