Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
Revisiting the Origin of Species: The Other Darwins / Edition 1

Revisiting the Origin of Species: The Other Darwins / Edition 1

by Thierry Hoquet


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Contemporary interest in Darwin rises from a general ideal of what Darwin’s books ought to contain: a theory of transformation of species by natural selection. However, a reader opening Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, today may be struck by the fact that this "selectionist" view does not deliver the key to many aspects of the book. Without contesting the importance of natural selection to Darwinism, much less supposing that a fully-formed "Darwinism" stepped out of Darwin’s head in 1859, this innovative volume aims to return to the text of the Origin itself.

Revisiting the 'Origin of Species' focuses on Darwin as theorising on the origin of variations; showing that Darwin himself was never a pan-selectionist (in contrast to some of his followers) but was concerned with "other means of modification" (which makes him an evolutionary pluralist). Furthermore, in contrast to common textbook presentations of "Darwinism", Hoquet stresses the fact that On the Origin of Species can lend itself to several contradictory interpretations. Thus, this volume identifies where rival interpretations have taken root; to unearth the ambiguities readers of Darwin have latched onto as they have produced a myriad of Darwinian legacies, each more or less faithful enough to the originator’s thought.

Emphasising the historical features, complexities and intricacies of Darwin’s argument, Revisiting the 'Origin of Species' can be used by any lay readers opening Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. This volume will also appeal to students and researchers interested in areas such as Evolution, Natural Selection, Scientific Translations and Origins of Life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781138607156
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 08/20/2018
Series: History and Philosophy of Biology Series
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Thierry Hoquet is Professor of Philosophy of Science in the Department of Philosophy at Paris Nanterre University, France.

Table of Contents

Introduction. The meanings of "Darwinism"

Part I. Darwin-the-Selectionist and beyond

Chapter 1. A labyrinthine Origin

Chapter 2. Diffracting Darwin’s title— The prism of translations

Chapter 3. "One long argument"? Darwin-the-Selectionist

Part II. Darwin-the-Variationist

Chapter 4. Darwin-the-Epicurean. Chance and laws of variation.

Chapter 5. Darwin-the-Teleologist. Are all variations useful?

Chapter 6. Darwin-the-Lamarckian and the Other "Means of Modification"

Part III. Radical origins: Darwin-the-Cosmologist

Chapter 7. "Mystery of mysteries": the temptation of origin

Chapter 8. "Originally Breathed": or, on the Origin of Life

Chapter 9. "Light will be thrown": or, on the Origin of Mankind

Chapter 10. Darwin-the-Darwinist, Or the Quest for Systematic Coherency

Conclusion. Darwinisms, or Darwin Diffracted

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