Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,145 words)

1. Definition

The fact that for most known species, reproduction of animal and vegetable life is anisogamous (by the fusion of different gametes) is described by the term dimorphism (or bimorphism). The concept relates to the binary structure of the living world, a structure that is also reflected in many other spheres, such as language. Wherever nature metaphors and analogies are in use, dimorphism is a widespread conceptual and presentational model, even in fields far beyond biology.

At all periods, dimorphi…

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Sieglerschmidt, Jörn, “Dimorphism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 03 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_018342>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626

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