|Died||20 May 1793 73) (aged|
|Citizenship||Citizen of the Republic of Geneva|
|Influences||Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz|
Charles Bonnet (French: [bɔnɛ] ; 13 March 1720 – 20 May 1793) was a Genevan naturalist and philosophical writer. He is responsible for coining the term phyllotaxis to describe the arrangement of leaves on a plant.
Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals, fungi and plants in their environment; leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history is called a naturalist or natural historian.
In botany, phyllotaxis or phyllotaxy is the arrangement of leaves on a plant stem. Phyllotactic spirals form a distinctive class of patterns in nature.
Bonnet was from a French family driven into the Geneva region by the religious persecution in the 16th century.
Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another individual or group. The most common forms are religious persecution, racism and political persecution, though there is naturally some overlap between these terms. The inflicting of suffering, harassment, imprisonment, internment, fear, or pain are all factors that may establish persecution, but not all suffering will necessarily establish persecution. The suffering experienced by the victim must be sufficiently severe. The threshold level of severity has been a source of much debate.
Bonnet's seems never to have left the Geneva region, and does not appear to have taken any part in public affairs except for the period between 1752 and 1768, during which he was a member of the council of the republic. The last twenty five years of his life he spent quietly in the country, at Genthod, near Geneva, where he died after a long and painful illness on 20 May 1793. His wife was a lady of the family of De la Rive. They had no children, but Madame Bonnet's nephew, the celebrated Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, was brought up as their son.
Genthod is a municipality of the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland.
He made law his profession, but his favourite pursuit was the study of natural science. The account of the ant-lion in Noël-Antoine Pluche's Spectacle de la nature, which he read in his sixteenth year, turned his attention to insect life. He procured RAF de Réaumur's work on insects, and with the help of live specimens succeeded in adding many observations to those of Réaumur and Pluche. In 1740, Bonnet communicated to the Academy of Sciences a paper containing a series of experiments establishing what is now termed parthenogenesis in aphids or tree-lice, which obtained for him the honour of being admitted a corresponding member of the academy. During that year he had been in correspondence with his uncle Abraham Trembley who had recently discovered the hydra. This little creature became the hit of all the salons across Europe once philosophers and natural scientists saw its amazing regenerative capabilities.In 1741, Bonnet began to study reproduction by fusion and the regeneration of lost parts in the freshwater hydra and other animals; and in the following year he discovered that the respiration of caterpillars and butterflies is performed by pores, to which the name of stigmata (or spiracles) has since been given. In 1743, he was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society; and in the same year he became a doctor of laws—his last act in connection with a profession which had ever been distasteful to him. In 1753, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and on 15 December 1769 a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.
Noël-Antoine Pluche, known as the abbé Pluche, was a French priest. He is now known for his Spectacle de la nature, a most popular work of natural history.
Parthenogenesis is a natural form of asexual reproduction in which growth and development of embryos occur without fertilization. In animals, parthenogenesis means development of an embryo from an unfertilized egg cell. In plants parthenogenesis is a component process of apomixis.
His first published work appeared in 1745, entitled Traité d'insectologie, in which were collected his various discoveries regarding insects, along with a preface on the development of germs and the scale of organized beings. Botany, particularly the leaves of plants, next attracted his attention; and after several years of diligent study, rendered irksome by the increasing weakness of his eyesight, he published in 1754 one of the most original and interesting of his works, Recherches sur l'usage des feuilles dans les plantes. In this book, he observes that gas bubbles form on plant leaves that have been submerged in water, indicating gas exchange; and among other things he advances many considerations tending to show (as was later done by Francis Darwin) that plants are endowed with powers of sensation and discernment. But Bonnet's eyesight, which threatened to fail altogether, caused him to turn to philosophy. In 1754 his Essai de psychologie was published anonymously in London. This was followed by the Essai analytique sur les facultés de l'âme (Copenhagen, 1760), in which he develops his views regarding the physiological conditions of mental activity. He returned to physical science, but to the speculative side of it, in his Considerations sur les corps organisées (Amsterdam, 1762), designed to refute the theory of epigenesis, and to explain and defend the doctrine of pre-existent germs. In his Contemplation de la nature (Amsterdam, 1764–1765; translated into Italian, German, English and Dutch), one of his most popular and delightful works, he sets forth, in eloquent language, the theory that all the beings in nature form a gradual scale rising from lowest to highest, without any break in its continuity. His last important work was the Palingénésie philosophique (Geneva, 1769–1770); in it he treats of the past and future of living beings, and supports the idea of the survival of all animals, and the perfecting of their faculties in a future state.
A microorganism, or microbe, is a microscopic organism, which may exist in its single-celled form or in a colony of cells.
Botany, also called plant science(s), plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek word βοτάνη (botanē) meaning "pasture", "grass", or "fodder"; βοτάνη is in turn derived from βόσκειν (boskein), "to feed" or "to graze". Traditionally, botany has also included the study of fungi and algae by mycologists and phycologists respectively, with the study of these three groups of organisms remaining within the sphere of interest of the International Botanical Congress. Nowadays, botanists study approximately 410,000 species of land plants of which some 391,000 species are vascular plants, and approximately 20,000 are bryophytes.
Sir Francis "Frank" Darwin was a British botanist. He was a son of the naturalist and scientist Charles Darwin, and brother of George Howard Darwin, Horace Darwin, and Leonard Darwin.
In 1760 he described a condition now called Charles Bonnet Syndrome,in which vivid, complex visual hallucinations (fictive visual percepts) occur in psychologically normal people. (He documented it in his 87-year-old grandfather, who was nearly blind from cataracts in both eyes but perceived men, women, birds, carriages, buildings, tapestries and scaffolding patterns.) Most people affected are elderly with visual impairments, however the phenomenon does not occur only in the elderly or in those with visual impairments; it can also be caused by damage elsewhere in their optic pathway or brain.
Bonnet's philosophical system may be outlined as follows. Man is a compound of two distinct substances, mind and body, the one immaterial and the other material. All knowledge originates in sensations; sensations follow (whether as physical effects or merely as sequents Bonnet will not say) vibrations in the nerves appropriate to each; and lastly, the nerves are made to vibrate by external physical stimulus. A nerve once set in motion by a particular object tends to reproduce that motion; so that when it a second time receives an impression from the same object it vibrates with less resistance. The sensation accompanying this increased flexibility in the nerve is, according to Bonnet, the condition of memory. When reflection—that is, the active element in mind—is applied to the acquisition and combination of sensations, those abstract ideas are formed which, though generally distinguished from, are thus merely sensations in combination only. That which puts the mind into activity is pleasure or pain; happiness is the end of human existence.
Bonnet's metaphysical theory is based on two principles borrowed from Leibniz: first, that there are not successive acts of creation, but that the universe is completed by the single original act of the divine will, and thereafter moves on by its own inherent force; and secondly, that there is no break in the continuity of existence. The divine Being originally created a multitude of germs in a graduated scale, each with an inherent power of self-development. At every successive step in the progress of the universe, these germs, as progressively modified, advance nearer to perfection; if some advanced and others did not there would be a gap in the continuity of the chain. Thus not man only but all other forms of existence are immortal. Nor is man's mind alone immortal; his body also will pass into the higher stage, not, indeed, the body he now possesses, but a finer one of which the germ at present exists within him. It is impossible, however, to reach absolute perfection, because the distance is infinite.
In this final proposition, Bonnet violates his own principle of continuity, by postulating an interval between the highest created being and the Divine. It is also difficult to understand whether the constant advance to perfection is performed by each individual, or only by each race of beings as a whole. There seems, in fact, to be an oscillation between two distinct but analogous doctrines—that of the constantly increasing advancement of the individual in future stages of existence, and that of the constantly increasing advancement of the race as a whole according to the successive evolutions of the globe. In Philosophical Palingesis, or Ideas on the Past and Future States of Living Beings (1770), Bonnet argued that females carry within them all future generations in a miniature form. He believed these miniature beings, sometimes called homonculi, would be able to survive even great cataclysms such as the biblical Flood; he predicted, moreover, that these catastrophes brought about evolutionary change, and that after the next disaster, men would become angels, mammals would gain intelligence, and so on.
Bonnet had an influence on other philosophers and pre-evolutionary thinkers; James Burnett, Lord Monboddo is known to have studied his publications on insects and to have been influenced as he developed concepts on progression of species (evolution).
Bonnet's complete works appeared at Neuchâtel in 1779–1783, partly revised by himself. An English translation of certain portions of the Palingénésie philosophique was published in 1787, under the title Philosophical and Critical Inquiries concerning Christianity. See also A Lemoine, Charles Bonnet (Paris, 1850); the duc de Caraman, Charles Bonnet, philosophe et naturaliste (Paris, 1859); Max Offner, Die Psychologie C. B. (Leipzig, 1893); Joh. Speck, in Arch. f. Gesch. d. Philos x. (1897), xi. (1897), pp. 58 foIl., Xi. (1898) pp. 1–211; J Trembley, Vie privée et littéraire de C. B. (Bern, 1794).
René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur was a French entomologist and writer who contributed to many different fields, especially the study of insects. He introduced the Réaumur temperature scale.
Étienne Bonnot de Condillac was a French philosopher and epistemologist, who studied in such areas as psychology and the philosophy of the mind.
François-Pierre-Gontier de Biran, usually known as Maine de Biran, was a French philosopher. Descendant from Arnaud Gontier, the first known member of the family born in 861.
Horace Bénédict de Saussure was a Genevan geologist, meteorologist, physicist, mountaineer and Alpine explorer, often called the founder of alpinism and modern meteorology, and considered to be the first person to build a successful solar oven.
François Huber, also known as Francis in English publications or Franz in German publications was a Swiss entomologist who specialized in honey bees. His pioneering work was recognized all across Europe and based on thorough observation with the help of several assistants due to his blindness.
Jean Senebier was a Genevan Calvinist pastor and naturalist. He was born in Geneva, the son of a wealthy merchant. He wrote extensively on plant physiology and was one of the major early pioneers of photosynthesis research. Senebier also published on the experimental method, first in 1775, and then in an expanded work, in 1802. His precise definition of the experimental method anticipated the work of noted French physiologist Claude Bernard fifty years later. Senebier also served as chief librarian of the Republic of Geneva.
Augustin Pyramus de Candolle also spelled Augustin Pyrame de Candolle was a Swiss botanist. René Louiche Desfontaines launched de Candolle's botanical career by recommending him at an herbarium. Within a couple of years de Candolle had established a new genus, and he went on to document hundreds of plant families and create a new natural plant classification system. Although de Candolle's main focus was botany, he also contributed to related fields such as phytogeography, agronomy, paleontology, medical botany, and economic botany.
Mathurin Jacques Brisson was a French zoologist and natural philosopher.
Sir John Pringle, 1st Baronet, PRS was a British physician who has been called the "father of military medicine".
Visual release hallucinations, known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome, are a type of psychophysical visual disturbance and the experience of complex visual hallucinations in a person with partial or severe blindness.
Louis Gabriel Ambroise, Vicomte de Bonald, was a French counter-revolutionary philosopher and politician. Mainly, he is remembered for developing a set of social theories that exercised a powerful influence in shaping the ontological framework from which French sociology would emerge.
Abraham Trembley was a Genevan naturalist. He is best known for being the first to study freshwater polyps or hydra and for being among the first to develop experimental zoology. His mastery of experimental method has led some historians of science to credit him as the "father of biology".
Ami Boué was a geologist of French origin. He was born at Hamburg, and received his early education there and in Geneva and Paris.
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Baron Charles de Geer was a Swedish industrialist and entomologist.
Jean Trembley, born at Geneva, contributed to the development of differential equations, finite differences, and the calculus of probabilities. He was also active in philosophy, astronomy and psychology.
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Georges de Morsier was a French-Swiss neurologist.
Essai sur les mœurs et l'esprit des nations is a work by the French writer, historian, and philosopher Voltaire, published for the first time in 1756. It discusses the history of Europe before Charlemagne until the dawn of the age of Louis XIV, also addressing the colonies and the East.
Charles-Benjamin de Langes de Montmirail, baron de Lubières, 1714, Berlin – 1 June 1790, was a Genevan mathematician.
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