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H.G. Bronn, Ernst Haeckel, and the Origins of German DarwinismA Study in Translation and Transformation$
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Sander Gliboff

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262072939

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262072939.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

The Science of Life at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century

The Science of Life at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century

(p.29) 1 The Science of Life at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century
H.G. Bronn, Ernst Haeckel, and the Origins of German Darwinism

Sander Gliboff

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the continuities and discontinuities from pre- to post-Darwinian biology in Germany and situates Heinrich Georg Bronn and Ernst Haeckel in between. It first describes the pre-Darwinian period and shows that early-nineteenth-century German biology was more than just about morphology, and that morphology was more than just about transcendentalism. It then considers the growth and diversification of natural history collections during the nineteenth century, along with the proliferation of comparative studies of anatomy and embryology. It offers a new interpretation of pre-Darwinian (and especially pre-Baerian) thought on evolution and morphology and looks at the common interests between Charles Darwin and the German scientists. In addition, the chapter discusses Bronn and Haeckel’s concern with establishing a Wissenschaft of life as well as their applications of Darwinism; the views of Immanuel Kant and Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer on the complexity of life; Johann Friedrich Meckel’s system of recapitulational embryology; and Karl Ernst von Baer’s work on descriptive embryology.

Keywords:   Germany, biology, Heinrich Georg Bronn, Ernst Haeckel, embryology, Charles Darwin, Darwinism, Johann Friedrich Meckel, Karl Ernst von Baer, Immanuel Kant

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