Sunday, August 16, 2009

Carl von Linne - species being

Here's a portrait of the Swedish man who set up the classification system for much of the natural world. Systema naturae is the reference! This is taken in the Zoo at Amsterdam in a small annexe to the aquarium. In very low light with high ASA, there's a bit of noise but I gave it a watercolour look and I think it came out well. It's a very strong face don't you think? I fear he may have been a little difficult in matters of scientific discussion and we're none the worse for that. The first version of Systema naturae was printed in the Netherlands where he lived for three years. Where are we in this classification? Are we a species? It's argued that we are different from animals because animals act out of the instinct whereas we, as people, do not. Various German philosophers coined the term species-being to distinguish humans' conscious activity from instinctive actions. This is probably why Freud's work was originally unpopular because we do not care for the idea that part of our conscious activity remains driven by instinctive impulses.