Darwin in the journals

Peter Dear, “Darwin’s Sleepwalkers: Naturalists, Nature, and the Practices of Classification” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 44:4 (Sept. 2014): 297-318.

Abstract Darwin used taxonomic arguments widely in his work on transformism and natural selection, especially in attempts to persuade other (typically non-transformist) naturalists of the correctness of his ideas in Origin of Species. But, as has long been noticed, classificatory practices in natural history were by no means turned on their head in the wake of his work. Darwin succeeded in coopting, or else leaving untouched, the taxonomic conclusions of his colleagues, because he needed to use their conclusions as evidence for his transformist views: time and again, he made points by referring to what a typical naturalists would make of things. By telling them that the kind of knowledge that their taxonomy produced was really about genealogical relationships, Darwin tried to tell naturalist that their judgments were correct even though they had not previously known why this was so: they were sleepwalkers, finding their way in the dark, and Darwin would illuminate them. His argumentative style continually attempted to draw existing practices of classification to his assistance, and made the judgments of his colleagues into surrogate phenomena that would provide evidence for his views. Those colleagues thus constituted a society that established nature by its own practices.

Aydin Örstan, “Two early nineteenth-century uses of the term “evolution” to denote biological speciation” Archives of Natural History 41:2 (Oct. 2014): 360-362.

No abstract

Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis, “Charles Darwin” In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Ecology, 2014.

This is a monumental undertaking – a 24,000 word bibliography looking at Darwin and how he is studied from many angles.

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