Unidentified Floating Object


The establishment of scientific discourse during the period known as the Enlightenment magnificently illustrates the vicissitudes of imposing linguistic order on the world. Early scientists not only struggled to control an indomitable nature that refused the strict parameters of a systematizing logic, but also fought among themselves to assert their own personal schemes of how nature actually works. The career of François Péron (1775-1810) is a case in point. This young soldier-turned-naturalist and his most important object of study-the misunderstood jellyfish-became central figures in a taxonomic battle that raged for more than a hundred years, and is still not quite over.

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