In August of 2006 the International Astronomical Union redefined the term "planet", and classified Pluto along with some asteroids as dwarf planet. In this case, the species concept "planet" was redefined, and consequently the classification system used to classify the heavenly bodies. (We may also say that the concept of "planet" was changed). Not everybody agreed in this change of a species concept, but the example illustrates how species concepts are constructed scientifically in order to serve our understanding of phenomena. A specific way of defining a concept or a species may be more or less well argued and accepted, but the definition cannot be regarded as anything but a a part of the scientific construction of representations.




Jaschek, C. & Jaschek, M. (1990). The Classification of stars. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Birger Hjørland

Last edited: 10-09-2006