Classification and the Order of Things

163 - Without classifying we have only individuals.
166 - 19th-century context - a natural class grouped things according to overall resemblances. The artificial class picked one feature or set thereof with no special representative character.
167 - classical taxonomy restricted itself to what was outwardly visible.
168 - Foucault's basis of taxonomy changed
    -> Cuvier and Archetypes
168 - what is the point of classifying? She doesn't ask. His answer: render induction possible and reliable Science needs groups. What is mine?
Botany in the Boudoir and garden: the Banksian context
by Janet Brown. Visions of Empire page 153
of Lageur's discussion of female anatomy with plant metaphors (style=vagina)
156 - denouncements of linnaeus made the public more eager.
British gentry learned botany through books ripe with innuendo as sex and taxonomy became inextricably mingled/linked.
157 - Erasmus Darwin and Joesph Banks successfully represented the public face of botanical science.
159 - Darwin intended these plants to illuminate human sexual relations.
160 - Deeper philosophical meaning underneath -> untutored.\
161 - Nature was simple and honest.
    Plants did what was natural, not like his church-driven society.
164 - nature became valued in its own right, not as a mirror of God's intentions yet the 'nature' and 'natural' forces of Darwin and co. were social constructs as the previous theory was.
The Order of Things
by Michel Foucault
Vintage Books, NY, 1994
XIX "what is the ground on which we are able to establish the validity of this classification with complete certainty?"
XX Order is an inner law and something that exists only in that order.
XXI In all cultures: Ordering cocks - exp of order - reflection upon order.
XXII Classical age (1/2 17th) and modern (19th) "the mode of being of things, and of the order that divided them up before presenting them to the understanding, was profoundly altered."
XXIV history of resemblance
26 world of resemblances. world of similarity is a world of signs -> knowledge of similitudes involves deciphering signs and signatures.
    -> plants in Middle Ages. Signatures Resemblances indicated assign. "It signifies exactly in so far as it resembles what it is indicating (that is; a similitude)."
29 Hermeneutics make signs speak and discover their meaning semiology: learning and skills to distinguish, define and know laws of signs.
    "The nature of things, their coexistence, the way in which they are linked together and communicate is nothing other than their resemblance."
31 the distance between microcosm and macrocosm cannot be infinite -> in the end everything can be counted. Nature is closed in upon itself in conformity.
37 "the relation of languages to the world is one of analogy rather than of signification."
38 "what God introduced into the world was written words; Adam, when he imposed their first names upon the animals, dad no more. that read those visible <- silent marks; the law was entrusted to the tables, not to men's memories =; and it is in a book that the true word must be found again."
51 the beginning of 17th "thought ceases to move in the element of resemblance."
55 switch from drawing things together to discriminating (est. their identities)
58 altered the org of signs (17th) classical signs 1. must be constant 2. may belong to the whole or be separate 3. sign is natural or convent.
63 probability, analysis, combination and universal language system were a single network of necessities in 17thc.
71 science of order 17thc.
72 Taxinomia - "power of the imagination that renders apparent what is not, but makes possible, by this very fact, the revelation of that continuity."
73 natural history = "the science of the characters that articulate the continuity and the tangle of nature."
74 taxonomic - table of visible difference
75 17th and 18th centre of knowledge is the table
16 Taxinomia universales -> Linnaeus
127 -> computer
140 seek an artificial system first, then a natural one will emerge
150 evolution deos not work with Classical age
160 to end of 18th no life only living beings -> 3 classes Animal, Vegtable, Min.
161 "the naturalist is the man concerned with the structure of the visible world and its denomination according to characters. Not with life."
History of Sexuality volume one
by Michel Foucault
Vintage books: NY, 1978
6 relationship between sex and power -> repression. Allows us to deliberately transgress by talking about it
33 multiplicity of duscourses on sex
35 "what is peculiar to modern societies, in fact, is not that they consigned sex to a shadow existence, but that they dedicated themselves to speeches of it ad Infinitum while exploiting it as the secret."
60 "Confession frees, but power reduces one to silence."
94 summary of power
    sexuality -> controlled by an institution of marriage -> plant marriages
Carl Linnaeus in his time and place page 145-162
by Lisbet Koerner in Cultures of Natural History N.Jardine(ed)
145 value of his classifications lay in their everyday usefulness and lowered entrance fee to study nature.
147 1735 completed classification system and then slotted nature in.
    Privileged 1st hand experience = gifted and rigorous handbooks were brief to read and small to carry in straightforward Latin
148 poor students and common people could learn and women 'possible science'
    Philosophia botanica (1751) has instructions
    "Linnaeus repeatedly promised to replace his sexual system with a natural system."
    For him, artificial and natural schemes were linked -> provisional means to a more perfect end.
149 'atheoretical systematics where lay collectors enjoyed the same status as natural philosophers.
    early modern locations used phrase names by pairing opp. character (general-specific, author-author). Every new species added required new names for its congener.
150 in teaching he found students invented their own nicknames -> he developed more practical ways of referring to species.
    'Linnaeus's binomials thus emerged out of his student's work practices, in the context of his economic botany, and as a stop-gap measure to make his students more efficient support staff and collaborators."
153 Linnaeus - political economist and acclimatization experimenter his science revealed nature's harmony
154 Linnaeus primers, botanic dictionaries...
    [Linnaeus dismissed Buffon as a gardener -> why a slur?]
155 Lettres elementaires sur la lootanique - Rousseau
156 'Domesticating the wilderness, he believed, meant restoring it to an Edenic state."
157 no redemption as Luther of science
"Purposes of Linnaean Travel"
by Lisbet Koerner
Visions of Empire Cam.U Press, Camb: 1996
119 Standard Linnaeus: by 1750s most botanists conversant with his schemes, detested Byffon, class enabled a common language (hence public sphere) of science
120 remarks on Foucault's use of Linnaeus's
    old school analyzes Linn. nat. hist. by its influence on later science.
    "Schiebinger regards Linnaeus as typifying age-old genders, inequalities rather than randomly generated organizing impulses."
    "Positivist, structuralist, and feminist analyses of Linnaeus thus all focus on issues inaccessible to eighteenth-century people themselves. The wing is based on their future (our present); the Foucaulchain and the gender-oriented, on a historicized horizon of the mind centred around arbitrary taxonomical proclivities or antediluvian male machinations."
    Look at Linnaeus' stated reasons for studying the natural history concept of the divine 'economy of nature' [from Boyle, Derham, Ray]
    economy = eternal natural order + "new-fangled form of knowledge"
121 "nature exists in a self-regulating state of homeostasis."
122 god created the earth as a theatre for people to contemplate and since humans were the miracle of nature domesticating the wilderness meant returning it to its Edenic state.
    consider his plant work as part of a grander scheme.
126 Saw Earth as a natural history cabinet -> Findlen
127 sent students out into the world -> Latous
130 students/Swedish gout reduced natural history to an "Easter-egg hunt"
138 Understood necessities of voyages of discovery for the policy of import substitution

Bibliographic Information

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 8 (1977) no 2
Foucault and the History of Classification Theory
by Vernon Pratt page 163-171

These are notes I made after reading this book. See more book notes

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