Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus

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Treviranus, Gottfried Reinhold


Born Feb. 4, 1776, in Bremen; died there Feb. 16,1837. German naturalist. Brother of L. Treviranus.

Treviranus studied medicine in Bremen and became a doctor in 1796. He studied the anatomy and physiology of invertebrates and the structure of the eyes and nervous systems of various animals. His most interesting work is the six-volume Biology, or the Philosophy of Living Nature (1802–21), in which he strongly defends the evolutionary theory that living organisms originated from formless matter and were subsequently transformed by external forces. Treviranus presented his ideas as speculation, however, and did not support them with facts.


Biologie, oder Philosophie der lebender Natur, vols. 1–6. Göttingen, 1802–21.
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For contemporary impressions and even much basic data regarding his activities, historians have had to fall back on numerous diaries and papers of Bruning's associates and ministerial aides Hennann Punder, Gottfried Treviranus, Hans Schaffer, and Max Habermann.