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Re: Personal Perspectives [was crocodylians, amphibians ... (was Sarcosuchus)]
<Crudely put, Linneaeus looked to Aristotle and archetypes and stability and
divine creations; Darwin hearkened to Thales and subtle mutabilities and
instabilities and dynamic changes. Both gave us universal tools for
descriptions of natural processes and products. It is up to us to determine
and agree upon (or not) how to use these various approaches in describing
the universe we perceive around us and within which we exist.>
Linnaeus did look to Aristotle, but not for archetypes:
Basics on Plato and Aristotle
2 realms of existence
1) Noumenal - purely intellectual, fixed and permanent. Where the archetypes
are. (archetype - original pattern of something on which all others in same
species are based). Only the philosophers can see the world of the noumenal.
They only can see the actual "truth"...
2) Phenomenal - what the rest of us see. The world of the senses. The world
of change that we live in. All we see are imitations of archetypes.
Was a student of Plato.
Ended up with almost opposite ideas and methodology
Some of his basic ideas:
Rather than basing ideas of truth on theories seen only by philosophers,
Aristotle found truth in empirical facts - what he could determine with his
2 realms of existence:
1) particulars - individual instance of a category
2) universals - what all the particulars have in common
He asked what was 'essential' to each category. Essentialism. Those are the
universals. But no single particular is identical to the universal, so we
never really see the universal, only its essentials.
Form follows function:
universals are based on things you can observe rather than on things you
have to take on faith. That's pretty much the opposite of Plato.
The first time I ran into archetypes in biology, as opposed to philosophy or
psychology (Jung), was as a basic body plan.
Linnaeus is based on description. Look at a bird. It is substantially
different from a reptile (snakes, lizards, etc.). Therefore we will give it
a name to distinguish the bird from the reptile.
The problem is what to do with intermediates, where two essentials are
mixed. One is to ignore them in setting the general classification and
worry about them as difficult particulars. The other is to make them the
basis for the classification scheme, the splitting point.
I have a lot easier time with the first approach than the second
conceptually, particularly since Linnaeus is based on what I can see rather
than what I can infer.
Please don't insist that Linnaeus can be rejected because of an inherent a
static divine creation inherent concept; Linnaeus is based on results, not
causes, observation, not belief.
In that sense, maybe you could even say that a Linnaean approach is more