‘Great is Darwin and Bergson his poet’: Julian Huxley's other evolutionary synthesis

Annals of Science 75 (1):40-54 (2018)
Authors
Emily Herring
University of Leeds
Abstract
In 1912, Julian Huxley published his first book The Individual in the Animal Kingdom which he dedicated to the then world-famous French philosopher Henri Bergson. Historians have generally adopted one of two attitudes towards Huxley’s early encounter with Bergson. They either dismiss it entirely as unimportant or minimise it, deeming it a youthful indiscretion preceding Huxley’s full conversion to Fisherian Darwinism. Close biographical study and new archive materials demonstrate, however, that neither position is tenable. The Bergsonian elements in play in Julian Huxley’s early works fed into his first ideas about progress in evolution and even his celebrated theories of bird courtship. Furthermore, the view that Huxley rejected Bergson in his later years needs to be revised. Although Huxley ended up claiming that Bergson’s theory of evolution had no explanatory power, he never repudiated the descriptive power of Bergson’s controversial notion of the élan vital. Even into the Modern Synthesis period, Huxley represented his own synthesis as drawing decisively on Bergson’s philosophy.
Keywords Bergson  Julian Huxley  Modern Synthesis  Evolution
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00033790.2017.1407442
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 37,153
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What Was Really Synthesized During the Evolutionary Synthesis? A Historiographic Proposal.Richard G. Delisle - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):50-59.
Huxley's Defence of Darwin.Michael Bartholomew - 1975 - Annals of Science 32 (6):525-535.
Collected Essays 9 Volume Set.Thomas Henry Huxley - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
The Rhetoric of Evolutionary Theory.David J. Depew - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4):380-389.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-01-07

Total downloads
12 ( #484,614 of 2,308,602 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #130,830 of 2,308,602 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature