Taxonomies, ontologies and visualizations
(University of Amsterdam)
Paper short abstract:
In any taxonomy, categories are formed on the basis of a weighing of their relative importance. Deductive approach invite to ontologies, inductive approaches make situational choices, often through visualizations. This paper will study the social and natural construction of both ontologies and visualizations of biodiversity.
Paper long abstract:
The shift to taxonomy in the field of biodiversity necessitates to reflect on the nature of taxonomical thinking. In any taxonomy, similarities and differences (of traits, etc.) are catalogued and categories formed on the basis of a weighing of their relative importance. Through the history of taxonomy from Cesalpino in the 16th Century to the present, two approaches have been in uneasy tension: the deductive approach and inductive approaches. The former invite to so-called ontologies. The latter make situational choices: the subject at hand will make it evident which traits are more important than others. Visual means such as maps contribute to make choices in the design of taxonomies. This paper will study the social and natural construction of both ontologies and visualizations of biodiversity.
Shadows and lights on global biodiversity: taxonomy's revival (EN)