Göttingen: Heinrich Dieterich, 1805. 8vo. xvi, 549 pp. FIRST EDITION. Complete with half-title, engraved title depicting a bust of Democritus and 8 engraved plates; Original boards, an excellent copy with the large bookplate of H.A. and a contemporary signature on title. Item #13904
First edition of this monumental work in the history of comparative anatomy and human development. Blumenbach believed that an organism’s morphology was capable of being modified by the environment and that the resultant changes were inherited. He argued that zoological classification should be based on structures associated with an animal’s specific functions; it was in this way that he came to make such ground-breaking contributions to comparative primate anatomy. Of special note are the numerous bibliographical references given as footnotes to the text.
Blumenbach (1752-1840), physiologist and anthropologist, is widely accepted as one of the founders of scientific anthropology. Probably the most far reaching of all his contributions were his classifications of the human race. He was one of the few during his time to stress the equality of the people that made up each of these variations, regardless of differences.