02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Taxonomy as Colonial Imperialism

Coleridge pointed to this difference between an organising taxonomy and a dynamic scientific principle or law in essays in The Friend (1819). The psychology of collecting, ordering and naming specimens could also be seen as a form of mental colonising and empire-building. ‘Taxonomy after all, is a form of imperialism. During the nineteenth century, when British naval surveys were flooding London with specimens to be classified, inserting them in their proper niches in the Linnaean hierarchy...
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British scientists renaming species that were already named by the native inhabitants of the colonies as a form of oppression.