380 pages | 27 B/W Illus.
Phylogenetic Systematics: Haeckel to Hennig traces the development of phylogenetic systematics against the foil of idealistic morphology through 100 years of German biology. It starts with the iconic Ernst Haeckel—the German Darwin from Jena—and the evolutionary morphology he developed. It ends with Willi Hennig, the founder of modern phylogenetic systematics. Written in English, the book presents a unique perspective on a vast body of German biological literature.
The book also offers a perspective on German biology in the Third Reich. The author looks at how idealistic morphology and phylogenetic systematics represented two antagonistic traditions in German biology, the first organicist-holistic, the latter empiricist-positivistic. In addition, he explains the ways in which both traditions acquired socio-political and ideological connotations, culminating in their accommodation to different strands of Nazi ideology.
The book’s nine chapters summarize a century of the conceptual development of systematics, describe both the history and philosophy of phylogenetic approaches to the understanding of the history of life, examine the role of important people such as Haeckel, Gegenbauer, Portman, von Bertalanffy, Stresemann, and Hennig, and critically evaluate the impact and influence of Nazism on evolutionary biology.
Chapter titles include: The Evolutionary Turn in Comparative Anatomy; Of Parts and Wholes; The Turn against Haeckel; The Rise of Holism in German Biology; The Rise of German ("Aryan") Biology; Ganzheitsbiologie; The Ideological Instrumentalization of Biology; A New Beginning: From Speciation to Phylogenetics; and Grundzüge: The Conceptual Foundations of Phylogenetic Systematics.
The whole is a complex and compelling story that requires attention to the details of the argument. The breadth and depth of Rieppel’s coverage of these controversies is the major strength of this book. Another major strength is the analysis of what can go wrong when science is subverted by politics. For those who wish to understand the roots of phylogenetic systematics and its philosophical basis, this volume is an essential resource. E. O Wiley in The Quarterly Review of Biology.
The Evolutionary Turn in Comparative Anatomy
Carl Gegenbaur’s Idealistic Morphology
Haeckel’s Assault on Idealistic Morphology
The Gegenbaur Transformation
Of Parts and Wholes
Beobachtung und Reflexion
Single Cause, Complex Effect
Levels and Modes of Individuality
Species, Individuals, History, and Reality
Changing Metaphors of Order in Nature: The Ladder, The Tree, and The Web
Monophyly: The Evolution of Species and Languages
Reaching Out Beyond Jena
The Turn against Haeckel
The Poverty of Systematics
Hailing from the Hinterland
Logic Meets History
Biological Fragments Concerning an Understanding of Man
Limits of Scientific Knowledge
The Rise of Holism in German Biology
The Cell State
The Struggle among the Parts
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mechanics and Biology
Animal Psychology and Umwelt
The Congress in Prague
The Rise of German ("Aryan") Biology
A Time of Crisis
The Rebirth of Science in a Goethean Spirit
Science in the Name of the Volk
Enkapsis: Hierarchically Structured Complex Wholes
Bridging from Anatomy to Ecology
Singing the Praises of Forests and Lakes
Bringing Fossils to Life
Grotesquely Grandiose: The Evolutionary Synthesis in Völkisch Spirit
The Ideological Instrumentalization of Biology
The Reconstruction of Ernst Haeckel
The Deconstruction of Ernst Lehmann
Pioneers of Phylogenetic Systematics: Their Battle against Idealistic Morphology
A New Beginning: From Speciation to Phylogenetics
The Stresemann School
The Berlin School Branches Out to Dresden
A Prospectus for Phylogenetic Systematics
Grundzüge: The Conceptual Foundations of Phylogenetic Systematics
Systematics—"Speziesmacherei" or a True Science?
The Empirical Base of Phylogenetic Systematics
Heterobathmy of Characters