Darwin-L Message Log 6:4 (February 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<6:4>From SPAMER@say.acnatsci.org  Tue Feb  1 13:04:39 1994

Date: Tue, 1 Feb 1994 14:15:58 -0500 (EST)
From: Earle Spamer <SPAMER@say.acnatsci.org>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: RE: changing taxonomies

Ken Jacobs' student should be totally engrossed by the works of Constantine
Rafinesque, who in several privately published books attempted to revise
the whole of nature(!).

These are:

Specchio della scienze o giornale enciclopedico di Sicilia
(Mirror of the Sciences, or encyclopaedic journal of Sicily)

Precis des decouvertes et travaux somiologiques
(Epitome of the somiological discoveries)

Principes fondamentaux de somiologie...
(Fundamental principles of somiology...)

Analyse de la nature ou tableau de l'univers...
(Analysis of nature or tableau of the universe...)

Fortunately, all of these have been translated into English in one volume,
accompanied by a good introduction and notes:

Constantine Samuel Rafinesque Schmaltz on classification; a translation of
early works by Rafinesque with introduction and notes.  By A. J. Cain.
TRYONIA, no. 20, 240 pp. (1990).

Although Rafinesque did finally settle down to create havoc just in the
animal and plant kingdoms, he also took on the classification of rocks,
minerals, cosmology, atmospheric events, oceanography, general geology...
well, he just goes on and on.  His phrasiology and creation of terms are
joys to behold.

I hope this helps out.

Earle Spamer
Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia

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