The Structure of Evolutionary Theory / Edition 1

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory / Edition 1

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by Stephen Jay Gould
     
 

The world's most revered and eloquent interpreter of evolutionary ideas offers here a work of explanatory force unprecedented in our time-a landmark publication, both for its historical sweep and for its scientific vision. With characteristic attention to detail, Stephen Jay Gould first describes the content and discusses the history and origins of the three core

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Overview

The world's most revered and eloquent interpreter of evolutionary ideas offers here a work of explanatory force unprecedented in our time-a landmark publication, both for its historical sweep and for its scientific vision. With characteristic attention to detail, Stephen Jay Gould first describes the content and discusses the history and origins of the three core commitments of classical Darwinism: that natural selection works on organisms, not genes or species; that it is almost exclusively the mechanism of adaptive evolutionary change; and that these changes are incremental, not drastic. Next, he examines the three critiques that currently challenge this classic Darwinian edifice: that selection operates on multiple levels, from the gene to the group; that evolution proceeds by a variety of mechanisms, not just natural selection; and that causes operating at broader scales, including catastrophes, have figured prominently in the course of evolution. Then, in a stunning tour de force that will likely stimulate discussion and debate for decades, Gould proposes his own system for integrating these classical commitments and contemporary critiques into a new structure of evolutionary thought. In 2001 the Library of Congress named Stephen Jay Gould one of America's eighty-three Living Legends-people who embody the "quintessentially American ideal of individual creativity, conviction, dedication, and exuberance." Each of these qualities finds full expression in this peerless work, the likes of which the scientific world has not seen-and may not see again-for well over a century.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674006133
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Pages:
1464
Sales rank:
466,809
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.25(h) x 2.75(d)

Meet the Author

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).

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 10, 1941
Date of Death:
May 20, 2002
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
Boston, Massachusetts
Education:
B.S., Antioch College, 1963; Ph.D., Columbia University, 1967

Table of Contents

    • 1. Defining and Revising the Structure of Evolutionary Theory


  • Part I: The History of Darwinian Logic and Debate

    • 2. The Essence of Darwinism and the Basis of Modern Orthodoxy: An Exegesis of the Origin of Species
    • 3. Seeds of Hierarchy
    • 4. Internalism and Laws of Form: Pre-Darwinian Alternatives to Functionalism
    • 5. The Fruitful Facets of Galton’s Polyhedron: Channels and Saltations in Post-Darwinian Formalism
    • 6. Pattern and Progress on the Geological Stage
    • 7. The Modern Synthesis as a Limited Consensus


  • Part II: Towards a Revised and Expanded Evolutionary Theory

    • 8. Species as Individuals in the Hierarchical Theory of Selection
    • 9. Punctuated Equilibrium and the Validation of Macroevolutionary Theory
    • 10. The Integration of Constraint and Adaptation (Structure and Function) in Ontogeny and Phylogeny: Historical Constraints and the Evolution of Development
    • 11. The Integration of Constraint and Adaptation (Structure and Function) in Ontogeny and Phylogeny: Structural Constraints, Spandrels, and the Centrality of Exaptation in Macroevolution
    • 12. Tiers of Time and Trials of Extrapolationism, With an Epilog on the Interaction of General Theory and Contingent History


  • Bibliography
  • Index

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