Abstract
The concept of similarity plays a crucial role in biology, especially in natural history. Despite its apparent familiarity it has been subject again and again to reinterpretations — it may even be stated that the main streams of theoretical thinking in the life sciences are reflected and condensed in its ever changing meaning. The changing content of the concept is analyzed from Linnaean systematics through classical morphology and comparative anatomy to Darwinian evolutionary thinking. It appears that the meaning of similarity is inseparable from the function of the concept in theory, viz. its operational determination. In addition a remarkable correspondence has to be recognized between the notion of similarity and the conceptualization of an organism as the basic unit of life
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Natural History and Information Overload: The Case of Linnaeus.Staffan Müller-Wille & Isabelle Charmantier - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):4-15.
Natural History and Information Overload: The Case of Linnaeus.Staffan Müller-Wille & Isabelle Charmantier - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):4-15.
Collection and Collation: Theory and Practice of Linnaean Botany.Staffan Müller-Wille - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (3):541-562.
Collection and Collation: Theory and Practice of Linnaean Botany.Staffan Müller-Wille - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (3):541-562.

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