The Development of Biological Systematics: Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu, Nature, and the Natural System

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A reevaluation of the history of biological systematics that discusses the formative years of the so-called natural system of classification in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Shows how classifications came to be treated as conventions; systematic practice was not linked to clearly articulated theory; there was general confusion over the "shape" of nature; botany, elements of natural history, and systematics were conflated; and systematics took a position near the bottom of the hierarchy of sciences.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Stevens has done the history of [biological systematics] much service by providing both a new commentary on this neglected scientist and the translations of Jussieu's early works.
Bridging philosophy and the history of science, Stevens biology, Harvard U. discusses the formative years of the so-called natural system of classification in the 18th and 19th centuries, focusing particularly on the theory and practice of Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu and pointing out the dubious theoretical foundations in his and his successors' thought which have historically remained unquestioned. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231064408
  • Publisher: Perseus (for Columbia University Press)
  • Publication date: 11/24/1994
  • Pages: 644
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.56 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Lamarck on Continuity and Classifications 14
3 The Natural Method of Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu 23
4 Jussieu and the Next Generation: Breaking with Continuity? 63
5 Detection of the Natural Order: Growing Confusion 92
6 Types, Groups, and Relationships 133
7 Continuity and Classification 152
8 On Understanding Nature 183
9 Natural History and the Status of Systematics in the Nineteenth Century 199
10 Stability of Classifications and Its Causes 219
11 Revolution and Change? 233
Epilogue 263
Appendix 1.Translations of Jussieu's Early Works 271
Appendix 2. Candolle, Jussieu, and the Theorie elementaire 389
Notes 399
Bibliography 523
Subject and Author Index 587
Organism Index 607
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