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Ontogeny and Phylogeny

By: SJ Gould

510 pages, Illus, figs

Harvard University Press

Paperback | Jul 1990 | #26536 | ISBN: 0674639413
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NHBS Price: £28.95 $37/€32 approx

About this book

Documents the history of the idea of recapitulation from its appearance among the pre-Socratics to its demise in the early twentieth century. The author tries to demonstrate that it is still one of the great themes of evolutionary history.

Steve Jay Gould has given us a superb analysis of the use of ontogenetic analogy, the controversies over ontogeny and phylogeny, and the classification of the different processes observable in comparing different ontogenies. His massive book (in each chapter of which there is as much material as in whole books by other writers) is both a historical exposition of the whole subject of ontogeny and phylogeny, and...a fascinating attempt at a functional interpretation of those phylogenetic alterations that involve changes of timing developmental processes in related organisms. -- A. J. Cain Nature In Gould' book...Ontogeny and Phylogeny, a scholarly study of the theory of recapitulation, he not only explains scientific theory but comments on science itself, with clarity and wit, simultaneously entertaining and teaching...[This] is a rich book. -- James Gorman New York Times Book Review It is rare indeed to read a new book and recognize it for a classic...Gould has given biologists a new way to see the organisms they study. The result is a major achievement. -- S. Rachootin American Scientist Gould's book--pervaded, I should say, with an erudition and felicity of style that make it a delight to read--is a radical work in every sense...It returns one's attention to the roots of our science--the questions about the great pageant of evolution, the marvelous diversity of form that our theory is meant to explain. -- D. Futuyma Quarterly Review of Biology This [is a] fat, handsome book crammed with provocative ideas...Ontogeny and Phylogeny is an important and thoughtful book which will be a valuable source of ideas and controversies for anyone interested in evolutionary or developmental biology. -- Matt Cartmill Science


1. Prospectus PART ONE RECAPITULATION 2. The Analogistic Tradition from Anaximander to Bonnet The Seeds of Recapitulation in Greek Science? Ontogeny and Phylogeny in the Conflict of "Evolution" and Epigenesis: The Idyll of Charles Bonnet Appendix: The Revolution in "Evolution" 3. Transcendental Origins, 1793-1860 Naturphilosophie: An Expression of Developmentalism Two Leading Recapitulationists among the Naturphilosophen: Oken and Meckel Oken's Classification of Animals Linear Additions of Organs J. F. Meckel's Sober Statement of the Same Principles Serres and the French Transcendentalists Recapitulation and the Theory of Developmental Arrests Von Baer's Critique of Recapitulation The Direction of Development and Classification of Animals Von Baer and Naturphilosophie: What Is the Universal Direction of Development? Louis Agassiz and the Threefold Parallelism 4. Evolutionary Triumph, 1859-1900 Evolutionary Theory and Zoological Practice Darwin and the Evolution of Von Baer' Laws Evolution and the Mechanics of Recapitulation Ernst Haeckel: Phylogeny as the Mechanical Cause of Ontogeny The Mechanism of Recapitulation The American Neo-Lamarckians: The Law of Acceleration as Evolution's Motor Progressive Evolution by Acceleration The Extent of Parallelism Why Does Recapitulation Dominate the History of Life? Alpheus Hyatt and Universal Acceleration Lamarckism and the Memory Analogy Recapitulation and Darwinism Appendix: The Evolutionary Translation of von Baer's Laws 5. Pervasive Influence Criminal Anthropology Racism Child Development Primary Education Freudian Psychoanalysis Epilogue 6. Decline, Fall, and Generalization A Clever Argument An Empirical Critique Organs or Ancestors: The Transformation of Haeckel's Heterochrony Interpolations into juvenile Stages Introduction of Juvenile Features into the Adults of Descendants What Had Become of von Baer's Critique? Benign Neglect: Recapitulation and the Rise of Experimental Embryology The Prior Assumptions of Recapitulation Wilhelm His and His Physiological Embryology: A Preliminary Skirmish Roux's Entwicklungsmechanik and the Biogenetic Low Recapitulation and Substantive Issues in Experimental Embryology: The New Preformationism Mendel's Resurrection, Haeckel's Fall, and the Generalization of Recapitulation PART TWO HETEROCHRONY AND PAEDOMORPHOSIS 7. Heterochrony and the Parallel of Ontogeny and Phylogeny Acceleration and Retardation Confusion in and after Haeckel's Wake Guidelines for a Resolution The Reduction of de Beer's Categories of Heterochrony to Acceleration and Retardation A Historical Paradox: The Supposed Dominance of Recapitulation Dissociability and Heterochrony Correlation and Disociability Dissociation of the Three Processes A Metric for Dissociation Temporal Shift as a Mechanism of Dissociation A Clock Model of Heterochrony Appendix: A Note on the Multivariate Representation of Dissociation 8. The Ecological and Evolutionary Significance of Heterochrony The Argument from Frequency The Importance of Recapitulation The Importance of Heterochronic Change: Selected Cases Frequency of Paedomorphosis in the Origin of Higher Taxa A Critique of the Classical Significance of Heterochrony The Classical Arguments Retrospective and Immediate Significance Heterochrony, Ecology, and Life-History Strategies The Potential Ease and Rapidity of Heterochronic Change The Control of Metamorphosis in Insects Amphibian Paedomorphosis and the Thyroid Gland 9. Progenesis and Neoteny Insect Progenesis Prothetely and Metathetely Paedogenesis (Partheno genetic Progenesis) in Gall Midges and Beetles Progenesis in Wingless, Partheno genetic Aphids Additional Cases of Progenesis with a Similar Ecological Basis Neotenic Solitary Locusts: Are They an Exception to the Rule? Amphibian Neoteny The Ecological Determinants of Progenesis Unstable Environments Colonization Parasites Male Dispersal Progenesis as an Adaptive Response to Pressures for Small Size The Role of Heterochrony in Macroevolution: Contrasting Flexibilities for Progenesis and Neoteny Progenesis Neoteny The Social Correlates of Neoteny in Higher Vertebrates 10. Retardation and Neoteny in Human Evolution The Seeds of Neoteny The Fetalization Theory of Louis Bolk Bolk's Data Bolk's Interpretation Bolk's Evolutionary Theory A Tradition of Argument Retardation in Human Evolution Morphology in the Matrix of Retardation Of Enumeration Of Prototypes Of Correlation The Adaptive Significance of Retarded Development 11. Epilogue Notes Bibliography Glossary Index

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Stephen Jay Gould was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University and Vincent Astor Visiting Professor of Biology at New York University. A MacArthur Prize Fellow, he received innumerable honors and awards and wrote many books, including Ontogeny and Phylogeny and Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle (both from Harvard).

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