Virologists, taxonomy and the demands of logic

Virologists, taxonomy and the demands of logic Arch Virol (2006) 151: 1251–1255 DOI 10.1007/s00705-006-0786-z Editorial M. H. V. Van Regenmortel Ecole Superieure ´ de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg, Illkirch, France The Editorial Board of Archives of Virology tries to enforce correct typo- graphic usage in its columns, which requires that the names of virus species be written in italics and the names of viruses in Roman characters. Although the justification for this difference in typography is explained in the Instruc- tions to Authors of the journal, some authors find it difficult to follow this rule. It seems that many virologists do not readily differentiate between real, tangible objects like viruses (i.e. concrete individuals) and the abstract classes of virus species created by taxonomists, which are mental constructs used for building up a classification [3, 21] Distinguishing between the two logical categories, the concrete and the abstract, is not only essential for clear think- ing and correct writing, but is also a prerequisite for following the debates on virus taxonomy that are frequently published in this journal. In the current issue, for instance, Gibbs and Gibbs [10] propose a new definition of virus species, and if readers want to judge the validity of the arguments that are presented, Archives of Virology Springer Journals

Virologists, taxonomy and the demands of logic

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Copyright © 2006 by Springer-Verlag
Biomedicine; Medical Microbiology; Infectious Diseases; Virology
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