The Emergence of Ornithology as a Scientific Discipline: 1760–1850

  • Paul Lawrence Farber

Part of the Studies in the History of Modern Science book series (SHMS, volume 12)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Paul Lawrence Farber
    Pages 1-6
  3. Paul Lawrence Farber
    Pages 7-26
  4. Paul Lawrence Farber
    Pages 27-48
  5. Paul Lawrence Farber
    Pages 49-67
  6. Paul Lawrence Farber
    Pages 68-78
  7. Paul Lawrence Farber
    Pages 79-91
  8. Paul Lawrence Farber
    Pages 92-120
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 159-193

About this book


A number of years ago I began a project to derme and evaluate the impact of Buffon's Histoire naturelle on the science of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. My attention, however, was soon diverted by the striking difference between the highly literary natural history of Buffon and the duller, but more rigor­ ous, zoology of his successors, and I began to try to understand this transformation of natural history into a set of separate scientific disciplines (geology, botany, ornithology, entomology, ichthyology, etc. ). Historical literature on the emergence of the biological sciences in the early nineteenth century is, unfortunately, scant. ! Indeed the entire issue of the emergence of scientific disciplines in general is poorly documented. A recent collection of articles on the subject states: One reason for this is, of course, that scientific development is a highly com­ plex process. Consequently, there has been a tendency for those engaged in its empirical study to select for close attention one strand or a small number of strands from the complicated web of social and intellectual factors at work. Many historians, for example, have dealt primarily with the internal development of scientific knowledge within given fields of inquiry. Sociologists, in contrast, have tended to concentrate on the social processes associated with the activities of scientists; but at the same time 2 they have largely ignored the intellectual content of science.


classification ornithology

Authors and affiliations

  • Paul Lawrence Farber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General ScienceOregon State UniversityUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1982
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-009-7821-8
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-7819-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site