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The politics of evolution : morphology, medicine, and reform in radical London

Author: Adrian J Desmond
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1989.
Series: Science and its conceptual foundations.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Looking for the first time at the cut-price anatomy schools rather than genteel Oxbridge, Desmond winkles out pre-Darwinian evolutionary ideas in reform-minded and politically charged early nineteenth-century London. In the process, he reveals the underside of London intellectual and social life in the generation before Darwin as it has never been seen before. ""The Politics of Evolution" is intellectual dynamite,
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Genre/Form: Student Collection
History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Adrian J Desmond
ISBN: 0226143465 9780226143460 0226143740 9780226143743
OCLC Number: 19981038
Description: x, 503 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: List of Illustrations --
Acknowledgments --
1 Evolution and Society: Setting the Scene --
2 Importing the New Morphology --
3 Reforming the Management of Medicine and Science: The Radical Perspective --
4 Nonconformist Anatomy in the Private Schools --
5 Accommodation and Domestication: Dealing with Geoffroy's Anatomy --
6 Science under Siege: Forging an Idealist Comparative Anatomy at the College of Surgeons --
7 Engaging the Lamarckians --
8 Embryology, Archetypes, and Idealism: New Directions in Comparative Anatomy --
9 Grasping the Nettle: Some Concluding Remarks Afterword: Putting Darwin in the Picture --
Appendix A Comparative Anatomy Teachers in London in the 1830s --
Appendix B Biographical List of British Medical Men --
Abbreviations --
Bibliography --
Index
Series Title: Science and its conceptual foundations.
Responsibility: Adrian Desmond.
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Abstract:

Looking at the cut-price anatomy schools rather than genteel Oxbridge, Desmond winkles out pre-Darwinian evolutionary ideas in reform-minded and politically charged early nineteenth-century London.  Read more...

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Primary Entity

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    schema:reviewBody "Desmond demonstrates again his ability to tackle in a new way a topic that has already generated considerable interest. Here he takes on morphology of the 1830s, and, instead of studying the more familiar gentlemen scientists, he examines the radicals and dissenters within the politically active London medical community. Looking at radical medical newspapers, society records, and debates about subjects from curriculum reform to specific taxonomic questions, Desmond shows the considerable British support for the related ideas of transformism, evolution, progress, revisionist morphology, and political, religious, and social reform, inspired especially by Geoffroy and Lamarck. While providing numerous vignettes and biographical sketches for a host of concerned participants, he focuses especially on the more traditional Anglican Richard Owen and on the radical reformer Robert Grant. The book provides such richness of detail that uninitiated readers may find it difficult to follow, and so much political context that it is difficult to recall what is at issue in the scientific debates. But that is Desmond's central point--that evolution was political, which he convincingly urges should dictate a revised picture of Darwin's role as well. In part because it is so rich and challenging, this book joins the growing ranks of successful revisionist works arguing for a social-history-based approach to the understanding of science and should appeal to those sympathetic to such interpretations. Graduate level. -J. Maienschein, Arizona State University--Choice Review." ;
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