[Taxacom] Brady and the cladists

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Mon Aug 12 10:53:49 CDT 2019

Some might find the following article of interest. It can be downloaded at

Ebach, M.C. & Williams, D.M. 2019. Brady and the cladists. Cladistics
(2019) 1–9

Abstract Ronald Brady was the first philosopher to defend pattern
cladistics as an independent scientific field. That independence was
achieved through the decoupling of biological systematics from
phylogenetics––that is, inferred evolutionary processes (e.g. character
transformation). Brady saw parallels between biological systematics and
Wolfgang von Goethe’s Morphology, an empirical scientific field that
incorporates human observation and perception to discover coherent
morphological structures. Goethe’s Morphology and pre-Darwinian systematics
were independent from evolutionary narratives, a tradition that continued
into the 20th Century through the work of biologists such as Agnes Arber.
Most importantly, Brady provided the philosophical and historical
foundations to an independent systematics by demonstrating the links
between phenomenology, Goethe’s Morphology and comparative biology

More information about the Taxacom mailing list