The Development of Darwin's Theory: Natural History, Natural Theology, and Natural Selection, 1838-1859 / Edition 1

The Development of Darwin's Theory: Natural History, Natural Theology, and Natural Selection, 1838-1859 / Edition 1

by Dov Ospovat
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521469406

ISBN-13: 9780521469401

Pub. Date: 04/28/1995

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Dov Ospovat's book, originally published in 1981, has become generally accepted as one of the most influential books about Darwin published in recent years. Ospovat examines the period of 1838-1859, two decades preceding the publication of On the Origin of Species, in detail and shows that Darwin's views changed quite radically from initially believing that animals

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Overview

Dov Ospovat's book, originally published in 1981, has become generally accepted as one of the most influential books about Darwin published in recent years. Ospovat examines the period of 1838-1859, two decades preceding the publication of On the Origin of Species, in detail and shows that Darwin's views changed quite radically from initially believing that animals and plants were perfectly adapted to their environments, and that evolution only occurred when the environment changed, to believing that living things were not perfectly adapted, were in constant competition with each other, and hence were continually evolving. By placing Darwin within the other biological developments of the day, he is able to show that he was not the scientific recluse of popular myth. He also shows that there was a theological basis for much of Darwin's original 1838-1844 theory, and his later principle of divergence was influenced by his belief in evolutionary progress.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521469401
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/28/1995
Edition description:
First Paperback Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.71(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

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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