Darwinism's Struggle for Survival. Heredity and the Hypothesis of Natural Selection

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In Darwinism's Struggle for Survival, Jean Gayon offers a philosophical interpretation of the history of theoretical Darwinism. He begins by examining the different forms taken by the hypothesis of natural selection in the nineteenth century (Darwin, Wallace, Galton) and the major difficulties which it encountered, particularly with regard to its compatibility with the theory of heredity. He then shows how these difficulties were overcome during the seventy years which followed the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, and he concludes by analysing the major features of the genetic theory of natural selection, as it developed from 1920 to 1960. This rich and wide-ranging study will appeal to philosophers and historians of science and to evolutionary biologists. – Contents : List of illustrations; Preface; Introduction. – Part I. The Darwinian Hypothesis: – 1. Wallace and Darwin: a disagreement and its meaning; – 2. The ontology of selection; – 3. Jenkin's objections, Darwin's dilemma. – Part II. Selection Faced with the Challenge of Heredity: Sixty Years of Principled Crisis: – 4. Galton and the concept of heredity; – 5. Post-Darwinian views of selection and regression; – 6. The strategy of indirect corroboration: the case of mimicry; – 7. The search for direct proof: biometry; – 8. Establishing the possibility of natural selection: the confrontation of Darwinism and Mendelism. – Part III. The Genetic Theory of Selection: – 9. The place of selection in theoretical population genetics; – 10. The empirical and the formal. – Conclusion. – Includes bibliographical references (p. 470-503) and index.