Download e-book for kindle: A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural History by William Swainson

By William Swainson

ISBN-10: 1108005233

ISBN-13: 9781108005234

William Swainson F. R. S., was once recognized largely as a zoologist, an ornithologist and a talented and prolific illustrator. He additionally had an immense enthusiasm for looking and determining new species. during this 1834 quantity although, Swainson addressed the character of, foundations for and winning pursuit of zoology. It argues firmly for the major value of taxonomy. Swainson used to be an ardent recommend of MacLeay's now solely superseded 'quinary' procedure of type - even then a fairly minority view. This sought affinities, styles and analogies between organisms, with a view to figure God's order. greater than a trifling interest, such paintings used to be of pivotal trouble to enterprising naturalists of the 1820s and 1830s - together with the younger Charles Darwin. It additionally reached Robert Chambers, whose 1844 Vestiges of the traditional background of production used to be an enormous landmark within the improvement of the idea of evolution.

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He followed the system of Linnaeus, except in that strange and unnatural arrangement of the primary orders of birds, which he fell into, and which was the more inexcusable, after the writings of Willughby. There are no novelties of arrangement in the works of Pennant, and no original research, beyond the accession of new species ; but he contrived to give great interest to his descriptions, by enriching them from the stores of his classic and antiquarian knowledge. Hence he enjoyed great * Thomas Pennant.

Small folio. £ 50 STUDY OF NATURAL HISTORY the Continent, it seems to have made no great progress among us, were we to judge from the paucity of works then published in Britain. Edwards, it is true, was going on with his excellent History of Birds; and Borlase had done something to illustrate the natural history of Cornwall; but no new work of any moment appeared in England between the years 1755 and 1766 ; when our accomplished countryman Pennant gave that impetus to the science, which it seems to have required- Pennant was a scholar and a gentleman, possessing great and varied acquirements.

By John Ray. 1678. f " But because Mr. " RISE AND PROGRESS OF ZOOLOGY. 27 Hence it becomes evident that the chief design ot Willughby was only to admit into his history such birds as he had himself seen, or of whose existence there could be no doubt,—an admirable principle, in full accordance with the Baconian philosophy; and which, in this instance at least, establishes the superiority of his judgment over that of his editor. of death arrested his bright career, and he died, in the year 1672, at the early age of thirtyseven.

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A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural History by William Swainson


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