Carl Linnaeus known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné, was a Swedish botanist and zoologist who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin, his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus. Linnaeus was born in the countryside of Småland in southern Sweden, he received most of his higher education at Uppsala University and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between 1735 and 1738, where he studied and published the first edition of his Systema Naturae in the Netherlands, he returned to Sweden where he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals and minerals, while publishing several volumes, he was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe at the time of his death. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau sent him the message: "Tell him I know no greater man on earth."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: "With the exception of Shakespeare and Spinoza, I know no one among the no longer living who has influenced me more strongly." Swedish author August Strindberg wrote: "Linnaeus was in reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist." Linnaeus has been called Princeps botanicorum and "The Pliny of the North". He is considered as one of the founders of modern ecology. In botany and zoology, the abbreviation L. is used to indicate Linnaeus as the authority for a species' name. In older publications, the abbreviation "Linn." is found. Linnaeus's remains comprise the type specimen for the species Homo sapiens following the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, since the sole specimen that he is known to have examined was himself. Linnaeus was born in the village of Råshult in Småland, Sweden, on 23 May 1707, he was the first child of Christina Brodersonia. His siblings were Anna Maria Linnæa, Sofia Juliana Linnæa, Samuel Linnæus, Emerentia Linnæa, his father taught him Latin as a small child.
One of a long line of peasants and priests, Nils was an amateur botanist, a Lutheran minister, the curate of the small village of Stenbrohult in Småland. Christina was the daughter of the rector of Samuel Brodersonius. A year after Linnaeus's birth, his grandfather Samuel Brodersonius died, his father Nils became the rector of Stenbrohult; the family moved into the rectory from the curate's house. In his early years, Linnaeus seemed to have a liking for plants, flowers in particular. Whenever he was upset, he was given a flower, which calmed him. Nils spent much time in his garden and showed flowers to Linnaeus and told him their names. Soon Linnaeus was given his own patch of earth. Carl's father was the first in his ancestry to adopt a permanent surname. Before that, ancestors had used the patronymic naming system of Scandinavian countries: his father was named Ingemarsson after his father Ingemar Bengtsson; when Nils was admitted to the University of Lund, he had to take on a family name. He adopted the Latinate name Linnæus after a giant linden tree, lind in Swedish, that grew on the family homestead.
This name was spelled with the æ ligature. When Carl was born, he was named Carl Linnæus, with his father's family name; the son always spelled it with the æ ligature, both in handwritten documents and in publications. Carl's patronymic would have been Nilsson, as in Carl Nilsson Linnæus. Linnaeus's father began teaching him basic Latin and geography at an early age; when Linnaeus was seven, Nils decided to hire a tutor for him. The parents picked a son of a local yeoman. Linnaeus did not like him, writing in his autobiography that Telander "was better calculated to extinguish a child's talents than develop them". Two years after his tutoring had begun, he was sent to the Lower Grammar School at Växjö in 1717. Linnaeus studied going to the countryside to look for plants, he reached the last year of the Lower School when he was fifteen, taught by the headmaster, Daniel Lannerus, interested in botany. Lannerus gave him the run of his garden, he introduced him to Johan Rothman, the state doctor of Småland and a teacher at Katedralskolan in Växjö.
A botanist, Rothman broadened Linnaeus's interest in botany and helped him develop an interest in medicine. By the age of 17, Linnaeus had become well acquainted with the existing botanical literature, he remarks in his journal that he "read day and night, knowing like the back of my hand, Arvidh Månsson's Rydaholm Book of Herbs, Tillandz's Flora Åboensis, Palmberg's Serta Florea Suecana, Bromelii Chloros Gothica and Rudbeckii Hortus Upsaliensis...."Linnaeus entered the Växjö Katedralskola in 1724, where he studied Greek, Hebrew and mathematics, a curriculum designed for boys preparing for the priesthood. In the last year at the gymnasium, Linnaeus's father visited to ask the professors how his son's studies were progressing. Rothman believed otherwise; the doctor offered to have Linnaeus live with his family in Växjö and to teach him physiology and botany. Nils accepted this offer. Rothman showed Linnaeus that botany was a serious sub
Aristotle was a philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, the founder of the Lyceum and the Peripatetic school of philosophy and Aristotelian tradition. Along with his teacher Plato, he is considered the "Father of Western Philosophy", his writings cover many subjects – including physics, zoology, logic, aesthetics, theatre, rhetoric, linguistics, economics and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him, it was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry; as a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion. Little is known about his life. Aristotle was born in the city of Stagira in Northern Greece, his father, died when Aristotle was a child, he was brought up by a guardian. At seventeen or eighteen years of age, he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven.
Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip II of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great beginning in 343 BC. He established a library in the Lyceum which helped him to produce many of his hundreds of books on papyrus scrolls. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues for publication, only around a third of his original output has survived, none of it intended for publication; the fact that Aristotle was a pupil of Plato contributed to his former views of Platonism, following Plato's death, Aristotle developed an increased interest in natural sciences and adopted the position of immanent realism. Aristotle's views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics. Some of Aristotle's zoological observations found in his biology, such as on the hectocotyl arm of the octopus, were disbelieved until the 19th century.
His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, studied by medieval scholars such as Peter Abelard and John Buridan. Aristotle's influence on logic continued well into the 19th century He influenced Islamic thought during the Middle Ages, as well as Christian theology the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Aristotle was revered among medieval Muslim scholars as "The First Teacher" and among medieval Christians like Thomas Aquinas as "The Philosopher", his ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics, such as in the thinking of Alasdair MacIntyre and Philippa Foot. In general, the details of Aristotle's life are not well-established; the biographies written in ancient times are speculative and historians only agree on a few salient points. Aristotle, whose name means "the best purpose" in Ancient Greek, was born in 384 BC in Stagira, about 55 km east of modern-day Thessaloniki.
His father Nicomachus was the personal physician to King Amyntas of Macedon. Both of Aristotle's parents died when he was about thirteen, Proxenus of Atarneus became his guardian. Although little information about Aristotle's childhood has survived, he spent some time within the Macedonian palace, making his first connections with the Macedonian monarchy. At the age of seventeen or eighteen, Aristotle moved to Athens to continue his education at Plato's Academy, he remained there for nearly twenty years before leaving Athens in 348/47 BC. The traditional story about his departure records that he was disappointed with the Academy's direction after control passed to Plato's nephew Speusippus, although it is possible that he feared the anti-Macedonian sentiments in Athens at that time and left before Plato died. Aristotle accompanied Xenocrates to the court of his friend Hermias of Atarneus in Asia Minor. After the death of Hermias, Aristotle travelled with his pupil Theophrastus to the island of Lesbos, where together they researched the botany and zoology of the island and its sheltered lagoon.
While in Lesbos, Aristotle married Hermias's adoptive daughter or niece. She bore him a daughter, whom they named Pythias. In 343 BC, Aristotle was invited by Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor to his son Alexander. Aristotle was appointed as the head of the royal academy of Macedon. During Aristotle's time in the Macedonian court, he gave lessons not only to Alexander, but to two other future kings: Ptolemy and Cassander. Aristotle encouraged Alexander toward eastern conquest and Aristotle's own attitude towards Persia was unabashedly ethnocentric. In one famous example, he counsels Alexander to be "a leader to the Greeks and a despot to the barbarians, to look after the former as after friends and relatives, to deal with the latter as with beasts or plants". By 335 BC, Aristotle had returned to Athens. Aristotle conducted courses at the school for the next twelve years. While in Athens, his wife Pythias died and Aristotle became involved with Herpyllis of Stagira, who bore him a son whom he named after his father, Nicomachus.
According to the Suda, he had an erômenos, Palaephatus of Abydus. This period in Athens, between 335 and 323 BC, is when Aristotle is believed to have composed many of his works, he wrote many dialogues. Those works that have survived are in treatise form and were not
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder was a Roman author and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, friend of emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, Pliny wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia, which became an editorial model for encyclopedias, his nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote of him in a letter to the historian Tacitus: For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading. In the latter number will be my uncle, of your compositions. Pliny the Younger refers to Tacitus’s reliance upon his uncle's book, the History of the German Wars. Pliny the Elder died in AD 79 in Stabiae while attempting the rescue of a friend and his family by ship from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which had destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the volcano’s eruption did not allow his ship to leave port, Pliny died during that event.
Pliny's dates are pinned to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a statement of his nephew that he died in his 56th year, which would put his birth in AD 23 or 24. Pliny was the son of an equestrian, Gaius Plinius Celer, his wife, Marcella. Neither the younger nor the elder Pliny mention the names, their ultimate source is a fragmentary inscription found in a field in Verona and recorded by the 16th-century Augustinian monk Onofrio Panvinio at Verona. The form is an elegy; the most accepted reconstruction is PLINIVS SECVNDVS AVGV. LERI. PATRI. MATRI. MARCELLAE. TESTAMENTO FIERI IVSSOThe Vs represent Us, it should say "Plinius Secundus augur ordered this to be made as a testament to his father ler and his mother Marcella"The actual words are fragmentary. The reading of the inscription depends on the reconstruction, but in all cases the names come through. Whether he was an augur and whether she was named Grania Marcella are less certain. Jean Hardouin presents a statement from an unknown source that he claims was ancient, that Pliny was from Verona and that his parents were Celer and Marcella.
Hardouin cites the conterraneity of Catullus. How the inscription got to Verona is unknown, but it could have arrived by dispersal of property from Pliny the Younger's Tuscan estate at Colle Plinio, north of Città di Castello, identified for certain by his initials in the roof tiles, he kept statues of his ancestors there. Pliny the Elder was born at Como, not at Verona: it is only as a native of old Gallia Transpadana that he calls Catullus of Verona his conterraneus, or fellow-countryman, not his municeps, or fellow-townsman. A statue of Pliny on the façade of the Duomo of Como celebrates him as a native son, he had a sister, who married into the Caecilii and was the mother of his nephew, Pliny the Younger, whose letters describe his work and study regimen in detail. In one of his letters to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger details how his uncle's breakfasts would be light and simple following the customs of our forefathers; this shows that Pliny the Younger wanted it to be conveyed that Pliny the Elder was a "good Roman", which means that he maintained the customs of the great Roman forefathers.
This statement would have pleased Tacitus. Two inscriptions identifying the hometown of Pliny the Younger as Como take precedence over the Verona theory. One commemorates the younger's career as the imperial magistrate and details his considerable charitable and municipal expenses on behalf of the people of Como. Another identifies his father Lucius' village as Fecchio near Como. Therefore, Plinia was a local girl and Pliny the Elder, her brother, was from Como. Gaius was a member of the Plinia gens: the insubric root Plina still persists, with rhotacism, in the local surname "Prina", he did not take his father's cognomen, but assumed his own, Secundus. As his adopted son took the same cognomen, Pliny founded the Plinii Secundi; the family was prosperous. No earlier instances of the Plinii are known. In 59 BC, only about 82 years before Pliny's birth, Julius Caesar founded Novum Comum as a colonia to secure the region against the Alpine tribes, whom he had been unable to defeat, he imported a population of 4,500 from other provinces to be placed in Comasco and 500 aristocratic Greeks to found Novum Comum itself.
The community was thus multi-ethnic and the Plinies could have come from anywhere. No record of any ethnic distinctions in Pliny's time is apparent; the population prided themselves on being Roman citizens. Pliny the Elder had no children. In his will, he adopted his nephew; the adoption is called a "testamental adoption" by writers on the topic, who assert that it applied to the name change only, but Roman jurisprudence recognizes no such category. Pliny the Younger thus became the adopted son of Pliny the Elder after the latter's death. Fo
Robert Hooke FRS was an English natural philosopher and polymath. His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money. At one time he was the curator of experiments of the Royal Society, a member of its council, Gresham Professor of Geometry, Surveyor to the City of London after the Great Fire of London, he was an important architect of his time – though few of his buildings now survive and some of those are misattributed – and was instrumental in devising a set of planning controls for London whose influence remains today. Allan Chapman has characterised him as "England's Leonardo". Hooke studied at Wadham College, Oxford during the Protectorate where he became one of a knit group of ardent Royalists led by John Wilkins. Here he was employed as an assistant to Thomas Willis and to Robert Boyle, for whom he built the vacuum pumps used in Boyle's gas law experiments, conducted the experiments themselves, he observed the rotations of Mars and Jupiter. In 1665 he inspired the use of microscopes for scientific exploration with Micrographia.
Based on his microscopic observations of fossils, Hooke was an early proponent of biological evolution. He investigated the phenomenon of refraction, deducing the wave theory of light, was the first to suggest that matter expands when heated and that air is made of small particles separated by large distances, he proposed. He performed pioneering work in the field of surveying and map-making and was involved in the work that led to the first modern plan-form map, though his plan for London on a grid system was rejected in favour of rebuilding along the existing routes, he came near to an experimental proof that gravity follows an inverse square law, first hypothesised that such a relation governs the motions of the planets, an idea, developed by Isaac Newton, formed part of a dispute between the two which caused Newton to try to erase Hooke's legacy. He originated the terraqueous globe theory of geology, disputed the literal Biblical account of the age of the earth, hypothesised the idea of extinction, wrote numerous times of the likelihood that fossils on hill and mountain tops had been raised there by "earthquakes", a general term of the time for geological processes.
Much of Hooke's scientific work was conducted in his capacity as curator of experiments of the Royal Society, a post he held from 1662, or as part of the household of Robert Boyle. Much of what is known of Hooke's early life comes from an autobiography that he commenced in 1696 but never completed. Richard Waller mentions it in his introduction to The Posthumous Works of Robert Hooke, M. D. S. R. S. Printed in 1705. In the chapter Of Dr. Dee's Book of Spirits, Hooke argues that John Dee made use of Trithemian steganography, to conceal his communication with Queen Elizabeth I; the work of Waller, along with John Ward's Lives of the Gresham Professors and John Aubrey's Brief Lives, form the major near-contemporaneous biographical accounts of Hooke. Robert Hooke was born in 1635 in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight to Cecily Gyles. Robert was the last of four children, two boys and two girls, there was an age difference of seven years between him and the next youngest, their father John was a Church of England priest, the curate of Freshwater's Church of All Saints, his two brothers were ministers.
Robert Hooke was expected to join the Church. John Hooke was in charge of a local school, so was able to teach Robert, at least at home due to the boy's frail health, he was a Royalist and certainly a member of a group who went to pay their respects to Charles I when he escaped to the Isle of Wight. Robert, grew up to be a staunch monarchist; as a youth, Robert Hooke was fascinated by observation, mechanical works, drawing, interests that he would pursue in various ways throughout his life. He dismantled a brass clock and built a wooden replica that, by all accounts, worked "well enough", he learned to draw, making his own materials from coal and ruddle. On his father's death in 1648, Robert was left a sum of forty pounds that enabled him to buy an apprenticeship. Hooke was an apt student, so although he went to London to take up an apprenticeship, studied with Samuel Cowper and Peter Lely, he was soon able to enter Westminster School in London, under Dr. Richard Busby. Hooke mastered Latin and Greek, made some study of Hebrew, mastered Euclid's Elements.
Here, too, he embarked on his lifelong study of mechanics. It appears that Hooke was one of a group of students whom Busby educated in parallel to the main work of the school. Contemporary accounts say he was "not much seen" in the school, this appears to be true of others in a similar position. Busby, an ardent and outspoken Royalist, was by all accounts trying to pre
A spice is a seed, root, bark, or other plant substance used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems of plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Many spices have antimicrobial properties; this may explain why spices are more used in warmer climates, which have more infectious diseases, why the use of spices is prominent in meat, susceptible to spoiling. Spices are sometimes used in religious rituals, cosmetics or perfume production; the spice trade developed throughout the Indian subcontinent and Middle East by at earliest 2000 BCE with cinnamon and black pepper, in East Asia with herbs and pepper. The Egyptians used herbs for mummification and their demand for exotic spices and herbs helped stimulate world trade; the word spice comes from the Old French word espice, which became epice, which came from the Latin root spec, the noun referring to "appearance, kind": species has the same root. By 1000 BCE, medical systems based upon herbs could be found in China and India.
Early uses were connected with magic, religion and preservation. Cloves were used in Mesopotamia by 1700 BCE; the ancient Indian epic Ramayana mentions cloves. The Romans had cloves in the 1st century CE; the earliest written records of spices come from ancient Egyptian and Indian cultures. The Ebers Papyrus from Early Egyptians that dates from 1550 B. C. E. Describes some eight hundred different medicinal remedies and numerous medicinal procedures. Historians believe that nutmeg, which originates from the Banda Islands in Southeast Asia, was introduced to Europe in the 6th century BCE. Indonesian merchants traveled around China, the Middle East, the east coast of Africa. Arab merchants facilitated the routes through India; this resulted in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria being the main trading center for spices. The most important discovery prior to the European spice trade were the monsoon winds. Sailing from Eastern spice cultivators to Western European consumers replaced the land-locked spice routes once facilitated by the Middle East Arab caravans.
In the story of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers to spice merchants. In the biblical poem Song of Solomon, the male speaker compares his beloved to many forms of spices. Spices were among the most demanded and expensive products available in Europe in the Middle Ages, the most common being black pepper, cumin, nutmeg and cloves. Given medieval medicine's main theory of humorism and herbs were indispensable to balance "humors" in food, a daily basis for good health at a time of recurrent pandemics. In addition to being desired by those using medieval medicine, the European elite craved spices in the Middle Ages. An example of the European aristocracy's demand for spice comes from the King of Aragon, who invested substantial resources into bringing back spices to Spain in the 12th century, he was looking for spices to put in wine, was not alone among European monarchs at the time to have such a desire for spice. Spices were all imported from plantations in Africa, which made them expensive.
From the 8th until the 15th century, the Republic of Venice had the monopoly on spice trade with the Middle East, along with it the neighboring Italian maritime republics and city-states. The trade made the region rich, it has been estimated that around 1,000 tons of pepper and 1,000 tons of the other common spices were imported into Western Europe each year during the Late Middle Ages. The value of these goods was the equivalent of a yearly supply of grain for 1.5 million people. The most exclusive was saffron, used as much for its vivid yellow-red color as for its flavor. Spices that have now fallen into obscurity in European cuisine include grains of paradise, a relative of cardamom which replaced pepper in late medieval north French cooking, long pepper, spikenard and cubeb. Spain and Portugal were interested in seeking new routes to trade in spices and other valuable products from Asia; the control of trade routes and the spice-producing regions were the main reasons that Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed to India in 1499.
When Gama discovered the pepper market in India, he was able to secure peppers for a much cheaper price than the ones demanded by Venice. At around the same time, Christopher Columbus returned from the New World, he described to investors new spices available there. Another source of competition in the spice trade during the 15th and 16th century was the Ragusans from the maritime republic of Dubrovnik in southern Croatia; the military prowess of Afonso de Albuquerque allowed the Portuguese to take control of the sea routes to India. In 1506, he took the island of Socotra in the mouth of the Red Sea and, in 1507, Ormuz in the Persian Gulf. Since becoming the viceroy of the Indies, he took Goa in India in 1510, Malacca on the Malay peninsula in 1511; the Portuguese could now trade directly with Siam and the Maluku Islands. With the discovery of the New World came new spices, including allspice, chili peppers and chocolate; this development kept the spice trade, with America as a late comer with its new seasonings, profitable well into the 19th century.
One issue with spices today is dilution, where spices are blended to make inferior quality powdered spices, by including roots and other admixture in production of spice powder. A spice may be available in several forms: pre-ground dried. Spices are dried. Spices may be ground into a powder for c
Micrographia: or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses. With Observations and Inquiries Thereupon. is a significant book by Robert Hooke about his observations through various lenses. It is notable for being the first book to illustrate insects, plants etc. as seen through microscopes. Published in January 1665, the first major publication of the Royal Society, it became the first scientific best-seller, inspiring a wide public interest in the new science of microscopy, it is notable for coining the biological term cell. Hooke most famously describes a plant cell. Known for its spectacular copperplate engravings of the miniature world its fold-out plates of insects, the text itself reinforces the tremendous power of the new microscope; the plates of insects fold out to be larger than the large folio itself, the engraving of the louse in particular folding out to four times the size of the book. Although the book is best known for demonstrating the power of the microscope, Micrographia describes distant planetary bodies, the wave theory of light, the organic origin of fossils, other philosophical and scientific interests of its author.
Hooke selected several objects of human origin. His goal may well have been as a way to contrast the flawed products of mankind with the perfection of nature. Gallery Published under the aegis of The Royal Society, the popularity of the book helped further the society's image and mission of being the UK's leading scientific organization. Micrographia's illustrations of the miniature world captured the public's imagination in a radically new way. In 2007, Janice Neri, a professor of art history and visual culture, studied Hooke's artistic influences and processes with the help of some newly rediscovered notes and drawings that appear to show some of his work leading up to Micrographia, she observes, "Hooke's use of the term "schema" to identify his plates indicates that he approached his images in a diagrammatic manner and implies the study or visual dissection of the objects portrayed." Identifying Hooke's schema as'organization tools,' she emphasizes: Hooke built up his images from numerous observations made from multiple vantage points, under varying lighting conditions, with lenses of differing powers.
His specimens required a great deal of manipulation and preparation in order to make them visible through the microscope. Additionally: "Hooke enclosed the objects he presented within a round frame, thus offering viewers an evocation of the experience of looking through the lens of a microscope." Robert Hooke. Micrographia: or, Some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses. London: J. Martyn and J. Allestry, 1665.. Project Gutenberg Micrographia text Turning the Pages-virtual copy of the book from the National Library of Medicine Micrographia - full digital facsimile at Linda Hall Library Transcribing the Hooke Folio Micrographia at the Internet Archive
Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals and plants in their environment. A person who studies natural history is called natural historian. Natural history is not limited to it, it involves the systematic study of any category of natural organisms. So while it dates from studies in the ancient Greco-Roman world and the mediaeval Arabic world, through to European Renaissance naturalists working in near isolation, today's natural history is a cross discipline umbrella of many specialty sciences; the meaning of the English term "natural history" has narrowed progressively with time. In antiquity, "natural history" covered anything connected with nature, or which used materials drawn from nature, such as Pliny the Elder's encyclopedia of this title, published circa 77 to 79 AD, which covers astronomy, geography and their technology and superstition, as well as animals and plants. Medieval European academics considered knowledge to have two main divisions: the humanities and divinity, with science studied through texts rather than observation or experiment.
The study of nature revived in the Renaissance, became a third branch of academic knowledge, itself divided into descriptive natural history and natural philosophy, the analytical study of nature. In modern terms, natural philosophy corresponded to modern physics and chemistry, while natural history included the biological and geological sciences; the two were associated. During the heyday of the gentleman scientists, many people contributed to both fields, early papers in both were read at professional science society meetings such as the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences – both founded during the seventeenth century. Natural history had been encouraged by practical motives, such as Linnaeus' aspiration to improve the economic condition of Sweden; the Industrial Revolution prompted the development of geology to help find useful mineral deposits. Modern definitions of natural history come from a variety of fields and sources, many of the modern definitions emphasize a particular aspect of the field, creating a plurality of definitions with a number of common themes among them.
For example, while natural history is most defined as a type of observation and a subject of study, it can be defined as a body of knowledge, as a craft or a practice, in which the emphasis is placed more on the observer than on the observed. Definitions from biologists focus on the scientific study of individual organisms in their environment, as seen in this definition by Marston Bates: "Natural history is the study of animals and Plants – of organisms.... I like to think of natural history as the study of life at the level of the individual – of what plants and animals do, how they react to each other and their environment, how they are organized into larger groupings like populations and communities" and this more recent definition by D. S. Wilcove and T. Eisner: "The close observation of organisms—their origins, their evolution, their behavior, their relationships with other species"; this focus on organisms in their environment is echoed by H. W. Greene and J. B. Losos: "Natural history focuses on where organisms are and what they do in their environment, including interactions with other organisms.
It encompasses changes in internal states insofar as they pertain to what organisms do". Some definitions go further, focusing on direct observation of organisms in their environment, both past and present, such as this one by G. A. Bartholomew: "A student of natural history, or a naturalist, studies the world by observing plants and animals directly; because organisms are functionally inseparable from the environment in which they live and because their structure and function cannot be adequately interpreted without knowing some of their evolutionary history, the study of natural history embraces the study of fossils as well as physiographic and other aspects of the physical environment". A common thread in many definitions of natural history is the inclusion of a descriptive component, as seen in a recent definition by H. W. Greene: "Descriptive ecology and ethology". Several authors have argued for a more expansive view of natural history, including S. Herman, who defines the field as "the scientific study of plants and animals in their natural environments.
It is concerned with levels of organization from the individual organism to the ecosystem, stresses identification, life history, distribution and inter-relationships. It and appropriately includes an esthetic component", T. Fleischner, who defines the field more broadly, as "A practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy"; these definitions explicitly include the arts in the field of natural history, are aligned with the broad definition outlined by B. Lopez, who defines the field as the "Patient interrogation of a landscape" while referring to the natural history knowledge of the Eskimo. A different framework for natural history, covering a similar range of themes, is implied in the scope of work encompassed by many leading natural history museums, which include elements of anthropology, geology and astronomy along with botany and zoology, or include both cultural and natural components of the world; the pl