Typology reconsidered: Two doctrines on the history of evolutionary biology

Biology and Philosophy 13 (2):153-177 (1998)
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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.



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Citations of this work

Against normal function.Ron Amundson - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 31 (1):33-53.
Non-essentialist methods in pre-Darwinian taxonomy.Mary P. Winsor - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):387-400.

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References found in this work

On the origin of species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Gillian Beer.
The Darwinian Revolution.Michael Ruse - 2019 - Cambridge University Press.
Evolution, population thinking, and essentialism.Elliott Sober - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (3):350-383.
The Triumph of the Darwinian Method.Michael T. Ghiselin - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 40 (3):466-467.

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