As a comparative anatomist and skilled draftsman, Petrus Camper could demonstrate the hidden prototype “with a few strokes of the pencil” by progressively tracing one organism into another. Camper demonstrated the morphological principle of correlation in all animals by the mechanical exercise he called a “metamorphosis.”
The word “metamorphosis” came from the Greek, meta or “over” and morphe or “form,” refers to a change of form. Camper’s studies of the facial line in human metamorphoses was later termed the “facial angle.” His graphical exercises were designed to demonstrate the actual mechanism of physiognomical variation in nature. The material variation of any one feature immediately modified the mutually-related parts, resulting in recognizable physiognomies.
Miriam Claude Meijer created these computer animated graphics from Camper’s original drawings.
Petrus Camper’s metamorphosis in an individual over time:
In the second half of the eighteenth century, Georges de Buffon and his colleagues in the life sciences added an active or self-activating force to the mechanists’ imparted force and conserved force. This vitalist principle reintroduced both development and contingency as explanatory concepts. The goal of mediation between regular development and free creation was to find the similar tendencies between dissimilar things; this hidden organizer was the ground on which all reality rested. This hidden, informing agent was named “internal mold” by Buffon, “prototype” by Robinet, “Urtype” by Goethe, or “Haupttypus” by Herder.
of emotions in one individual: