Advertisement

Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 153–177 | Cite as

Typology Reconsidered: Two Doctrines on the History of Evolutionary Biology

  • Ron Amundson
Article

Abstract

Recent historiography of 19th century biology supports the revision of two traditional doctrines about the history of biology. First, the most important and widespread biological debate around the time of Darwin was not evolution versus creation, but biological functionalism versus structuralism. Second, the “idealist” and “typological” structuralist theories of the time were not particularly anti-evolutionary. Typological theories provided argumentation and evidence that was crucial to the refutation of Natural Theological creationism. The contrast between functionalist and structuralist approaches to biology continues today, and the historical misunderstanding of 19th century typological biology may be one of its effects. This historical case can shed light on current controversies regarding the relevance of developmental biology to evolution.

typology essentialism idealism adaptationism morphology Richard Owen 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Amundson, R.: 1990, 'Doctor Dennett and Doctor Pangloss: Perfection and Selection in Psychology and Biology', Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13, 577–584.Google Scholar
  2. Amundson, R.: 1994, 'Two Concepts of Constraint: Adaptationism and the Challenge from Developmental Biology', Philosophy of Science 61, 556–578.Google Scholar
  3. Amundson, R.: 1996, 'Historical Development of the Concept of Adaptation', in M. Rose and G.V. Lauder (eds.), Adaptation, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Amundson, R.: forthcoming, 'Adaptation and Development: On the Lack of Common Ground', in S. Orzack and E. Sober (eds.), Adaptation and Optimality.Google Scholar
  5. Appel, T.: 1987, The Cuvier-Geoffroy Debate: French Biology in the Decades before Darwin, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Bell, Sir C.: 1833, The Hand: Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design, Bridgewater Treatise, Treatise IV, William Pickering, London.Google Scholar
  7. Bowler, P.J.: 1977, 'Darwinism and the Argument from Design: Suggestions for a Reevaluation', Journal of the History of Biology 10, 29–43.Google Scholar
  8. Bowler, P.J.: 1984, Evolution: The History of an Idea, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  9. Bowler, P.J.: 1988, The Non-Darwinian Revolution, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  10. Cain, A.J.: 1964, 'The Perfection of Animals', in J.D. McCarthy and C.L. Duddington (eds.), Viewpoints in Biology, Butterworths, London.Google Scholar
  11. Clark, J.W. and Hughes, T.M.: 1890, The Life and Letters of Adam Sedgwick, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  12. Darwin, C.: 1859, On the Origin of Species. [Reprint, Facsimile of 1st edition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1964.]Google Scholar
  13. Darwin, C.: 1872, On the Origin of Species, 6th edition. John Murray, London.Google Scholar
  14. Depew, D. and Weber, B.H.: 1995, Darwinism Evolving, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  15. Desmond, A.: 1989, The Politics of Evolution, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  16. Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, É.: 1830, 'On the Philosophy of Nature' (report from Le Globe), Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal 8, 152–155.Google Scholar
  17. Ghiselin, M.T.: 1969, The Triumph of the Darwinian Method, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  18. Gilbert, S.F., Opitz, J.M., and Raff, R.A.: 1996, 'Resynthesizing Evolutionary and Development Biology', Developmental Biology 173, 357–372.Google Scholar
  19. Gillespie, N.C.: 1987, 'Natural Order, Natural Theology, and Social Order: John Ray and the “Newtonian Ideology”', Journal of the History of Biology 20, 1–47.Google Scholar
  20. Goodwin, B.C.: 1982, 'A Relational or Field Theory of Reproduction and its Evolutionary Implications', in M.W. Ho and P.T. Saunders (eds.), Beyond Neo-Darwinism, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Gould, S.J.: 1983, 'Irrelevance, Submission, and Partnership: The Changing Role of Paleontology in Darwin's Three Centennials, and a Modest Proposal for Macroevolution', in D.S. Bendall (ed.), Evolution from Molecules to Men, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  22. Greene, J.C.: 1959, The Death of Adam: Evolution and its Impact on Western Thought, University of Iowa Press, Iowa City.Google Scholar
  23. Gruber, J.W.: 1960, A Conscience in Conflict: The Life of St. George Jackson Mivart, Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Hall, B.K.: 1992, Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  25. Hamburger, V.: 1980, 'Embryology and the Modern Synthesis in Evolutionary Theory', in E. Mayr and W. Provine (eds.), The Evolutionary Synthesis, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  26. Hopkins, W.: 1860, 'Physical Theories of the Phenomena of Life', Fraser's Magacine, June, 739–753. Reprinted 1973 in D. Hull (ed.), Darwin and His Critics, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  27. Hull, D.L.: 1965, 'The Effect of Essentialism on Taxonomy: 2000 Years of Stasis', British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15, 314–326; 16, 1–18.Google Scholar
  28. Hull, D.L.: 1973, 'Introductory', in Darwin and His Critics, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  29. Hull, D.L.: 1983, 'Darwin and the Nature of Science', in D.S. Bendall (ed.), Evolution from Molecules to Men, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  30. Lenoir, T.: 1982, The Strategy of Life, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  31. Lurie, E.: 1960, Louis Agassiz: A Life in Science, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  32. Mayr, E.: 1959a, 'Darwin and the Evolutionary Theory in Biology', in Evolution and Anthropology: A Centennial Approach, Anthropological Society of America, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  33. Mayr, E.: 1959b, 'Agassiz, Darwin, and Evolution', Harvard Library Bulletin 13, 165–194.Google Scholar
  34. Mayr, E.: 1964, 'Introduction', in Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, reprint edition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  35. Mayr, E.: 1980, 'Prologue: Some Thoughts on the History of the Evolutionary Synthesis', in E. Mayr and W. Provine (eds.), The Evolutionary Synthesis, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  36. Mayr, E.: 1982, The Growth of Biological Thought, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  37. Mayr, E. and Provine, W.: 1980, The Evolutionary Synthesis, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  38. McCosh, Rev. J.: 1851, 'Typical Forms: Goethe, Professor Owen, Mr. Fairbain', The North British Review, 389–418.Google Scholar
  39. Nyhart, L.: 1995, Biology Takes Form, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  40. Ospovat, D.: 1978, 'Perfect Adaptation and Teleological Explanation', Studies in History of Biology 2, 33–56.Google Scholar
  41. Ospovat, D.: 1981, The Development of Darwin's Theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  42. Owen, R.: 1848, The Archetype and Homologies of the Vertebrate Skeleton, John van Voorst, London.Google Scholar
  43. Owen, R.: 1849, On the Nature of Limbs, John van Voorst, London.Google Scholar
  44. Paley, W.: 1831, The Works of William Paley; Complete in one volume, Thomas Nelson and Peter Brown, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  45. Reeve, H.K. and Sherman, P.W.: 1993, 'Adaptation and the Goals of Evolutionary Research', The Quarterly Review of Biology 68, 1–32.Google Scholar
  46. Rehbock, P.F.: 1985, The Philosophical Naturalists, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
  47. Richards, E.: 1987, 'A Question of Property Rights: Richard Owen's Evolutionism Reassessed', British Journal for the History of Science 20, 129–171.Google Scholar
  48. Richards, R.J.: 1992, The Meaning of Evolution, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  49. Roget, P.M.: 1834, Animal and Vegetable Physiology Considered with Reference to Natural Theology, 2 vols., William Pickering, London.Google Scholar
  50. Rupke, N.: 1994, Richard Owen: Victorian Naturalist, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.Google Scholar
  51. Ruse, M.: 1979, The Darwinian Revolution, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  52. Ruse, M.: 1993, 'Were Owen and Darwin Naturphilosophen?', Annals of Science 50, 383–388.Google Scholar
  53. Russell, E.S.: 1916, Form and Function, John Murray, London.Google Scholar
  54. Sloan, P.R.: 1992, 'On the Edge of Evolution', in R. Owen, it The Hunterian Lectures in Comparative Anatomy, May and June 1837, P.R. Sloan (ed.), University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  55. Sober, E.: 1980, 'Evolution, Population Thinking, and Essentialism', Philosophy of Science 47, 350–383.Google Scholar
  56. Wake, D.B., Mabee, P., Hanken, J., and Wagner, G.: 1991, 'Development and Evolution – The Emergence of a New Field', in E.C. Dudley (ed.), The Unity of Evolutionary Biology: Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology, Volume I, Dioscorides Press, Portland, OR.Google Scholar
  57. Wallace, B.: 1986, 'Can Embryologists Contribute to an Understanding of Evolutionary Mechanisms?', in W. Bechtel (ed.), Integrating Scientific Disciplines, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  58. Whewell, W.: 1863, History of the Inductive Sciences: From the Earliest to the Present Times, 3d edition, with additions, in two volumes, v. 2, D. Appleton and Company, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ron Amundson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Hawaii at HiloHiloUSA

Personalised recommendations