Talk:Lumpers and splitters
I saw this article criticized on Usenet, and thought I'd attempt to summarize here:
The "lumpers and splitters" label is more than a century older than claimed here. That whole section is rubbish, though perhaps better written rubbish than I could manage. I'll cite the OED here, but it's not open access, so I'll supply a URL but not everyone will be able to look at the source itself. Here is the link to the first entry I am citing:
And here is a subset of that entry (I don't think copying the entire thing is proper fair use, but IANAL) :
lumper, n. [ . . . ] 3. Taxonomy. A taxonomist who is unwilling to use minute variations as a basis for the establishment of a large number of different species or genera. 1857 DARWIN in Life & Lett. (1887) II. 105 It is good to have hair-splitters and lumpers. 1894 Cornh. Mag. Mar. 295 Modern biologists are divided into the two camps of the splitters and the lumpers. The first are in favour of making a species out of every petty..variety; the second are all for lumping unimportant minor forms into a single species. 1945 A. YOUNG Prospect of Flowers xx. 151 Botanists are divided into two classes, ‘splitters’ and ‘lumpers’, ‘splitters’ being those who split plants into a large number of species and sub-species, while ‘lumpers’, impatient of minute distinctions, are inclined to lump them together. 1967 A. W. JONES Introd. Parasitol. xxix. 419 The more conservative taxonomists, called irreverently ‘lumpers’, defended established categories from attack by the radical ‘splitters’. 1972 Sci. Amer. Nov. 60/2 One can use the work of many different taxonomists, without regard to whether they are ‘lumpers’ or ‘splitters’ in their method of classification, as long as the work is self-consistent.
And the corresponding quote from splitter:
splitter, n., 2. b. [ . . .] 1887 Darwin's Life & Lett. II. 105 note, Those who make many species are the ‘splitters’, and those who make few are the ‘lumpers’. 1898 Athenæum 22 Jan. 123/1 Babington belonged to that category of botanists..denominated ‘splitters’.
I'd love to help write the replacement, but I'm not an expert, and I'd surely be replacing well-written but inaccurate rubbish with slightly more accurate but poorly written rubbish ;-) So, hopefully someone else will mend the article.
18.104.22.168 (talk) 08:18, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Lumping & Splitting in Astrophysics
This article is not neutral. Although it pays repeated lip service to the notion that lumping and splitting are complementary and both necessary, and that both have their virtues and pitfalls, in fact virtually all the actual examples and arguments seem to favor splitting over lumping. The only real example of lumping being portrayed in a favorable light is in the biology section, and that example seems questionable. Treharne (talk) 11:14, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
- I agree that the article would benefit from more balanced examples. I have written a fair amount about the lumper/splitter phenomenon in the context of software modelling, including techniques for balancing and reconciling the conflicting views of lumpers and splitters. There is a relevant passage in my 1992 book on Information Modelling, and a recent presentation to the DAMA international conference in San Diego (on Slideshare). I am happy to work with another editor to improve this article. --RichardVeryard (talk) 12:19, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not think that when biologists decide that specimens described by different people, and given different species names, actually belong to one and the same species, is a true example of lumping. It is simply correcting a redundancy. The lumping/splitting dichotomy is to do with different perspectives people may take on the same phenomena. It would only be relevant to this case if a proposed synonymization was very controversial, and the taxonomists involved tended to take sides according to their ingrained lumping or splitting proclivities. Treharne (talk) 11:14, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
This section only barely mentions the actual lumping/splitting issue in language classification -- that of deciding how to decide what constitutes a "language" and what's a "dialect" of another language.
The stuff about proposed high-level groups like Altaic, Austric, etc., is totally separate. That's not an issue of "where do we draw the line" or "should we consider these two entities as members of one group" -- questions with a large degree of subjectivity. The validity of a particular language macrofamily is a clear-cut factual question, albeit one we don't know the answer to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Excalibre (talk • contribs) 18:09, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
- In the logistics business, it refers to the practice of unloading trucks and breaking down large shipments into smaller ones.
I disagree with the page's assertion that Berlin's terms 'hedgehog' and 'fox' correspond to lumpers and splitters. Admittedly, the original proverb (from Ancient Greece) can be fit into that description. (The fox knows many things. The hedgehog knows but one, yet it is a great one.) But the distinction is really about action, rather than knowledge, and definitely not about how the fox or hedgehog sees the world. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 14:54, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Lumper vs. Lumpen
So would Splittenproletariat refer to the recognition of differences between one disreputable profession and another disreputable profession? --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 02:37, 17 October 2012 (UTC)