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“The testimony of my own eyes”: The Strange Case of the Mammal with a Beak

Kemp, Martin (2012) “The testimony of my own eyes”: The Strange Case of the Mammal with a Beak. Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, 6 (1). pp. 43-49. ISSN 1913 0465

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Abstract

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?


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Kemp, Martin
Depositing User: Miss Charlotte Marcotte-Toale
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2019 18:29
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2019 18:29
Item ID: 15683
Journal or Publication Title: Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science
Publisher: The University of Toronto
Official URL: https://spontaneousgenerations.library.utoronto.ca...
DOI or Unique Handle: DOI: https://doi.org/10.4245/sponge.v6i1.17157
Date: 3 October 2012
Page Range: pp. 43-49
Volume: 6
Number: 1
ISSN: 1913 0465
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15683

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