Joseph Hooker: a philosophical botanist

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Abstract

The nineteenth-century British botanist, Joseph Dalton Hooker, was one of the people whose career became a model for that of the modern, professional scientist. However, he preferred to refer to himself as a philosophical botanist, rather than a professional. This paper explores the reasons for this choice, and analyses Hooker's imperial approach to plant classification, the consequences of which are still with us.

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