Natural history and temporalization: reflections on Buffon's Natural history

María Verónica Galfione

This article presents a rereading of Buffon's Natural History in the light of the concepts of temporal reversibility and irreversibility. The goal is to determine to what extent Buffon introduces a transformationist concept of natural forms in this work. To that effect, the main points of classical natural history and the doctrine of preformed germs are analyzed. Subsequently, Buffon's use of the temporal variable is considered. This examination shows that despite his rejection of the theory of preformationism and the scholastic classification system, Buffon continued to use categories based on a reversible temporal matrix.

natural history; temporality; organism; Georges-Louis Leclerc, count de Buffon (1707-1788).


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