Manual The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought

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  2. Robert J. Richards: The Tragic Sense of Life Pages 1 - 7 - Text Version | FlipHTML5
  3. The Tragic Sense of Life : Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle Over Evolutionary Thought

Richards therefore has a threefold task: He must respond to the Haeckel-bashing and clean house. He must develop a better approach to, and a 19th-century context for, Haeckel's work. And he must put the blood back into Haeckel's veins and show us how it once rushed with emotion over loves, losses and infatuations, boiled with anger at religion and superstition, and nourished the brain of a scientific and artistic genius, whose ideas "pulsed to the rhythms orchestrated by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, and Matthias Jakob Schleiden.

Ernst Haeckel - The Evolution of Evolution - David Rives

Richards's context for Haeckel is an intellectual one that stretches from the Age of Goethe and the German Romantics, through the generation of Haeckel's teachers all scientific luminaries of the s, such as Johannes Muller, Rudolf Virchow and Albert von Kolliker , to Charles Darwin.

Haeckel builds on this intellectual foundation, also taking inspiration from a younger generation of intellectual allies, including the morphologist Carl Gegenbaur and the pioneering historical linguist August Schleicher. Haeckel defends the resulting system of thought against a variety of opponents, ranging from embryologist Wilhelm His to Jesuit myrmecologist As we learn from Robert J.

Richardss brilliant new work, The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought, there are many similarities between Pliny the Elder and his nineteenth-century counterpart Ernst Haeckel: both did things worth writing about; both wrote books, especially in natural history, worth reading, and both shared a fateful attraction to the Gulf of Naples, which, for Pliny, turned out to be fatal, although it set the young Ernst Haeckel on his course to become one of the worlds greatest naturalists and evolutionists.

For most of the last century, Ernst Haeckels reception was ambiguous at best and, more often than not, he was considered to be a problematic figure in the history of biology. The reasons for this general uneasiness with Haeckel are manifold and involve matters of science, personality, and politics. Haeckel was a larger-than-life character for most of his career as a public intellectual; his science was a mixture of detailed natural history and creative speculation representing a self-conscious nineteenth-century vision blending art and science , and his flamboyant personality had a distinctly dark and tragic side to it, which attracted students and readers and alienated his more pedestrian and conventional col-leagues.

His forceful philosophical and political views, his unconditional material-ism and monism, grounded in evolution, and his relentless fight against religious superstition and conservative politics went against the beliefs of too many during his lifetime and after. And then there is the issue of alleged fraud. The figures that demonstrate the biogenetic law, one of the centerpieces of Haeckels theory of phenotypic evolu-tion, were supposedly doctored to make the point.

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While the debate about the accuracy of the images and the reasons for using identical templates for different images in a publication economics? Together with the Fox Newsstyle argument that there is a direct line from Darwin via Haeckel to Hitler, the issue of fraud is seen as evidence for the intrinsic flaws of evolutionary theory.

All of this is plain nonsense, of course, and thanks to Richardss detailed study of Ernst Haeckels life and science we can now easily see why. The strength of Richardss account is that he unites rather than separates the different aspects of Haeckels life, science, and times and that he does so with the keen eye of skilled historian and writer.

Robert J. Richards: The Tragic Sense of Life Pages 1 - 7 - Text Version | FlipHTML5

The result is an immensely rich account that brings to life Haeckels personal journey; his romantic conception of nature,. The success and the wide availability of these latter works contrib-uted to the notion of Haeckel as a mere popularizer, a myth with which Richards dispenses by analyzing in great detail the unifying themes behind all of Haeckels many endeavors as well as the intricate and often symbiotic relationship between Haeckel the scientist and his cultural milieu.

By explicating these connections, Richards shows what a true cultural history of science can be, one that places equal value on the cultural conditions and the intrinsic logic of science. Moreover, Richards takes a forceful stand on the timely issue of whether Darwin is to blame for Hitler's atrocities.

Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was a watershed event when it was published in , upending the previous understanding of science as a slow, logical accumulation of facts and introducing, with the concept of the "paradigm shift, " social and psychological considerations into the heart of the scientific process. More than fifty years after its publication, Kuhn's work continues to influence thinkers in a wide range of fields, including scientists, historians, and sociologists. It is clear that The Structure of Scientific Revolutions itself marks no less of a paradigm shift than those it describes.

In Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" at Fifty, leading social scientists and philosophers explore the origins of Kuhn's masterwork and its legacy fifty years on. These essays exhume important historical context for Kuhn's work, critically analyzing its foundations in twentieth-century science, politics, and Kuhn's own intellectual biography: his experiences as a physics graduate student, his close relationship with psychologists before and after the publication of Structure, and the Cold War framework of terms such as "world view" and "paradigm.


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Debating Darwin by Robert J Richards Book 8 editions published in in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide "Examining key disagreements about Darwin that continue to confound even committed Darwinists, Richards and Ruse offer surprisingly divergent views on the origins and nature of Darwin and his ideas.

Ruse argues that Darwin was quintessentially British and that the roots of his thought can be traced back to the eighteenth century, particularly to the Industrial Revolution and thinkers such as Adam Smith and Thomas Robert Malthus.

The Tragic Sense of Life : Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle Over Evolutionary Thought

Ruse argues that when these influences are appreciated, we can see how Darwin's work in biology is an extension of their theories. In contrast, Richards presents Darwin as a more cosmopolitan, self-educated man, influenced as much by French and particularly German thinkers. Above all, argues Richards, it was Alexander von Humboldt who both inspired Darwin and gave him the conceptual tools that he needed to find and formulate his evolutionary hypotheses. Together, the authors show how the reverberations of the contrasting views on Darwin's influences can be felt in theories about the nature of natural selection, the role of metaphor in science, and the place of God in Darwin's thought.

The Cambridge handbook of evolutionary ethics Book 10 editions published in in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide "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 subject, examining first the claims of supporters and then the responses of their critics. Topics covered include social Darwinism, moral realism, and debunking arguments.

Clearly written and structured, the book guides readers through the arguments on both sides, and emphasises the continuing relevance of evolutionary theory to our understanding of ethics today" Alfred P. Stiernotte lectures in philosophy, by Robert J Richards Book 1 edition published in in English and held by 57 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

A survey of the literature on heat transfer from solid surfaces to cryogenic fluids by Robert J Richards Book 3 editions published in in English and held by 40 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. The evolution of behavior : theories of instinct in the nineteenth century with an essay on animal instinct and intelligence before Darwin by Robert J Richards 6 editions published in in English and held by 10 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

Solving problems in control by R. J Richards Book 1 edition published in in English and held by 6 WorldCat member libraries worldwide Aims to help students by illustrating, by means of a series of worked examples, the fundamental steps underlying an understanding of control principles.