1st Edition

The Evolution of the Idea, Second Edition

ISBN 9781138055742
Published February 5, 2018 by CRC Press
427 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

USD $199.95

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Book Description

Over time the complex idea of "species" has evolved, yet its meaning is far from resolved. This comprehensive work is a fresh look at an idea central to the field of biology by tracing its history from antiquity to today. Species is a benchmark exploration and clarification of a concept fundamental to the past, present, and future of the natural sciences. In this edition, a section is added on the debate over species since the time of the New Synthesis, and brings the book up to date. A section on recent philosophical debates over species has also been added. This edition is better suited non-specialists in philosophy, so that it will be of greater use for scientists wishing to understand how the notion came to be that living organisms form species.


Key Selling Features:

  • Covers the philosophical and historical development of the concept of "species"

  • Documents that variation was recognized by pre-Darwinian scholars

  • Includes a section on the debates since the time of the New Synthesis

  • Better suited to non-philosophers

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Received View. The failure of the Received View. The historical development of “species.” The classical era: Science by division. The medieval bridge. Species and the birth of modern science. The Noah’s Ark part is new, based on my later research. The nineteenth century, a period of change. Darwin and the Darwinians. Non-Darwinian ideas after Darwin. The Synthesis and species. Modern debates. Philosophical treatments.

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John Wilkins PhD is Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Research Fellow at the Ronin Institute, Monclair, NJ. He has taught at the University of Queensland, the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Species: A History of the Idea (2009), and Defining Species (2009), co-author of The Nature of Classification (2013), and edited Intelligent Design and Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (2010). He has published on species, the evolution of religion, cognition, and the history and philosophy of science. He lives in Melbourne Australia.