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The Development of Darwin's Theory: Natural History, Natural Theology, and Natural Selection, 1838-1859

By: D Ospovat

302 pages, 6 b/w photos, 3 illus

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Sep 1995 | #40551 | ISBN: 0521469406
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £40.99 $53/€48 approx

About this book

Originally published in 1981, this book has become generally accepted as one of the most influential books about Darwin published in recent years. `...a brilliant, groundbreaking book, the first full-blooded attempt to relate Darwin's science to the biology of his day.' Adrian Desmond.

'a brilliant, groundbreaking book, the first full-blooded attempt to relate Darwin's science to the biology of his day.' Adrian Desmond 'It continues to be the best general treatment of the history of British biology of the decades immediately preceding the Origin of Species.' Nicolaas A. Rupke 'a landmark in Darwinian studies.' Stephen Jay Gould 'an impressive, erudite and provocative book.' Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 'The style is clear, the narrative fascinating. It is an original and important contribution to the Darwin literature.' New Scientist ' ... remains an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the formation of Darwin's theory in his 20 years of work after returning from the Beagle.' C. U. M. Smith, Annals of Human Biology


List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; Note on manuscript citations; Introduction: Darwin and his fellow naturalists; 1. Darwin and the biology of the 1830s: some parallels; 2. Darwin before Malthus; 3. Natural selection and perfect adaptation, 1838-1844; 4. Part II of Darwin's work on species; 5. Natural history after Cuvier: the branching conception of nature; 6. Darwin and the branching conception; 7. Classification and the 'principle of divergence'; 8. The principle of divergence and the transformation of Darwin's theory; 9. Natural selection and 'natural improvement'; Conclusion: the development of Darwin's theory as a social progress; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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