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Linné on line arrow Linnaeus and Ecology


Linnaeus and ecology

It is as if the true Linnaeus eludes us, constantly slipping through our fingers. He vanishes around the corner just when we thought we would meet him face to face. He stands as a source of inspiration, enticing us to look upon nature with fresh eyes and to marvel at it. He stands there like an exclamation mark foiling all of our learned efforts at the writing desk. He is an enigma to return to.

Perhaps these texts will reveal some new patterns in the Linnaean mosaic. If we follow him around unexpected corners, along paths we ourselves had forgotten, he will lead us into nature. He is a roadsign pointing straight out into open country and pastures and further into the woods. Way in there we will find not only nature, but Nature.

This ecology trail will take up two themes to start with:

Linnaeus and the ideas of ecology shows how Linnaeus’ physicotheological thoughts about ‘the economy of nature’ constituted a proto-stage of 19th-century ecology.

The ascent of ecology in Sweden traces the emergence and establishment of ecology in Sweden. With the descriptive field studies of natural historians and the Linnaean tradition as a background, these developments are sketched from the perspective of the sociology of science.


Author of Swedish original: Ragnar Insulander
English translation: Donald MacQueen