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    Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior
    Journal of the History of Biology 22 (2): 361-367. 1989.
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    Alan C. LoveDarwinian calisthenicsAn athlete engages in calisthenics as part of basic training and as a preliminary to more advanced or intense activity. Whether it is stretching, lunges, crunches, or push-ups, routine calisthenics provide a baseline of strength and flexibility that prevent a variety of injuries that might otherwise be incurred. Peter Bowler has spent 40 years doing Darwinian calisthenics, researching and writing on the development of evolutionary ideas with special attention to…Read more
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    "All art should become science and all science art; poetry and philosophy should be made one." Friedrich Schlegel's words perfectly capture the project of the German Romantics, who believed that the aesthetic approaches of art and literature could reveal patterns and meaning in nature that couldn't be uncovered through rationalistic philosophy and science alone. In this wide-ranging work, Robert J. Richards shows how the Romantic conception of the world influenced (and was influenced by) both th…Read more
  •  14
    The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2017.
    Evolutionary ethics - the application of evolutionary ideas to moral thinking and justification - began in the nineteenth century with the work of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, but was subsequently criticized as an example of the naturalistic fallacy. In recent decades, however, evolutionary ethics has found new support among both the Darwinian and the Spencerian traditions. This accessible volume looks at the history of thought about evolutionary ethics as well as current debates in the s…Read more
  •  7
    The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (review)
    British Journal for the History of Science 39 (4): 615-617. 2006.
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    In a late reminiscence, Goethe recalled that during his close association with the poet Friedrich Schiller, he was constantly defending “the rights of nature" against his friend's “gospel of freedom.”1 Goethe’s characterization of his own view was artfully ironic, alluding as it did to the French Revolution's proclamation of the "Rights of Man." His remark implied that values lay within nature, values that had authority comparable to those ascribed to human beings by the architects of the Revolu…Read more
  •  69
    In 1971, Daniel Gasman saw published his Scientific Origins of National Socialism: Social Darwinism in Ernst Haeckel and the German Monist League, the dissertation he had produced at the University of Chicago two years before. That book argued that Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), the great champion of Darwinism in Germany, had special responsibility for contributing to Nazi extermination biology. Gasman stacked up the evidence: that Haeckel’s Darwinian monism (which held that no metaphysical distinct…Read more
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    accepted without a compelling materialistic mechnot add that some books might give you terminal anism. Charles Darwin provided this mechanism in..
  •  124
    Haeckel’s embryos: fraud not proven
    Biology and Philosophy 24 (1): 147-154. 2009.
    Through the last half of the nineteenth century and the first part of the twentieth, no scientist more vigorously defended Darwinian theory than the German Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919). More people learned of the new ideas through his voluminous publications, translated into numerous languages, than through any other source, including Darwin’s own writings. He enraged many of his contemporaries, especially among the religiously orthodox; and the enmity between evolutionary theory and religious funda…Read more
  •  102
    Darwin’s place in the history of thought: A reevaluation
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (Supplement 1): 10056-10060. 2009.
    Scholars have usually given Darwin’s theory a neo-Darwinian interpretation. A more careful examination of the language of Darwin’s notebooks and the language of the Origin of Species indicates that he reconstructed nature with a definite purpose: the final goal of man as a moral creature. In the aftermath of the Origin, Darwin, however, became more circumspect.
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    In late winter of 1864, Charles Darwin received two folio volumes on radiolarians, a group of one-celled marine organisms that secreted siliceous skeletons of unusual geometry. The author, the young German biologist Ernst Haeckel (fig. 1), had himself drawn the figures for the extraordinary copper-etched illustrations that filled the second volume.1 The gothic beauty of the plates astonished Darwin (fig. 2 ), but he must also have been drawn to passages that applied his theory to construct the d…Read more
  •  27
    Though Darwin had formulated his theory of evolution by natural selection by early fall of 1837, he did not publish it until 1859 in the Origin ofSpecies. Darwin thus delayed publicly revealing his theory for some twenty years, Why did he wait so long'? Initially this may not seem an important or interesting question, but many historians have so regarded it, They have developed a variety of historiographically different explanations. This essay considers these several explanations, though with a…Read more
  •  94
    Ernst Haeckel’s popular book Nat¨urliche Sch¨opfungs- geschichte (Natural history of creation, 1868) represents human species in a hierarchy, from lowest (Papuan and Hottentot) to highest (Caucasian, including the Indo-German and Semitic races). His stem-tree (see Figure 1) of human descent and the racial theories that accompany it have been the focus of several recent books—histories arguing that Haeckel had a unique position in the rise of Nazi biology during the first part of the 20th century.…Read more
  •  112
    Darwin's metaphysics of mind
    In V. Hoesle & C. Illies (eds.), Darwin and Philosophy, Notre Dame University Press. pp. 166-80. 2005.
    Our image of Darwin is hardly that of a German metaphysician. By reason of his intellectual tradition—that of British empiricism—and psychological disposition, he was a man of apparently more stolid character, one who could be excited by beetles and earthworms but not, we assume, by abstruse philosophy. Yet Darwin constructed a theory of evolution whose conceptual grammar expresses and depends on a certain kind of metaphysics. During his youthful period as a romantic adventurer, he sailed to exo…Read more
  •  38
    In 1853, two decades after Goethe’s death, Hermann von Helmholtz, who had just become professor of anatomy at Königsberg, delivered an evaluation of the poet=s contributions to science.1 The young Helmholtz lamented Goethe=s stubborn rejection of Newton =s prism experiments. Goethe=s theory of light and color simply broke on the rocks of his poetic genius. The tragedy, though, was not repeated in biological science. In Helmholtz=s estimation, Goethe had advanced in this area two singular and “un…Read more
  •  20
    In late September 1838, Darwin read Malthus's Essay on Population, which left him with “a theory by which to work.”115 Yet he waited some twenty years to publish his discovery in the Origin of Species. Those interested in the fine grain of Darwin's development have been curious about this delay. One recent explanation has his hand stayed by fear of reaction to the materialist implications of linking man with animals. “Darwin sensed,” according to Howard Gruber, “that some would object to seeing …Read more
  •  156
    Darwin's principles of divergence and natural selection: Why Fodor was almost right
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1): 256-268. 2012.
    In a series of articles and in a recent book, What Darwin Got Wrong, Jerry Fodor has objected to Darwin’s principle of natural selection on the grounds that it assumes nature has intentions.1 Despite the near universal rejection of Fodor’s argument by biologists and philosophers of biology (myself included),2 I now believe he was almost right. I will show this through a historical examination of a principle that Darwin thought as important as natural selection, his principle of divergence. The p…Read more
  •  41
    Our image of Herbert Spencer is that of a bald, dyspeptic bachelor, spending his days in rooming houses, and fussing about government interference with individual liberties. Beatrice Webb, who knew him as a girl and young woman recalls for us just this picture. In her diary for January 4, 1885, she writes: Royal Academy private view with Herbert Spencer. His criticisms on art dreary, all bound down by the “possible” if not probable. That poor old man would miss me on the whole more than any othe…Read more
  • Darwinian Heresies (edited book)
    with Abigail Lustig and Michael Ruse
    Cambridge University Press. 2004.
    In Darwinian Heresies, which was originally published in 2004, prominent historians and philosophers of science trace the history of evolutionary thought, and challenge many of the assumptions that have built up over the years. Covering a wide range of issues starting in the eighteenth century, Darwinian Heresies brings us through the time of Charles Darwin and the Origin, and then through the twentieth century to the present. It is suggested that Darwin's true roots lie in Germany, not his nati…Read more
  •  72
    When Charles Darwin (1859, 482) wrote in the Origin of Species that he looked to the “young and rising naturalists” to heed the message of his book, he likely had in mind individuals like Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), who responded warmly to the invitation (Haeckel, 1862, 1: 231-32n). Haeckel became part of the vanguard of young scientists who plowed through the yielding turf to plant the seed of Darwinism deep into the intellectual soil of Germany. As Haeckel would later observe, the seed flourish…Read more
  •  79
    Justification through biological faith: A rejoinder (review)
    Biology and Philosophy 1 (3): 337-354. 1986.
    Though I have not found enough of the latter to test out this bromide, I am sensible of the value bestowed by colleagues who have taken such exacting care in analyzing my arguments. While their incisive observation and hard objections threaten to leave an extinct theory, I hope the reader will rather judge it one strengthened by adversity. Let me initially expose the heart of my argument so as to make obvious the shocks it must endure. I ask the reader to grant that altruistic behavior can be em…Read more
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    If religion means a commitment to a set of theological propositions regarding the nature of God, the soul, and an afterlife, Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was never a religious enthusiast. The influence of the great religious thinker Friedrich Daniel Schleiermacher (1768-1834) on his family kept religious observance decorous and commitment vague.2 The theologian had maintained that true religion lay deep in the heart, where the inner person experienced a feeling of absolute dependence. Dogmatic tene…Read more
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    The term “race” and its equivalent in several languages gained currency in the seventeenth century to describe descendents of the same family or house. The word was also used to refer to a tribe or nation, as in the Germanic races. Only in the nineteenth century did the term take on the taxonomic meaning of a distinctive group or variety within a human or animal species.