David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of the History of Biology 40 (4):637 - 682 (2007)
During the 1930s, Aleksandr Promptov—a student of the founder of Russian population genetics Sergei Chetverikov—developed an elaborate concept of speciation in birds. He conducted field investigations aimed at giving a naturalistic content to the theoretical formulations and laboratory models of evolutionary processes advanced within the framework of population genetics, placing particular emphasis on the evolutionary role of bird behavior. Yet, although highly synthetic in combining biogeographical, taxonomic, genetic, ecological, and behavioral studies, Promptov's speciation concept was ignored by the architects of the 1930s and 1940s evolutionary synthesis, including Theodosius Dobzhnasky, Ernst Mayr, and Julian Huxley. In this article, I argue that the story of Promptov's concept and its reception by other evolutionists challenges the traditional presentation of the synthesis as a singular, international process of the unification of biology, which led to the creation of a universal synthetic theory of evolution. It suggests that during the same time period, within largely the same theoretical framework, there were multiple, intrinsically local, attempts at creating synthetic evolutionary concepts. These concepts were often quite particular—in their taxonomic applicability, in their explanations of various evolutionary factors, and in the range of disciplines unified in the synthesis. Apparently, these concepts ran contrary to the universal aspirations of the synthesis architects, and as a result, they were disregarded, first by the architects and later by historians of the evolutionary synthesis.
|Keywords||Aleksandr Promptov evolutionary synthesis speciation animal behavior ornithology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Robert Richards (1989). Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior. Journal of the History of Biology 22 (2):361-367.
Julian Huxley (1944). Evolution: The Modern Synthesis. Philosophy 19 (73):166-170.
V. B. Smocovitis (1992). Unifying Biology: The Evolutionary Synthesis and Evolutionary Biology. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 25 (1):1 - 65.
Joseph Cain (1993). Common Problems and Cooperative Solutions: Organizational Activity in Evolutionary Studies, 1936-1947. Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 84:1-25.
Joe Cain (2000). Towards a ‘Greater Degree of Integration’: The Society for the Study of Speciation, 1939–41. British Journal for the History of Science 33 (1):85-108.
Citations of this work BETA
Joe Cain (2009). Rethinking the Synthesis Period in Evolutionary Studies. Journal of the History of Biology 42 (4):621 - 648.
Similar books and articles
Sahotra Sarkar (2004). Evolutionary Theory in the 1920s: The Nature of the “Synthesis”. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1215-1226.
Sahotra Sarkar (2004). Evolutionary Theory in the 1920s: The Nature of the "Synthesis". Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1215-1226.
Kim Kleinman (1999). His Own Synthesis: Corn, Edgar Anderson, and Evolutionary Theory in the 1940s. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 32 (2):293 - 320.
Massimo Pigliucci (2009). An Extended Synthesis for Evolutionary Biology. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1168:218-228.
Roberta L. Millstein (2013). Exploring the Status of Population Genetics: The Role of Ecology. Biological Theory 7 (4):346-357.
Massimo Pigliucci (2007). Do We Need an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis? Evolution 61 (12):2743-2749.
Alan C. Love (2003). Evolutionary Morphology, Innovation, and the Synthesis of Evolutionary and Developmental Biology. Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):309-345.
William C. Wimsatt (2006). Generative Entrenchment and an Evolutionary Developmental Biology for Culture. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):364-366.
Massimo Pigliucci (2008). Is Evolvability Evolvable? Nature Reviews Genetics 9:75-82.
Benton M. Stidd (1985). Are Punctuationists Wrong About the Modern Synthesis? Philosophy of Science 52 (1):98-109.
Maria Kronfeldner (2010). Won't You Please Unite? Darwinism, Cultural Evolution and Kinds of Synthesis. In A. Barahona, H.-J. Rheinberger & E. Suarez-Diaz (eds.), The Hereditary Hourglass: Genetics and Epigenetics, 1868-2000. Max Planck Insititute for the History of Science 111-125.
Massimo Pigliucci, Courtney Murren & Carl Schlichting (2006). Phenotypic Plasticity and Evolution by Genetic Assimilation. Journal of Experimental Biology 209:2362-2367.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads6 ( #454,452 of 1,793,075 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #463,661 of 1,793,075 )
How can I increase my downloads?