[Taxacom] [tdwg] Semantic Web: What is a species?

Laurent Raty l.raty at skynet.be
Mon Jan 26 10:24:24 CST 2009


Richard Zander wrote:
> This is a good balance between scientific realism and total 
> subjectivity, but then what is the difference between treating
> something as real for pragmatic purposes though harboring
> reservations, and thinking it is real with no reservations? Feedback
> from the great Out There when you are wrong?

In my view - and although the consequences would probably be less 
drastic in the case of species - the difference is of the same nature as 
treating electrons as particles for pragmatic purposes though harboring 
reservations, and thinking they really are particles without reservations.
In the first case, I would be making use of a model while remaining 
aware of its limitations. In the second, I would be confusing my model 
with the reality, and I think I'd be quite likely to reach wrong 
conclusions in some situations...

;o)
Laurent -




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