Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), a Swedish physician and botanist whose system for naming, ranking, and classifying organisms, developed in the 18th century, is still widely used today. In Systema naturae (1735), Linnaeus approached the problem of classifying species empirically. Beginning not as most of his predecessors did with large classes, but with the individual species themselves, which he then arranged according to their similarities, he worked up from species to kingdom. Linnaeus established the modern binomial system of nomenclature (genus name plus species name) for plants and animals. A tenth edition of System naturae (1758) included a classification of over four thousand species of animals, including human beings, which Linnaeus designated as Homo sapiens. Linnaeus’ ideas on classification have influenced generations of biologists during and after his lifetime, even those opposed to the philosophical and theological roots of his work.
Carl Linnaeus was also known as Carl von Linné or Carolus Linnaeus.