[Taxacom] (no subject)

Kipling (Kip) W Will kipwill at berkeley.edu
Fri Dec 18 11:13:21 CST 2020


Hey Richard,
I don't think we can let you put scare quotes around individual and leave
there. You need to provide your definition of the term so you may be
properly bombarded. :)

Kip


On Wed, Dec 9, 2020 at 4:24 PM Richard Pyle via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> > any opinions, especially most critical and provocative, are very
> interesting.
>
> Biological taxa are not "natural phenomena" -- they only exist in the
> minds of humans. Thus, there is no "thing" to which scientific names are
> actually applied (except maybe neurological patterns inside human brains).
> The only meaningful "individual" associated with scientific names is a type
> specimen, but one could argue that even type specimens/individual organisms
> have imprecise boundaries (and thus, again, ultimately exist as
> "individuals" only through neurological patterns inside human brains).
>
> There is no spoon.
>
> Aloha,
> Rich
>
> P.S. Provocative enough? (running for shelter to hide from the inevitable
> bombardment to follow...)
>
> Richard L. Pyle, PhD
> Senior Curator of Ichthyology | Director of XCoRE
> Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
> 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, HI 96817-2704
> Office: (808) 848-4115;  Fax: (808) 847-8252
> eMail: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
> BishopMuseum.org
> Our Mission: Bishop Museum inspires our community and visitors through the
> exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and
> environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> On Behalf Of igor
> > pavlinov via Taxacom
> > Sent: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 8:15 AM
> > To: Richard Jensen <rjensen at saintmarys.edu>
> > Cc: Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] (no subject)
> >
> >
> > Well, Dick’s concern about “proper” and “true” names is seemingly based
> on
> > their nominalistic treatment. It’s ok as far as current professional
> > nomenclature systems are discussed.
> >
> > My concern is about looking at the names from another,
> natural-philosophical
> > standpoint. Suppose, each particular natural phenomenon is a particular
> > “thing”. Then, any its consideration as a “natural kind” or anything else
> > “collective” becomes irrelevant: it is an “individual». So its calling
> in a
> > particular manner is its “proper name”, i.e., it is (logically) a
> referentative and
> > not an attributive name. So, natural-philosophically, to be “proper”,
> its name
> > is to be just the “true”.
> >
> > PS Actually, my concern is about historical roots of the current
> nomenclature
> > systems. This is because I’m going to write and publish a book on the
> history
> > and theory of nomenclature, so any opinions, especially most critical and
> > provocative, are very interesting.
> >
> > Cheers, I
> >
> >
> > - - -
> > Igor Ya. Pavlinov, DrS
> > Zoological Museum of Lomonosov Moscow State University ul. Bol'shaya
> > Nikitskaya 6
> > 125009 Moscow
> > Russia
> > http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov1.htm
> > http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov_eng1.htm
> >
> >
> > >Среда, 9 декабря 2020, 19:53 +03:00 от Richard Jensen
> > <rjensen at saintmarys.edu>:
> > >
> > >Igor's bit of philosophy brings up a point I have made before:
> > >scientific names are not "proper names" as the latter are generally
> > understood.  The philosophers quoted were wrong with respect to proper
> > names.  Proper names do not define anything; a thing and its proper name
> are
> > not the same; there are no true names for us to search for.  Proper names
> > have few, if any, "rules" for their application and use.  In conducting
> > genealogical research, I have found hundreds of individuals named Hans
> > Christian Andersen and probably many more named, very simply, Jens
> > Jensen.  The same holds for proper names of places: there are numerous
> > counties, cities and towns (in the US) named Washington, or Madison - the
> > people of each locality were free to choose whatever name they wished to
> > use.  If I tell you that someone lives in Washington, what do you know
> for
> > sure?  Essentially, nothing.
> > >
> > >Our binomials are different.  They are (within the bounds of the
> different
> > codes) unique names that apply to specific entities recognized by
> > taxonomists.  These names cannot be freely applied to other entities and
> > these names have a very important quality not found in proper names -
> they
> > tell us a great deal about the "thing" bearing the name.  If you are
> told that
> > there is a plant in my backyard that is a representative of  Quercus
> palustris
> > Muenchh., you can immediately (if you are a reasonably knowledgeable
> > botanist) provide a list of many characteristics of this plant, from
> general
> > features (e.g., life form, anatomy, physiology) down to "specific"
> characters
> > (e.g., size and shape of fruits, floral structure, leaf shape, etc.).
> Our scientific
> > names are not the same as proper names because they do define the "thing"
> > bearing the name, they are unique, and they cannot be changed, except
> > within the context of the appropriate code.  Proper names do not have
> these
> > qualities.
> > >
> > >Cheers,
> > >
> > >Dick
> > >
> > >
> > >On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 11:11 PM igor pavlinov via Taxacom <
> > taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu > wrote:
> > >
> > >>With regard to the indigenous names, one serious issue is that they
> are, in
> > many cases, nature-philosophically sound. Actually, as Chuang Tzu said, a
> > thing becomes what it is when named/called. According to Plato, a thing
> and
> > its name are the same, as far as express the same eidos. From this,
> > Tournefort’s idea of by giving true names to God's creatures echoed
> > subsequently by Linne with his “proper names”. Such a mysterious
> attitude to
> > the “true names” is evidently expressed, in many indigenous tribes, in a
> > prohibition to use the names given to people at their born in everyday
> life,
> > which to be replace by respective “nick names” (the “vulgar names” of
> Linne
> > are analogies of the latter).
> > >>Understanding of this seems to yield quite different accent in
> consideration
> > of an aspiration of people to “get back to roots” that agrees
> fundamentally
> > with Confucius’ call to “restore the true names”.
> > >>However, this attitude contradicts fundamentally to the leading
> principle of
> > contemporary taxonomic nomenclature “a name is just a name” set by
> > Adanson.
> > >>All this, of course, a “philosophy”, but is helps sometime to see “the
> other
> > side of the Moon”
> > >>Igor
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>- - -
> > >>Igor Ya. Pavlinov, DrS
> > >>Zoological Museum of Lomonosov Moscow State University ul. Bol'shaya
> > >>Nikitskaya 6
> > >>125009 Moscow
> > >>Russia
> > >>http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov1.htm
> > >>http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov_eng1.htm
> > >>_______________________________________________
> > >>Taxacom Mailing List
> > >>
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> > >>You can reach the person managing the list at:
> > >>taxacom-owner at mailman.nhm.ku.edu The Taxacom email archive back to
> > >>1992 can be searched at:  http://taxacom.markmail.org
> > >>
> > >>Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years,
> 1987-2020.
> > >
> > >  --
> > >Richard Jensen, Professor Emeritus Department of Biology Saint Mary's
> > >College Notre Dame, IN 46556
> >
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> >
> > Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years,
> 1987-2020.
>
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> Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years, 1987-2020.
>


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