Theoricity and homology: a reply to Roffe, Ginnobili, and Blanco

  • Christopher H. Pearson


Roffe et al. (Hist Philos Life Sci, 2108. develop a rather creative line of response to Pearson’s (Hist Philos Life Sci 32(4):475–492, 2010) critique of pattern cladisma response centering on a structuralist approach to the homology concept. In this brief reply I attempt to demonstrate, however, that Roffe, and Ginnobili, and Blanco subtly mis-characterize the target of Pearson’s critique. The consequence of this mischaracterization is that even though the structuralist framework may help make sense of pattern cladism, it does not undermine Pearson’s critique of it.


Homology Pattern cladism Structuralism Phylogeny 


  1. Lankester, E. R. (1870). On the use of the term homology in modern zoology, and the distinction between homogenetic and homoplastic agreements. Journal of Natural History, 6(31), 34–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Pearson, C. (2010). Pattern cladism, homology, and theory neutrality. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 32(4), 475–492.Google Scholar
  3. Roffe, A. J., Ginnobili, S., & Blanco, D. (2108). Theoricity, observation and homology: A response to Pearson. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySouthern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE)EdwardsvilleUSA

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