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Beware of taxonomies!

A taxonomy is a means or rationale to order observations.

Any taxonomy is a way to organize a condition into meaningful parts and subsets of those component parts. The taxa are the categories into which the classification system imposes a recognizable order.


A taxon is category, or rank among categories assigned to objects, or subjects. A taxonomy is a means to create categories. Taxonomies are often assumed and not specifically designated when defining one term.

Any scheme of classification.

• A means of classifying things based on some underlying basis to systematically distinguish one type of thing from another divergent type.

• A science of describing kinds or types by grouping similar kinds of things into one category and distinguishing unlike things into separate classes. A relational means to group like with like and separate out unlike objects, conditions, or situations.

For example something is original or it is not original and hence borrowed or derivative from some other thing.

Is ecology a sub-specialty within biological sciences, or is ecology a synthetic specialty that ties together other studies?

artificial natural
worldviews holistic ecosystem biocentered
atomistic holistic
biology ecology
species individuals milieu


"Ecology has been isolated within biology departments as though it had little or nothing to do with the social sciences, the humanities, or the professions. The result is a pervasive anthropocentrism ( human obsessed ) that manifests the roles of humans and their ideas, . . . that assumes nature to be infinite, and human ingenuity to be the ultimate resource."

David Orr, Ecological Literacy.  pp. 134-135
What does he mean?


Gender is another example of applying a taxonomy of two categories to classify the otherwise varying biological expressions of people based solely on reproductive potential.

Endocrine systems

What if an animal has both ovaries and testes?


What about things that cannot be categorized into the prevailing classification system?

carnivore or herbivore




Biology orders all of life into a relational series that is based on common ancestry.


animals and plants

All classifications can and need to be corrected, from time to time.


or ethnicity



or nurture


biology or culture?