Essay on The Role of Natural History

Essay on The Role of Natural History

Length: 758 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Cuvier’s introduction he discusses the essence of natural sciences as to “render sensible in all its parts the mutual influence of every being” (Cuvier, 4). Cuvier is able to show that natural history is an indispensible part of natural philosophy and can successfully unveil the laws of nature. In making this assertion Cuvier argues that natural history plays an equal and scientific role in uncovering the system of natural sciences when compared to more empirical methods such as dynamics or chemistry. These empirical forms are able to establish laws through calculation, or experiment where natural history relies on observation.
He shows that each of these forms are powerful in their own right but fail when attempting to explain all of natural science. Cuvier explains that each science addresses natural philosophy in an individual yet unified way. Each branch of science dissects a philosophical issue to arrive at a greater understanding. This is often done by experiment or dissecting it into parts and calculating their relationship and equilibrium. One cannot experiment in an open system without throwing off the dynamic, just as one cannot explain the through calculation the equilibrium in a vast and complicated system. The study of natural history cannot always dissect its subjects as does dynamics and chemistry because in their parts, the subjects no longer function. In these absences, natural history systematically observes and describes in order to fully understand general laws. While observation and description seem to be less scientific ways of understanding Cuvier argues that they have their place. Cuvier argues that this method must be systematic and natural.
While some such as John Ray argue that the re...


... middle of paper ...


... habitat. Through this process of observation and comparison one can arrive at a true philosophical understanding of nature. In combination with general laws of physics or chemistry, natural history helps to produce a coherent understanding of the system of nature.
Cuvier shows that a philosophical understanding of nature cannot be obtained by calculation, experimentation, or observation alone, each of these methods play an important role in coming up with general laws which govern nature. Natural history is not given the luxury of being able to dissect its subjects and still retain their function and therefore has to rely on observation. While observation may seem to be a less scientific means, if observations are compared, general rules and relationships can be deduced. Through the systematic use of comparison one can arrive at a natural philosophical truth.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

What Does Language And Reason Play A Role? History And Natural Sciences?

- Because of my Indian upbringing, I strongly believe that application is the key to knowledge. Similarly, a quote that explicitly reflects this value is: “Without application in the world, the value of knowledge is greatly diminished.” In terms of application, this is defined as the sharing of personal knowledge with the surrounding society. Once this knowledge is apportioned, the value of knowldege, which is defined as the relevance or signifcance of information, is decided by already existing information and leads to solutions to societal needs and problems....   [tags: Richard Nixon, Watergate scandal]

Better Essays
1594 words (4.6 pages)

The Natural History Museum Of Los Angeles Essay

- To start off, a Natural History Museum is usually a place where the public can visit to obtain knowledge on the history of the earth and its inhabitants. Much about people’s culture and customs is found at a Natural History museum, especially people that have made a difference or played a role in history that we learn today. Therefore, the Indigenous peoples are represented at these precise museums. The indigenous people have various amount of customs that are even used today, however, the fact that many of their descriptions are led by the word “history” or “ancient” almost makes the guests at museums believe that these indigenous people are no longer alive, and that is incorrect....   [tags: Maya civilization, Mesoamerica, Aztec, Guatemala]

Better Essays
1790 words (5.1 pages)

The Between Humans And Natural Environment Essay

- Environment as a concept enables students to understand the important interrelationships between humans and the natural environment by focusing on two main progressions (ACARA, 2014). The first is the understanding of key elements of the environment, while the second focuses on people-environment interrelationships and human dependence to the environment (Catling et al., 2013). Through this concept, students can build on their curiosity of the world around them by exploring the benefits of vegetation....   [tags: Natural environment, Geography, Environment]

Better Essays
1115 words (3.2 pages)

The Natural, By Kevin Baker Essay

- Bernard Malamud emerged as a crucial and contemporary innovator of sports literature. Sports literature as defined by Kevin Baker’s introduction, are stories “drawing upon the natural drama of any sporting contest, and imparting life lessons freely along the way” (viii). Malamud’s debut novel The Natural, is a grim and “antiheroic tale” of a baseball player Roy Hobbs “whose ambitions and desires are constantly thwarted” (vii). Through his novel The Natural, Malamud emerges as a prestigious figure of sports literature through his combination of mythology and baseball, in order to create memorable works in this literary tradition....   [tags: Baseball, Bernard Malamud, The Natural, Novel]

Better Essays
735 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Natural Selection Acts On Organisms ( Millstein )

- Millstein, a scientists experimenting with species of beetles, argued that each of these positions could be right in one way, but wrong in another in that natural selection takes place at the level of populations, but it is a causal process when done this way (2006). Arguments between scientists are often if natural selection acts on a population level or an individual level (Millstein, 2006). Dealing with this issue of levels, the difference between the two arguments can be shown by an example of a person believing, in terms of the levels of selection, that selection acts on organisms (Millstein, 2006)....   [tags: Evolution, Natural selection, Kin selection]

Better Essays
1393 words (4 pages)

Seventeenth Century Development of Natural Law Essay

- The seventeenth century witnessed what has been called the "heroic" period in the development of modern natural law theory.1 Beginning with Hugo Grotius, Protestant thinkers began to experiment with scholastic natural law ideas to produce a distinctive and highly successful tradition of natural jurisprudence that would come to dominate European political thought. Viewed from the eighteenth century, the success of the tradition could be, and often was, taken for granted, but such retrospective views could often conceal the extent to which the early pioneers faced real challenges in their attempts to reconcile natural law ideas with the rigors of Protestant theology....   [tags: Natural Law History]

Free Essays
949 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about The Natural Disaster Of American History

- Having been witness to one of the most devastating natural disaster in American history, I became drawn to the systematic study of humankind. Having seen life as seemingly perpetual, Katrina was my first lesson of how life is in fact, finite. Partaking in the repatriation of those who had departed, my curiosity grew on how those who were no longer identifiable by integumentary means. In particular, I became fascinated with the caskets that had become permanent fixtures of my street following the receding flood waters....   [tags: Anthropology, Culture, Bone]

Better Essays
964 words (2.8 pages)

Symbolism in Bernard Malamud's The Natural Essay

- Symbolism in Bernard Malamud's The Natural    The role of symbolism in Bernard Malamud's The Natural is important in helping the reader understand the theme and meaning of the novel as well as the time period in which it took place.  Malamud¡¦s use of symbolism defines the character of Roy Hobbs and shows how the events occurring around him affected his decisions and, eventually, his career.    Symbolism in The Natural takes the form of characters, such as women who strongly influenced Roy; historical events, such as the infamous 1919 World Series scandal; and even Greek and Roman mythology.  All forms of symbolism used by Malamud are woven into the life and career of Roy Hobbs....   [tags: Bernard Malamud The Natural Essays]

Better Essays
2419 words (6.9 pages)

Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection Essay examples

- Darwin collected and described thousands of animals and plants. In South America he observed the adaptations of organisms to a variety of habitat from jungle to grassland to mountain habitats. In the temperate regions the species resembled more closely the species of the tropical regions of South America rather than the corresponding species of the temperate regions of Europe. For example, in the grasslands of Argentina there are no rabbits, however, there are rodents that resemble rabbits; these rodents are unrelated to European rabbits but are similar to other rodents in South America....   [tags: Natural Selection, Evolution Essays]

Better Essays
1664 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on History

- That history contains errors, will not come as news to a person who has reflected on the topic. The very first history, a Greek one, History of Herodotus, written around 450 BC, likely had quite a number of fictional details so as to effect its purpose.1 Those parts of our history which are suspected to be fiction are, at least, through research and comparison, salvageable. What, however, is possibly more disturbing than the realization that, in general and throughout, our history is wrong (a sub-topic which I shall treat to a greater extent further on, herein) is the realization that there are great gaps in it....   [tags: History Historian Reflection]

Free Essays
911 words (2.6 pages)