[Taxacom] Some thoughts on the "independence" of nomenclature and taxonomy

Nico Franz nico.franz at asu.edu
Wed Apr 22 12:02:52 CDT 2015

Thank you, Stephen and Richard:

   My point was mostly about our preferred language and attitude towards
the relationship of nomenclature and taxonomy (than about the relationship
as routinely practiced).

   I tend to be skeptical of any turn in the history of our field where
folks start to use terms like neutral, independent, objective, just the
observed patterns, and similar notions that may in some cases (and to my
mind) be vestiges or new shoots of (again, to my mind) an over-the-top
philosophical stance. Beware of claims of neutrality and independence,
because often enough they may turn out to be "just a different kind of
bias". Better for science to trade with its theoretical and practical
biases openly.

   The attitude that the rules of nomenclature in no significant ways
reflect on our (i.e., human mainstream taxonomists') prevailing thinking of
what constitutes good taxonomy is a biased one, and it is a bias that I
would not subscribe to. Mind you I am not ascribing that attitude to anyone
in particular, but again, I am skeptical that the language of independent
and neutral practices helps us in the long run.

Cheers, Nico

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