Journal of the History of Biology 44 (2):205-232 (2011)

Abstract
Recent Darwin scholarship has provided grounds for recognising the Origin as a literary as well as a scientific achievement. While Darwin was an acute observer, a gifted experimentalist and indefatigable theorist, this essay argues that it was also crucial to his impact that the Origin transcended the putative divide between the scientific and the literary. Analysis of Darwin’s development as a writer between his journal-keeping on HMS Beagle and his construction of the Origin argues the latter draws on the pattern of the Romantic or Kantian sublime. The Origin repeatedly uses strategies which challenge the natural-theological appeal to the imagination in conceiving nature. Darwin’s sublime coaches the Origin’s readers into a position from which to envision nature that reduces and contains its otherwise overwhelming complexity. As such, it was Darwin’s literary achievement that enabled him to fashion a new ‘habit of looking at things in a given way’ that is the centrepiece of the scientific revolution bearing his name.
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DOI 10.1007/s10739-009-9210-3
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References found in this work BETA

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Critique of Judgement.Immanuel Kant - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Darwinian Tension.Hajo Greif - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53:53-61.
A Medical Sublime.Bradley Lewis - 2020 - Journal of Medical Humanities 41 (3):265-287.
Parsimony for Empty Space.Roy Sorensen - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):215-230.

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