“The testimony of my own eyes”: The strange case of the mammal with a beak

Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):43-49 (2012)
There has always been a significant element of trust when we look at an image of something we have not seen, above all when it looks naturalistic and convincing. Illustrators often employ naturalistic tricks in the service of the “rhetoric of reality.” The case study is the Australian Duck-Billed Platypus, which stretched credibility when it was first discovered, resembling an artificially confected monster. The first scientific account, by George Shaw in T he Naturalist’s Miscellany in 1799, is a masterpiece of wonder and scepticism in which he finally convinces himself and us of the reality of the strange beast. However, how many of us have seen a real one?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.4245/sponge.v6i1.17157
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,780
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
A Spur to Atavism: Placing Platypus Poison.Peter Hobbins - 2015 - Journal of the History of Biology 48 (4):499-537.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Can Testimony Generate Knowledge?Peter J. Graham - 2006 - Philosophica 78:105-127.
How Lucky Can You Get?Sanford Goldberg - 2007 - Synthese 158 (3):315-327.
English Law's Epistemology of Expert Testimony.Tony Ward - 2006 - Journal of Law and Society 33 (4):572-595.
The Nature of Testimony.Jennifer Lackey - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (2):177–197.
Testimony: Evidence and Responsibility.Matthew Carl Weiner - 2003 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Testimony, Knowledge, and Epistemic Goals.Steven L. Reynolds - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 110 (2):139 - 161.
Aesthetic Testimony: What Can We Learn From Others About Beauty and Art?Aaron Meskin - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):65–91.
The Epistemology of Testimony.Duncan Pritchard - 2004 - Philosophical Issues 14 (1):326–348.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
5 ( #656,804 of 2,214,632 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,824 of 2,214,632 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature