Taxonomy and conservation science: interdependent and value-laden

  • Stijn ConixEmail author
Original Paper


The relation between conservation science and taxonomy is typically seen as a simple dependency of the former on the latter. This dependency is assumed to be strictly one-way to avoid normative concerns from conservation science inappropriately affecting the descriptive discipline of taxonomy. In this paper, I argue against this widely assumed standard view on the relation between these two disciplines by highlighting two important roles for conservation scientists in scientific decisions that are part of the internal stages of taxonomy. I show that these roles imply that the two disciplines should be interdependent and that value-judgments should play a substantial role in both.


Taxonomy Conservation science Values in science Species classification 



I am grateful to two anonymous reviewers and the editor for their careful reading and insightful comments. This research was sponsored by the KU Leuven Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds Grant 3H160214.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyKU LeuvenLouvainBelgium

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