“Temminck’s Order” is the scientific biography of Coenraad Jacob Temminck (1778–1850), a Dutch naturalist and the first director of ’s Rijks Museum van Natuurlijke Historie in Leiden. It embeds Temminck’s career in the context of the development of nineteenth-century zoological classification, which has been explored only partially. Addressing this historiographic silence, this book examines, among other things, Temminck’s law on the geographical distribution of animals, his classification systems, his definitions of type and genus, and his debates with fellow naturalists. From this study, three main issues emerge as the most relevant at that time: the development of systematics as a discipline, the rise of a meritocracy in natural history and the status of systematics within natural history and natural philosophy. “Temminck’s Order” provides a more detailed view of the complex history of zoological classification, with the conclusion that systematics came of age between 1800 and 1850.

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Staff publications

Gassó Miracle, M.E. (2019, October 18). Temminck's order : debates on zoological classification: 1800-1850.