Archetypes and Ancestors: Palaeontology in Victorian London, 1850-1875

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University of Chicago Press, 1984 - Science - 287 pages
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"The social construction of scientific knowledge, clearly one of the most exciting trends in the history of science in the 1890's, has made a solid stride forward with the publication of Archetypes and Ancestors. . . . Adrian Desmond set out to determine how much light might be shed on the mid-Victorian controversies over fossil reconstruction by an investigation of the ideological commitments and political programs of London paleontologists. The answer is: a great deal of light. The resulting book is thoroughly fascinating."—Philip Rehbock, American Historical Review

"A sophisticated study of the colonization of scientific territory—specifically of rival attempts to design the dinosaur—and of the constructive (not just obstructive) role of social pressures in the making of 'lasting contributions' to science. Not least it is a joy to read, perkily irreverent at times and full of nice vignettes and memorable turns of phrase."—Roy Porter, Times Higher Education Supplement

 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
9
Introduction
13
Huxley Owen and the Archetype
21
Creative Continuity Fossils Theology
58
Huxleys Persistence
86
Social Function and Fossil Form
115
Phytogeny
149
Groves of Trees Grades of Life
177
Notes and References
207
Bibliography
249
Index
275
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About the author (1984)

Adrian Desmond is the author of Hotblooded Dinosaurs and The Ape's Reflexion, as well as numerous articles.

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