1998 Volume 31 Issue 2 Pages 17-25
Whether the natural classification of plants and animals is possible or not is an important problem of philosophy of biology. Because of the acceptance of the theory of evolution, "the death of essentialism" is widely held. But an extreme conventionalist's view that every classification is artificial is not correct. In this paper I propound a view that the natural classification is possible in some sense. The natural classification has its roots in "folk taxonomy" and is necessary for human beings. The natural classification is different from phylogenetic classification. We should distinguish phylogenetical study of the evolutional history from taxonomy or classification, especially the natural classification.