4 found
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  1.  57
    The 'Requirement of Total Evidence' and its Role in Phylogenetic Systematics.Kirk Fitzhugh - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):309-351.
    The question of whether or not to partition data for the purposes of inferring phylogenetic hypotheses remains controversial. Opinions have been especially divided since Kluge's (1989, Systematic Zoology 38, 7–25) claim that data partitioning violates the requirement of total evidence (RTE). Unfortunately, advocacy for or against the RTE has not been based on accurate portrayals of the requirement. The RTE is a basic maxim for non-deductive inference, stipulating that evidence must be considered if it has relevance to an inference. Evidence (...)
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  2.  91
    Species as Explanatory Hypotheses: Refinements and Implications.Kirk Fitzhugh - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):201-248.
    The formal definition of species as explanatory hypotheses presented by Fitzhugh is emended. A species is an explanatory account of the occurrences of the same character among gonochoristic or cross-fertilizing hermaphroditic individuals by way of character origin and subsequent fixation during tokogeny. In addition to species, biological systematics also employs hypotheses that are ontogenetic, tokogenetic, intraspecific, and phylogenetic, each of which provides explanatory hypotheses for distinctly different classes of causal questions. It is suggested that species hypotheses can not be applied (...)
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  3.  24
    Sequence Data, Phylogenetic Inference, and Implications of Downward Causation.Kirk Fitzhugh - 2016 - Acta Biotheoretica 64 (2):133-160.
    Framing systematics as a field consistent with scientific inquiry entails that inferences of phylogenetic hypotheses have the goal of producing accounts of past causal events that explain differentially shared characters among organisms. Linking observations of characters to inferences occurs by way of why-questions implied by data matrices. Because of their form, why-questions require the use of common-cause theories. Such theories in phylogenetic inferences include natural selection and genetic drift. Selection or drift can explain ‘morphological’ characters but selection cannot be causally (...)
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  4.  8
    Phylogenetic Inference and the Misplaced Premise of Substitution Rates.Kirk Fitzhugh - 2021 - Acta Biotheoretica 69 (4):799-819.
    Three competing ‘methods’ have been endorsed for inferring phylogenetic hypotheses: parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesianism. The latter two have been claimed superior because they take into account rates of sequence substitution. Can rates of substitution be justified on its own accord in inferences of explanatory hypotheses? Answering this question requires addressing four issues: the aim of scientific inquiry, the nature of why-questions, explanatory hypotheses as answers to why-questions, and acknowledging that neither parsimony, likelihood, nor Bayesianism are inferential actions leading to explanatory (...)
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