C.S. Rafinesque Anthology

Overview

Among American naturalists, C.S. Rafinesque (1783–1840) is second only to Audubon in the popular interest he sustains. This interest is due in part to his colorful life and provocative personality, but he is also remembered for devising Latin scientific names for more plants than any other naturalist who ever lived-and a great number in the animal kingdom, as well. This passion for nomenclature has kept his name memorable (some would say notorious) among naturalists. Yet his taxonomic writings made up only a part...

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Overview

Among American naturalists, C.S. Rafinesque (1783–1840) is second only to Audubon in the popular interest he sustains. This interest is due in part to his colorful life and provocative personality, but he is also remembered for devising Latin scientific names for more plants than any other naturalist who ever lived-and a great number in the animal kingdom, as well. This passion for nomenclature has kept his name memorable (some would say notorious) among naturalists. Yet his taxonomic writings made up only a part of his extensive oeuvre.

Rafinesque’s restless mind ranged over areas of inquiry from archaeology to zoology. His published writings in these fields have been difficult to lay hands on and have never been collected. Among such essays now gathered into this volume, two were unavailable until 1949, six were listed only in 1982 and four remained unknown until 2001. The recovery and reprinting of these 12 contributions help to broaden the understanding of his achievements over a lifetime. Arranged in nine sections, 25 topics are offered here (several of which are explored in more than one essay), including "the Origin of Native Americans," "Hebrew Studies," "Utopian Society," "Lightning," "The Milky Way," "Sea Serpents" and "Evolution." Editorial introductions are provided for each topic, and period illustrations-some included in the original Rafinesque publications-enhance the text.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786421473
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/15/2005
  • Pages: 281
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Boewe formerly directed Fulbright Foundations in South Asia. He lives near Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : reprinting Rafinesque 1
I Antiquities
1 Archaeological site 17
2 Origin of Native Americans 24
3 Big Bone Lick 32
II Linguistics
4 Chinese 39
5 Ruter reviewed 54
6 Hebrew studies 59
III Society
7 Life in Lexington 67
8 Utopian society 81
IV Education
9 Colleges 97
10 Natural history surveys 108
V Public lectures
11 Inaugural lecture 117
12 Green independence 129
VI Popular science
13 The cosmonist 135
14 Lightning 158
15 The Milky Way 162
16 Phenology 171
VII Phytogeography
17 Kentucky botany 179
18 North American botany 185
VIII Natural science
19 Natural science in America 193
20 Review of Elliott's Botany 209
21 Review of Maclure's Geology 218
22 Discovery of aerosols 225
23 Sea serpents 232
24 Evolution 241
IX Metaphysics
25 The psyche papers 251
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