New PDF release: A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural History

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By William Swainson

ISBN-10: 1108005233

ISBN-13: 9781108005234

William Swainson F. R. S., used to be regarded largely as a zoologist, an ornithologist and a talented and prolific illustrator. He additionally had an important enthusiasm for looking and determining new species. during this 1834 quantity despite the fact that, Swainson addressed the character of, foundations for and winning pursuit of zoology. It argues firmly for the foremost value of taxonomy. Swainson used to be an ardent recommend of MacLeay's now completely outdated 'quinary' procedure of type - even then a especially minority view. This sought affinities, styles and analogies between organisms, with a purpose to figure God's order. greater than an insignificant interest, such paintings was once of pivotal quandary to enterprising naturalists of the 1820s and 1830s - together with the younger Charles Darwin. It additionally reached Robert Chambers, whose 1844 Vestiges of the typical background of construction used to be a tremendous landmark within the improvement of the idea of evolution.

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Additional info for A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural History

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No better evidence of these facts can be adduced than the rapid increase of new works in this department towards the middle of the last century. * This publication came out in numbers, and perfect sets are now exceedingly rare: those portions we possess relate exclusively to the Lepidoptera, each species being delineated, in all its several transformations, from the egg to the perfect insect: the drawing of the subjects is chaste; elegant, and cannot be excelled for accuracy; while the style of engraving is admirably suited to express all the softness of the original drawings.

In botany, and in no other science, was Ray the author of a system, for he confessedly adopted Willughby's, both in ornithology and ichthyology; while his arrangement of quadrupeds and of insects was doubtless derived from the same source. Indeed he himself informs us, that among the MSS. of his friend he found the histories of " beasts and insects," no less than of " birds and fishes, digested into a method of his own" It belongs RISE AND PROGRESS OF ZOOLOGY. 29 not to our present object to enquire into the merits of Ray's botanical system, which takes for its basis the old divisions of trees {arbores) and plants (herbce).

The first work of this father of conchology makes known the spiders, the shells, and the fossil echini, &c. of Great Britain; all of which are not only well described, but are accompanied by tabular systematic arrangements, superior to any that had yet been framed, and fully equal to those subsequently given by Ray. Lister, in fact, is unquestionably the inventor of system; for he not only arranges the wliole of the British araniae under greater and lesser divisions, but draws up a short and expressive specific character for each, which precedes his subsequent and more general description.

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

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