Darwin's evolving identity : adventure, ambition, and the sin of speculation (Book, 2018) [WorldCat.org]
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Darwin's evolving identity : adventure, ambition, and the sin of speculation

Author: Alistair William Sponsel
Publisher: Chicago, IL ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2018.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Why--against his mentor's exhortations to publish--did Charles Darwin take twenty years to reveal his theory of evolution by natural selection? In Darwin's Evolving Identity, Alistair Sponsel argues that Darwin adopted this cautious approach to atone for his provocative theorizing as a young author spurred by that mentor, the geologist Charles Lyell. While we might expect him to have been tormented by guilt about  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: ebook version :
Named Person: Charles Darwin; Charles Darwin; Charles Darwin; Charles Lyell, Sir; Charles Darwin; Charles Lyell, Sir; Charles Darwin
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alistair William Sponsel
ISBN: 9780226523118 022652311X
OCLC Number: 993672863
Description: x, 358 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction --
Part I. Theorizing on the move. Darwin's opportunity ; An amphibious being ; Studying dry land with a maritime perspective ; The making of a eureka moment ; The surveyor-naturalist --
Part II. Training in theory. Lyell claims Darwin as a student ; Darwin's audacity, Lyell's choreography ; Burned by success --
Part III. A different approach to authorship. The life of a tormented geologist (and enthusiastic evolutionist) ; A finished task : Darwin's treatise on coral reefs --
Part IV. Writing the Origin with his "fingers burned". Atoning for the sin of speculation --
Conclusion.
Responsibility: Alistair Sponsel.

Abstract:

"Why--against his mentor's exhortations to publish--did Charles Darwin take twenty years to reveal his theory of evolution by natural selection? In Darwin's Evolving Identity, Alistair Sponsel argues that Darwin adopted this cautious approach to atone for his provocative theorizing as a young author spurred by that mentor, the geologist Charles Lyell. While we might expect him to have been tormented by guilt about his private study of evolution, Darwin was most distressed by harsh reactions to his published work on coral reefs, volcanoes, and earthquakes, judging himself guilty of an authorial "sin of speculation." It was the battle to defend himself against charges of overzealous theorizing as a geologist, rather than the prospect of broader public outcry over evolution, which made Darwin such a cautious author of Origin of Species. Drawing on his own ambitious research in Darwin's manuscripts and at the Beagle's remotest ports of call, Sponsel takes us from the ocean to the Origin and beyond. He provides a vivid new picture of Darwin's career as a voyaging naturalist and metropolitan author, and in doing so makes a bold argument about how we should understand the history of scientific theories."--Dust jacket.

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