Abstract

According to Kuhn, theory choice is not governed by algorithms, but by values, which influence yet do not determine theory choice. Cladistic hypotheses, however, seem to be evaluated relative to a parsimony algorithm, which asserts that the best phylogenetic hypothesis is the one that requires the fewest character changes. While this seems to be an unequivocal evaluative rule, it is not. The application of the parsimony principle is ultimately indeterminate because the choice and individuation of characters that figure in parsimony computations are indeterminate. The cladistic approach is Kuhnian because the application of parsimony depends on persuasion, background, training and tradition.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9274
Print ISSN
1063-6145
Pages
pp. 1-27
Launched on MUSE
2003-02-25
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.