Phylogenetic Inference

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Abstract

Phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary history and relationships among individuals, groups of organisms (e.g., populations, species, or higher taxa), or other biological entities with evolutionary histories (e.g., genes, biochemicals, or developmental mechanisms). Phylogenetic inference is the task of inferring this history, and as with other problems of inference, there are interesting and difficult questions regarding how these inferences are justified.<br><br>In this entry, we examine what phylogenetic inference is and how it works. In the first section, we briefly introduce the field of phylogenetics and its history. In section 2, we explore how phylogenetic inference provides useful problems for philosophers to examine, and where philosophical approaches have contributed to the scientific examination of phylogenetics. This will help display why phylogenetic inference is not merely a biological research problem, but a philosophical one as well. Finally in section 3, we wil
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52 pages
JournalStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
StatePublished - Dec 8 2021

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