Methods of Study in Natural History

Methods of Study in Natural History

by Louis Agassiz
     
 

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Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We have not used OCR(Optical Character Recognition), as this leads to bad quality books with introduced typos. (2) In books where there are images such as portraits, maps, sketches etc We have endeavoured to keep the quality of these images, so they represent accurately the original artefact. Although occasionally… See more details below

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Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We have not used OCR(Optical Character Recognition), as this leads to bad quality books with introduced typos. (2) In books where there are images such as portraits, maps, sketches etc We have endeavoured to keep the quality of these images, so they represent accurately the original artefact. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we feel they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy.

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ISBN-13:
2940027120801
Publisher:
Ticknor & Fields
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
0 MB

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CHAPTER III. CATEGORIES OF CLASSIFICATION. From the time that Linnaeus showed us the necessity of a scientific system as a framework for the arrangement of scientific facts in Natural History, the number of divisions adopted by zoologists and botanists increased steadily. Not only were families, orders, and classes added to genera and species, but these were further multiplied by subdivisions of the different groups. But as the number of divisions increased, they lost in. precise meaning, and it became more and more doubtful how far they were true to Nature. Moreover, these divisions were not taken in the same sense by all naturalists: what were called families by some were called orders by others, while the orders of some were the classes of others, till it began to be doubted whether these scientific systems had any foundation in Nature, or signified anything more than that it had pleased Linna3us, for instance, to call certain groups of animals by one name, while Cuvier had chosen to call them by another. These divisions are, first, the most comprehensive groups, the primary divisions, called branches by some, types by others, and divided by some naturalists into so-called sub-types, meaning only a more limited circumscription of the same kind of group ; next we have classes, and these also have been divided into sub-classes; then orders and sub-orders; families and sub-families or tribes; then genera, species, and varieties. With reference to the question whether these groups really exist in Nature, or are merely the expression of individual theories and opinions, it is worth while to study the works of the early naturalists, in order to trace the natural process by whichscientific classification has been reached ; for in this, as in other departments of learning, pr...

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