Joel Faflak (ed.), Marking Time: Romanticism and Evolution
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The collection of essays gathered in this volume contributes to a research tradition that (at least in my view) is intrinsically connected to the work of Robert J. Richards and his idea of a ‘Romantic Darwin’—a Darwin who owes more to Goethe and Alexander von Humboldt (and even to Schelling, an eternal bête noire for the history of science) than he does to William Paley, Thomas Malthus, or the context of Victorian England.
This volume edited by Joel Faflak and subtitled “Romanticism and Evolution”, provides an interesting variation on the ‘Richards thesis’ by investigating the multi-layered impact of Romantic philosophy on Darwin’s thought, giving particular focus to what Arthurs Lovejoy describes as the ‘temporalization’ of the ‘Great Chain of Being’ that emerged with the first theories of historical transformism at the turn of the nineteenth century. The contributors extend the scope of the Richards thesis by tracking “the remainders of Romanticism in the works of Charles Darwin,...