The nature of cladistics [...]
pierre.deleporte at UNIV-RENNES1.FR
Mon Nov 22 13:57:15 CST 2004
A 20:54 20/11/2004 +1100, Don Colless wrote:
>on 2004-11-19 06:21 pierre deleporte wrote:
> > Can there be "processes" affecting a phylogeny?
>As I understand it, a phylogeny is a record of past evolutionary history.
>Forgive me for a bit of logic-chopping, but how do "processes" act upon
A phylogeny is effectively a historical sketch (hence a "construct" of our
minds, pace Curtis Clark). But, be it a view of the past or a view of the
future, biological processes do not "act upon" any conceptions of the human
mind in themselves.
No material processes can affect a phylogeny properly, because it is a
thought construct, not because it concerns the past. If I pronostic that I
will gain millions at the next steeplechase race, no process can properly
affect this idea concerning the future. Of course I can change my mind, but
this would be a process in my brain, not a change of the "idea in itself".
The same way, the idea of a given phylogeny "exists" as a thought in my
brain, and a possible thought in other brains, but not as a material thing
existing outside systematic thinking.
No evolutionary systematicians, no phylogenies. Only contemporaneous living
things, with the dead individuals gone for ever, the possible ones to come
not still existing, and neither interacting with the living to constitute a
real, material system undergoing processes.
Strange to see how rampant reification still affects contemporaneous
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