Ilustrações científicas e a classificação do mundo natural no século XVIII
VITOR, Fernanda Cavalcanti. Ilustrações científicas e a classificação do mundo natural no século XVIII. 2021. 160f. Tese (Doutorado em Ensino de Ciências e Matemática) - Centro de Ciências Exatas e da Terra, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, 2021.
Vitor, Fernanda Cavalcanti
We intended to carry out a historiographic study of scientific illustrations, exploring their historic and sociocultural context of production and their role in eighteenth century’s Natural History, especially in the period of the “Philosophical Journey”, headed by the Brazilian Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira, as well as to present a description of the characteristic elements of this type of visual representation of the nature of the signaled time. We observe that there is a gap, mainly in Brazil, in this type of investigation, which considers scientific illustrations as historical sources of research and proposes an articulation between this type of visual image and science teaching, in the interface with history of science and the nature of science through “themes” and “questions”. Thus, the general aim of this study was to investigate the importance and the meaning of the use of scientific illustrations in the process of classification of the natural world in the Enlightenment period, particularly, in the context of the “Philosophical Journey” to Brazil, pointing out the contributions of the understanding of this historical process and its meanings to the teaching of natural sciences. It is, therefore, a bibliographic and qualitative work, interdisciplinary and based on the literature of contemporary historiography of science, in the field of Cultural History of Science, focusing on the scientific practices and on the visual culture of the eighteenth century. We defend that a scientific illustration is configured in a specific type of visual representation of nature, which was essential to identify distinctive structures and characteristics of the specimens and disclose the taxonomic knowledge of plants and animals in the eighteenth century, and that, from its historical and sociocultural context, we can reflect about the relevant aspects of the nature of science, such as “the role of naturalists and artists in the production of knowledge in eighteenth century”, “the relation between nature studies and society”, “the different means of production and dissemination of knowledge”, “the organization of scientific expeditions and the participation of colonies in this type of entrepreneurship”, among others.