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The Coral of Death

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Kunst- und Wunderkammern between Temporality and Allegory

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The aim of this essay is to show the existence of a substantial discontinuity between the Kunst- und Wunderkammern phenomenon and the practice of both eclectic and specialised collecting in the 18th century. A more detailed examination of the cases of fossils and corals, particularly the way they wove in and out of the differing rationales of collecting in the 17th and 18th centuries, brings to light how elusive their relationship was with the history of the notion of temporality. Subsequently, Lamarck and Darwin were to provide a conclusion to the temporality debate when they completed the historisation of nature.

Affiliations: 1: Università di Cagliari, Dipartimento di Pedagogia, Psicologia e Filosofia, Italy


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