Trees of History in Systematics, Historical Linguistics, and Stemmatics: A Working Interdisciplinary Bibliography
12 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2014 Last revised: 8 Nov 2015
Date Written: February 1, 2006
138 titles across a wide range of scholarly publications illustrate the conceptual affinities that connect the palaetiological sciences of biological systematics, historical linguistics, and stemmatics. These three fields all have as their central objective the reconstruction of evolutionary “trees of history” that depict phylogenetic patterns of descent with modification among species, languages, and manuscripts. All three fields flourished in the nineteenth century, underwent parallel periods of quiescence in the early twentieth century, and in recent decades have seen widespread parallel revivals. “Tree thinking” (O’Hara, 1988) is now standard within evolutionary biology, and the unity of what William Whewell called palaetiology is being once again appreciated by scholars and scientists in many fields.
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Keywords: evolution, genealogy, historical linguistics, historical sciences, history of science, palaetiology, philosophy of science, phylogeny, stemmatics, systematics, textual transmission, tree thinking
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