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Taxonomy, the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification.
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- These ambiguities, redundances, and deficiences recall those attributed by Dr. Franz Kuhn to a certain Chinese encyclopedia entitled Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. On those remote pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c) those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (f) fabulous ones, (g) stray dogs, (h) those that are included in this classification, (i) those that tremble as if they were mad, (j) innumerable ones, (k) those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush, (l) others, (m) those that have just broken a flower vase, (n) those that resemble flies from a distance.
- It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories. Only the human mind invents categories and tries to force facts into separated pigeon-holes. The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects. The sooner we learn this concerning human sexual behavior, the sooner we shall reach a sound understanding of the realities of sex.
- Of the nature of Death and the Dead we may enumerate twelve kinds. First there are those who become new gods, for whom new universes are born. Second those who praise. Third those who fight as soldiers in the unending war with evil. Fourth those who amuse themselves among flowers and sweet springs with sports. Fifth those who dwell in gardens of bliss, or are tortured. Sixth those who continue as in life. Seventh those who turn the wheel of the universe. Eighth those who find in their graves their mothers' wombs and in one life circle forever. Ninth ghosts. Tenth those born again as men in their grandsons' time. Eleventh those who return as beasts or trees. And last those who sleep.
- Gene Wolfe, "Forlesen", Orbit 14 (1974), ed. Damon Knight