Uppsala universitet
Skip links
På svenska

Linné on line arrow Linnaeus and Ecology arrow Linnaeus and the ideas of ecology

Linnaeus and the ideas of ecology


Physicotheological thinking examines and describes the relationship between God and nature and was an important source of inspiration for natural scientists in the 18th century. This article paints a picture of Linnaeus’ contribution to physicotheology and how this point of view found expression in his research on natural history. Among other things, I show how his thoughts about the ‘economy of Nature’ make up a proto-stage of 19th-century ecology and how his religiously rooted concepts are gradually translated into secular terms. Physicotheology can be said to be one of the roots of modern ecology, constituting in some respects a proto-stage of true ecology. These early studies and concepts are referred to in this text as protoecology.