Navigation Links

Taxonomy (from Greek ταξινομία (taxinomia) from the words taxis = order and nomos = law) may refer to either a hierarchical classification of things, or the principles underlying the classification. Almost anything, animate objects, inanimate objects, places, and events, may be classified according to some taxonomic scheme.

Mathematically, a taxonomy is a tree structure of classifications for a given set of objects. At the top of this structure is a single classification, the root node, that applies to all objects. Nodes below this root are more specific classifications that apply to subsets of the total set of classified objects. So for instance in Carolus Linnaeus's Scientific classification of organisms, the root is the Organism (as this applies to all living things, it is implied rather than stated explicitly). Below this are the Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species, with various other ranks sometimes inserted.

Some have argued that the human mind naturally organizes its knowledge of the world into such systems. This view is often based on the epistemology of Immanuel Kant. Anthropologists have observed that taxonomies are generally embedded in local cultural and social systems, and serve various social functions. Perhaps the most well-known and influential study of folk taxonomies is Emile Durkheim's The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. The theories of Kant and Durkheim also influenced Claude Lvi-Strauss, the founder of anthropological structuralism. Lvi-Strauss wrote two important books on taxonomies: Totemism and The Savage Mind.

Such taxonomies as those analyzed by Durkheim and Lvi-Strauss are sometimes called folk taxonomies to distinguish them from scientific taxonomies that claim to be disembedded from social relations and thus objective and universal. The most well-known and widely used scientific taxonomy is Linnaean taxonomy which classifies living things and originated with Carolus Linnaeus. This taxonomic system is accessible from the article evolutionary tree.

A recent neologism, folksonomy, should not be confused with Folk Taxonomy (though it is obviously a contraction of the two words). Those who support scientific taxonomies have recently criticized folksonomies by dubbing them fauxonomies.

In recent years taxonomic classification has gained support from molecular systematics, a branch of bioinformatics that employs the method of gene sequencing to construct phylogenetic trees.

See also

External links


(Date:10/6/2015)... , Oct. 6, 2015 Track Group, ... today that it has signed a contract with the ... across the full range of sentences under the Department,s ... of the Americas. "This contract with the Virginia DOC ... the US and advances our position as a trusted ...
(Date:10/5/2015)... 5, 2015 ) ... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ), a biometric authentication ... --> ) releases the following ... NXTD ), a biometric authentication company focused on the ... Group ( ) releases the following ...
(Date:10/1/2015)... 2015  Biometrics includes diverse set of technologies ... such as fingerprints, eye retinas, facial patterns, voice ... technology has been constantly increasing in ... In addition to the most prominent popular method ... means of biometric authentication are rapidly gaining traction ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
... vaccine principle is being developed by scientists at the University ... expected potential could help to save millions of lives ... is known, represents an advance on the original DNA vaccines ... consists of a chain of amino acids attached to a ...
... researcher Dr. Danny Reinberg was awarded a Howard Hughes ... on ant epigenetics- helping to unravel the impact lifestyle ... what ants can teach us about aging and behavior. ... species including humans, using gene regulation in ants as ...
... probably the largest contaminant of our body. That this ... has not been proven convincingly. The current Editorial of ... reflects on this and concludes that this proof ... take measures to reduce our exposure from all ...
Cached Biology News:
Other biology definitionOther Tags