Chapter

The Gaze of Natural History

Phillip Sloan

in Inventing Human Science

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1995 | ISBN: 9780520200104
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916227 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520200104.003.0005
The Gaze of Natural History

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To understand the full importance of the revolution in the human sciences encompassed in the comment by Comte de Buffon, this chapter focuses on the concept of a “natural history” of the human species. To develop these claims, it initially explores the origins of the idea of a “natural history” of man in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and displays the extension of this in the systematic work of the Swedish natural historian Carolus Linnaeus. The chapter then analyzes the character of Linnaeus's contemporary Buffon's self- conscious effort to construct an alternative “natural history” to that represented by the well-entrenched Linnaean program.

Keywords: natural history; human species; Comte de Buffon; Carolus Linnaeus

Chapter.  17276 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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