Taxonomy and conservation science: interdependent and value-laden.


Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven, Vesaliusstraat 2, 3000, Louvain, Belgium. [Email]


The relation between conservation science and taxonomy is typically seen as a simple dependency of the former on the latter. This dependency is assumed to be strictly one-way to avoid normative concerns from conservation science inappropriately affecting the descriptive discipline of taxonomy. In this paper, I argue against this widely assumed standard view on the relation between these two disciplines by highlighting two important roles for conservation scientists in scientific decisions that are part of the internal stages of taxonomy. I show that these roles imply that the two disciplines should be interdependent and that value-judgments should play a substantial role in both.


Conservation science,Species classification,Taxonomy,Values in science,

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