Carl von Linné (1707–1778)

"I, Carl, shall describe everything"

  • Systema naturae
  • Complete, consistent and hierarchic classification
  • Reactions in Paris
  • Can systematizing be scientific?
    • Yes, if open for revisions

Three kingdoms: Rocks, plants, animals. Classify every object that exists, not just life. Stuff not to be in two kingdoms at once.

Never visited tropical areas. Did not know how rich biodiversity was.

Reactions mixed. Old-school to want to "put everything in boxes". Others adulated him.

Is systematizing really good science? Sure, if it's open for revisions, because you can learn about little-known members by inferring from the class they belong to. Also he revised his own work multiple times.

Whale? He never saw one. But it was found they belonged better in mammals, so Linnaeus moved them there.

Created (13 months ago)