The Cuvier-Geoffrey Debate: French Biology in the Decades before Darwin

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Oxford University Press, Mar 26, 1987 - Science - 306 pages
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For scientists, no event better represents the contest between form and function as the chief organizing principle of life as the debate between Georges Cuvier and Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. This book presents the first comprehensive study of the celebrated French scientific controversy that focused the attention of naturalists in the first decades of the nineteenth century on the conflicting claims of teleology, morphology, and evolution, which ultimately contributed to the making of Darwin's theory. This history describes not only the scientific dimensions of the controversy and its impact on individuals and institutions, but also examines the meaning of the debate for culture and society in the years before Darwin.
 

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Contents

A Classic Confrontation and Its Interpretations
1
Collaborators on a New Science
11
Cuvier and Functionalist Anatomy
40
Chapter 4 Geoffroy and the Emergence of Philosophical Anatomy
69
18201829
105
Chapter 6 The Debate before the Académie
143
The Many Uses of the Debate
175
The Debate and the Future of Zoology
202
Appendixes
238
Notes
245
Index
293
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