Grove, William M.
June 2008
Psychological Reports;Jun2008, Vol. 102 Issue 3, p903
Academic Journal
The question of whether the concept of a "taxon" (a nonarbitrary latent category) is itself categorical, or is a matter of degree, has lain dormant within taxometrics. I analyze the problem conceptually. Part of the meaning of "taxon," I hold, goes beyond the manifest statistical properties of admixed probability distributions; any of certain forms of causal nexus leading to admixed distributions are involved as well. I defend the thesis that the threshold question, "Is there a taxon?" has a yes-or-no answer, establishing that "taxonicity" is categorical (taxonic), but also that as some taxa are much more readily distinguished from their complement classes than are others, the taxon question is also quantitative, it is on this basis that Meehl and others held the view that taxonicity is a matter of degree; however, they were wrong to hold that it is only a matter of degree.


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