Philosophy of Science 79 (5):624-636 (2012)

Authors
Joel D. Velasco
Texas Tech University
Abstract
Phylogenetic trees are meant to represent the genealogical history of life and apparently derive their justification from the existence of the tree of life and the fact that evolutionary processes are treelike. However, there are a number of problems for these assumptions. Here it is argued that once we understand the important role that phylogenetic trees play as models that contain idealizations, we can accept these criticisms and deny the reality of the tree while justifying the continued use of trees in phylogenetic theory and preserving nearly all of what defenders of trees have called the “importance of tree thinking.”
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DOI 10.1086/667878
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References found in this work BETA

Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Science, Truth, and Democracy.Philip Kitcher - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Three Kinds of Idealization.Michael Weisberg - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (12):639-659.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Verisimilitude Framework for Inductive Inference, with an Application to Phylogenetics.Olav B. Vassend - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1359-1383.

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