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Impartiality in the Matrix of Taxonomy: Carl von Linné and Folklore

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Chapter Summary

Carl von Linné owes his fame in the modern era primarily to his establishment of taxonomy and the concomitant development of binomial nomenclature, in accordance with which animals and plants are still classified to this day. Linné had been working on this system and its theoretical principles from 1730, and formulated the system's foundations in his Philosophia botanica. Linné could, as he claimed in the introduction to his Systema naturae, become the Creator's instrument, like a second Adam. The universe of Linné, the Swedish nobleman and the king's personal physician, was enriched with data, with obiecta, to which today one denies the status of 'real', at least by our standards of scientific rigour. Linné takes the first approach in the footnotes to his taxonomy, the second in his famous, posthumously published work Nemesis divina, which in many places links directly to the descriptions of folklore in his travel reports.

Keywords: binomial nomenclature; Carl von Linné; Nemesis divina; Philosophia botanica; Swedish nobleman; Systema naturae; taxonomy; theoretical principles



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