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Willi Hennig on transformation series: metaphysics and epistemology

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Abstract:

This paper investigates Willi Hennig's approach to homology in terms of character transformation series. Hennig adopted the botanist Walter Zimmermann's empirico-critical approach to systematics, which Zimmermann defended against "typological systematics" as expounded by the botanist B. H. Danser. In developing his concepts of (sym)plesiomorphy and (syn)apomorphy, Hennig built on J. H. Woodger's formal approach to homology in terms of symbolic logic and set theory. Woodger's formalization of the relation of homology, and Hennig's use of it, are discussed in the light of modern approaches to developmental biology.

Keywords: CHARACTERS; HOMOLOGY; TRANSFORMATION SERIES; W. HENNIG; W. ZIMMERMANN

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geology, The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496, U.S.A.

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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