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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Cladistics, Phylogeny, Systematics & Taxonomy

Phylogenetic Systematics Haeckel to Hennig

By: Olivier Rieppel(Author)
380 pages, 27 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Phylogenetic Systematics
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  • Phylogenetic Systematics ISBN: 9780367876456 Paperback Dec 2019 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1 week
  • Phylogenetic Systematics ISBN: 9781498754880 Hardback Jun 2016 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1 week
Selected version: £185.00
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Phylogenetic Systematics: Haeckel to Hennig traces the development of phylogenetic systematics against the foil of idealistic morphology through 100 years of German biology. It starts with the iconic Ernst Haeckel – the German Darwin from Jena – and the evolutionary morphology he developed. It ends with Willi Hennig, the founder of modern phylogenetic systematics. Written in English, the book presents a unique perspective on a vast body of German biological literature.

Phylogenetic Systematics: Haeckel to Hennig also offers a perspective on German biology in the Third Reich. The author looks at how idealistic morphology and phylogenetic systematics represented two antagonistic traditions in German biology, the first organicist-holistic, the latter empiricist-positivistic. In addition, he explains the ways in which both traditions acquired socio-political and ideological connotations, culminating in their accommodation to different strands of Nazi ideology.

Phylogenetic Systematics: Haeckel to Hennig's nine chapters summarize a century of the conceptual development of systematics, describe both the history and philosophy of phylogenetic approaches to the understanding of the history of life, examine the role of important people such as Haeckel, Gegenbauer, Portman, von Bertalanffy, Stresemann, and Hennig, and critically evaluate the impact and influence of Nazism on evolutionary biology.


The Evolutionary Turn in Comparative Anatomy
- Carl Gegenbaur's Idealistic Morphology
- Haeckel's Assault on Idealistic Morphology
- The Gegenbaur Transformation

Of Parts and Wholes
- Beobachtung und Reflexion
- Single Cause, Complex Effect
- Levels and Modes of Individuality
- Species, Individuals, History, and Reality
- Changing Metaphors of Order in Nature: The Ladder, The Tree, and The Web
- Monophyly: The Evolution of Species and Languages
- Reaching Out Beyond Jena

The Turn against Haeckel
- The Poverty of Systematics
- Hailing from the Hinterland
- Logic Meets History
- Plato's Turntable
- Biological Fragments Concerning an Understanding of Man
- Limits of Scientific Knowledge

The Rise of Holism in German Biology
- The Cell State
- The Struggle among the Parts
- Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
- Mechanics and Biology
- Animal Psychology and Umwelt
- The Congress in Prague

The Rise of German ("Aryan") Biology
- A Time of Crisis
- The Rebirth of Science in a Goethean Spirit
- Science in the Name of the Volk
- Deutsche Biologie

- Enkapsis: Hierarchically Structured Complex Wholes
- Bridging from Anatomy to Ecology
- Singing the Praises of Forests and Lakes
- Bringing Fossils to Life
- Grotesquely Grandiose: The Evolutionary Synthesis in Völkisch Spirit

The Ideological Instrumentalization of Biology
- The Reconstruction of Ernst Haeckel
- The Deconstruction of Ernst Lehmann
- Pioneers of Phylogenetic Systematics: Their Battle against Idealistic Morphology

A New Beginning: From Speciation to Phylogenetics
- The Stresemann School
- The Berlin School Branches Out to Dresden
- Willi Hennig
- A Prospectus for Phylogenetic Systematics

Grundzüge: The Conceptual Foundations of Phylogenetic Systematics
- Systematics—"Speziesmacherei" or a True Science?
- The Empirical Base of Phylogenetic Systematics
- Phylogenetic Hierarchy
- The Cladogram
- Heterobathmy of Characters


Literature Cited

Customer Reviews


Olivier Rieppel is Rowe Family Curator of Evolutionary Biology at The Field Museum in Chicago. His main current research interests focus on Triassic marine reptiles from southern China. He also contributed extensively to the comparative anatomy and evolution of modern reptiles, most notably the evolutionary origin of turtles and snakes. He published widely in the history and philosophy of comparative biology on topics as diverse as species concepts, mid-eighteenth-century French biology, and the history of phylogenetic systematics. Rieppel is on the editorial board of several peer-reviewed scientific journals and has, himself, published more than 350 scientific papers and 7 books.

By: Olivier Rieppel(Author)
380 pages, 27 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"The whole is a complex and compelling story that requires attention to the details of the argument. The breadth and depth of Rieppel's coverage of these controversies is the major strength of this book. Another major strength is the analysis of what can go wrong when science is subverted by politics. For those who wish to understand the roots of phylogenetic systematics and its philosophical basis, this volume is an essential resource."
– E. O Wiley in The Quarterly Review of Biology.

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