BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour


A preliminary discourse on the study of natural history

by William Swainson

Excerpt:

NATURAL HISTORY.

PART L

ON THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF ZOOLOGY.

PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. — DIVISION OP THE SUBJECT.

FIRST EPOCH. ARISTOTLE. PLINY. -— SECOND EPOCH.

KONDELETIUS. — OESNER. ALDROVANDUS. MOUF

FET. TOPSAL. MAURICE OF NASSAU. MARCGRAVE.

USO. MERRETT. GOEDARTXUS. B.EDI. SWAMMER

DAM. LISTER. GENERAL REMARKS ON THE ERA OF

WILLUGHBY AND RAY. GREW. PETTIVER. — ALBIN.

SLOANE. SEBA. THIRD EPOCH. LINN^US. ELLIS.

LINN-ffiAN SCHOOL. — RUMPHIUS. — D*ARGENVILLE. RE

GENFUSS. RCESEL. EDWARDS. TREMBLEY. GRONO

VIUS. — REAUMUR. COMPARISON BETWEEN LINNiEUS AND

BUFFON. LINN^AN SCHOOL. ART%DI. — SULZER.

SEPP. — SCOPOLI. SCHCEFFER. HASSELQUEST. OSBECK.

-— FORSKALL. — SPARRMAN. PENNANT. — WHITE.

DRURY. MARTINI AND CHEMNITZ. WILTS. — FABRICIUS.

THUNBERG. MULLER. FORSTER. VILLERS. SCHRANK.

— MOSES HARRIS. — CRAMER. STOLL. SCHREBER. —

B

PALLAS. SCHROETER. BORN. MERREM. HERMANN.

2LOCH. SCHNEIDER. SCHCEPF. LATHAM. SHAW.

SIR J. SMITH. BERKENHOUT. LEWIN. OTHO FABRICIUS.

.— OLIVI. ENTOMOLOGICAL ILLUSTRATIVE WORKS OF THIS

PERIOD. ERNST. ESPER. HUBNER. HERBST. JABLON

SKY. VOET. WOLF. MINOR WRITERS. PANZER.

FETAGNI. ROSSI. FATXULL. LESFEYRES. GMELIN.

EHFFON'S SCHOOL. PLANCHES ENLUMINEES. BONNET.

DE GSER. BRISSON. ADANSON. DUHAMEL. —- SONNERAT.

SONNINI. LEVAILLANT. FUESSLY. -— THE MODERN

FRENCH SCHOOL. CUVIER. DISCOVERY OF THE CIRCULAR

NATURE OF AFFINITIES.

(1.) To form a just estimate of the relative position of any science at a given period, it is necessary that the prominent events in its history be rightly understood. It seems, therefore, expedient to commence this discourse with a slight sketch of the rise and progress of zoological science; or, more properly, of the progressive discovery of the forms, structures, and habits belonging to the animal world; a world replete with such an infinity of beings, each possessing so many peculiarities of habit and economy, that, notwithstanding the united efforts of human research for thousands of years, there is not one of them whose history, as yet, can be pronounced complete.

(2.) The vast and diversified field of enquiry over which zoology extends, and the many distinct portions into which it is now distributed, render it extremely difficult to embrace the whole in one general exposition. For it has happened, that at one period of time while our knowledge has made gigantic progress in one department, it has been stationary, or even retrograde, in others; and at another epoch we find that original research has been abandoned, and the technicalities of system and nomenclature alone regarded. To meet the first difficulty, and to preserve, nevertheless, a connected narrative, it seems advisable to treat, the subject historically; and pre-supposing certain epochs in this science, to detail the peculiar characteristics of each. This will of course lead to some enquiry into the merits of those who have successively promoted or retarded the progress of knowledge; or who have been the founders of systems and methods, which for a time have endured, and then been laid aside. The revolutions of science are almost as frequent, and often more extraordinary, than those of political institutions. Both are results, not so much of the talents or efforts of large communities acting simultaneously, as of the influence of some one individual, whose qualities, good or bad, have not unfrequently worked the overthrow of laws, and modes of thinking, whiGh had long been supported by the voice of a nation. It is, therefore, the part of the natural not less than of the political historian, to trace the causes of such revolutions, as far as possible, to their sources; and not to rest contented with the bare enumeration of the facts, themselves, or of the results which followed.


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