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Phylogenetic classification

by Claudio Gnoli (University of Pavia. Mathematics department library)

Abstract of the paper published in "Knowledge organization", 33: 2006, 3, p. 138-152

One general principle in the construction of classification schemes is that of grouping phenomena to be classified according to their shared origin in evolution or history (phylogenesis).

In general schemes, this idea has been applied by several classificationists in identifying a series of integrative levels, each originated from the previous ones, and using them as the main classes. In special schemes, common origin is a key principle in many domains: examples are given from the classification of climates, of organisms, and of musical instruments.

Experience from these domains, however, suggests that using common origin alone, as done in cladistic taxonomy, can produce weird results, like having birds as a subclass of reptiles; while the most satisfying classifications use a well balanced mix of common origin and similarity.

It is discussed how this could be applied to the development of a general classification of phenomena in an emergentist perspective, and how the resulting classification tree could be structured. Charles Bennett's notion of logical depth appears to be a promising conceptual tool for this purpose.


Phylogenetic classification / Claudio Gnoli = (ILC) — <> : 2007.03.19 - 2011.07.20 - [phylogenetic.htm until 2011.07.20]