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The Growth of Biological Thought

Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance

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Product Details


$44.00 • £35.95 • €39.50

ISBN 9780674364462

Publication Date: 01/22/1985

Academic Trade

992 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Belknap Press


    • 1. Introduction: How to write history of biology
      • Subjectivity and bias
      • Why study the history of biology?
    • 2. The place of biology in the sciences and its conceptual structure
      • The nature of science
      • Method in science
      • The position of biology within the sciences
      • How and why is biology different?
      • Special characteristics of living organisms
      • Reduction and biology
      • Emergence
      • The conceptual structure of biology
      • A new philosophy of biology
    • 3. The changing intellectual milieu of biology
      • Antiquity
      • The Christian world picture
      • The Renaissance
      • The discovery of diversity
      • Biology in the Enlightenment
      • The rise of science from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century
      • Divisive developments in the nineteenth century
      • Biology in the twentieth century
      • Major periods in the history of biology
      • Biology and philosophy
      • Biology today
  • I. Diversity of Life
    • 4. Macrotaxonomy, the science of classifying
      • Aristotle
      • The classification of plants by the ancients and the herbalists
      • Downward classification by logical division
      • Pre-Linnaean zoologists
      • Carl Linnaeus
      • Buffon
      • A new start in animal classification
      • Taxonomic characters
      • Upward classification by empirical grouping
      • Transition period (1758–1859)
      • Hierarchical classifications
    • 5. Grouping according to common ancestry
      • The decline of macrotaxonomic research
      • Numerical phenetics
      • Cladistics
      • The traditional or evolutionary methodology
      • New taxonomic characters
      • Facilitation of information retrieval
      • The study of diversity
    • 6. Microtaxonomy, the science of species
      • Early species concepts
      • The essentialist species concept
      • The nominalistic species concept
      • Darwin’s species concept
      • The rise of the biological species concept
      • Applying the biological species concept to multidimensional species taxa
      • The significance of species in biology
  • II. Evolution
    • 7. Origins without evolution
      • The coming of evolutionism
      • The French Enlightenment
    • 8. Evolution before Darwin
      • Lamarck
      • Cuvier
      • England
      • Lyell and uniformitarianism
      • Germany
    • 9. Charles Darwin
      • Darwin and evolution
      • Alfred Russel Wallace
      • The publication of the Origin
    • 10. Darwin’s evidence for evolution and common descent
      • Common descent and the natural system
      • Common descent and geographical distribution
      • Morphology as evidence for evolution and common descent
      • Embryology as evidence for evolution and common descent
    • 11. The causation of evolution: natural selection
      • The major components of the theory of natural selection
      • The origin of the concept of natural selection
      • The impact of the Darwinian revolution
      • The resistance to natural selection
      • Alternate evolutionary theories
    • 12. Diversity and synthesis of evolutionary thought
      • The growing split among the evolutionists
      • Advances in evolutionary genetics
      • Advances in evolutionary systematics
      • The evolutionary synthesis
    • 13. Post-synthesis developments
      • Molecular biology
      • Natural selection
      • Unresolved issues in natural selection
      • Modes of speciation
      • Macroevolution
      • The evolution of man
      • Evolution in modern thought
  • III. Variation and Its Inheritance
    • 14. Early theories and breeding experiments
      • Theories of inheritance among the ancients
      • Mendel’s forerunners
    • 15. Germ cells, vehicles of heredity
      • The Schwann-Schleiden cell theory
      • The meaning of sex and fertilization
      • Chromosomes and their role
    • 16. The nature of inheritance
      • Darwin and variation
      • August Weismann
      • Hugo de Vries
      • Gregor Mendel
    • 17. The flowering of Mendelian genetics
      • The rediscoverers of Mendel
      • The classical period of Mendelian genetics
      • The origin of new variation (mutation)
      • The emergence of modern genetics
      • The Sutton-Boveri chromosome theory
      • Sex determination
      • Morgan and the fly room
      • Meiosis
      • Morgan and the chromosome theory
    • 18. Theories of the gene
      • Competing theories of inheritance
      • The Mendelian explanation of continuous variation
    • 19. The chemical basis of inheritance
      • The discovery of the double helix
      • Genetics in modern thought
    • 20. Epilogue: Toward a science of science
      • Scientists and the scientific milieu
      • The maturation of theories and concepts
      • Impediments to the maturation of theories and concepts
      • The sciences and the external milieu
      • Progress in science
  • Notes
  • References
  • Glossary
  • Index

Awards & Accolades

  • Finalist, 1983 National Book Award, Science Hardcover Category, National Book Foundation
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