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Re: Is there a formal term for this?

On Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 1:30 PM, Jocelyn Falconnet <j.falconnet@gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't think so. Synonymy is about comparing concepts. If several
> concepts are considered as identical, THEN their names/labels are
> synonymous. Taxonomic synonymy results then in taxon name synonymy.

"Synonym" literally means "fused name", as in, two names for the same
thing. In this context, species are the "things", so they can't be
synonyms. The names for them, however, can be synonyms.

> Today, species concepts are defined intensionally (by properties) and
> not extensionally (by listing the objects these concepts encompass) as
> you did Mike.

I don't see where I did this.

The definition is actually something else: a means of specifying the
"thing". So there's the things, the names, and the definitions linking
the two. If one thing has two names, the names are synonyms. If two
names are identical but refer to different things, they are homonyms.

> The only entity actually to... let's say *Tyrannosaurus
> rex* is by definition the onomatophore, the type, the name-bearing
> specimen on which is based the species concept (here CMNH 9380). All
> other specimens are merely referred to this concept.

Well, I'd say the organism represented by the specimen is included by
definition, and other organisms are included or excluded depending on
the species concept.

For Psittacosaurus, the species Psittacosaurus mongoliensis is
included by definition and any other species are included or excluded
based on the species concept. This is separate from the question of
what to name those species. This is a taxonomic question, while the
question of names is nomenclatural.

My point was that your formula is phrased in taxonomic terms, and is
thus independent of nomenclatural matters.

> You were thus not referring to the species, Mike, but to its hypodigm.

The hypodigm is the set of all specimens which are (within a context)
considered to represent included organisms. I was referring to the
actual population of organisms (i.e., the species itself).

> PS: I apologize in advance if my English is not or not quite
> understandable. It is not so easy to explain in French so I hope I
> used the adequate terms in my explanations. Please forgive an
> unfortunate cheese-eating surrender monkey! ;-)

Your English is fine--much, much better than my French. :)
T. Michael Keesey
Technical Consultant and Developer, Internet Technologies
Glendale, California