Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck

On classification and evolution

Extracts from:
Philosophie zoologique, ou exposition des considérations
relatives à l'histoire naturelle des animaux.

(Zoological Philosophy. An Exposition with
Regard to the Natural History of Animals)

by J.B. Lamarck
Translated by Hugh Elliot

Macmillan, London 1914
Reprinted by University of Chicago Press, 1984

"Thus, among living bodies, nature, as I have already said, definitely contains nothing but individuals which succeed one another by reproduction and spring from one another; but the species among them have only a relative constancy and are only invariable temporarily.

 Nevertheless, to facilitate the study and knowledge of so many different bodies it is useful to give the name of species to any collection of like individuals perpetuated by reproduction without change, so long as their environment does not alter enough to cause variations in their habits, character and shape."
(p. 44)

Artificial versus natural classifications, and the usefulness of "artificial devices" to study nature
Artificiality of taxa at all levels

The importance of affinities (homology) in classification and the study of nature

The nature of species, and their indefiniteness

Disbelief in the extinction of any species except those directly extirpated by man

Natural arrangement of animals, and the linear series (ladder) of nature

Evolution by use and disuse of parts: Lamarck's first and second laws

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