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

Hardcover | March 26, 1987

byToby A. Appel

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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 controversythat 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 andits 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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From Our Editors

Few issues have been more fundamental to biology than the contest between form and function as the chief organizing principle of life, and no event better represents that contest than the debate between Georges Cuvier and Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

From the Publisher

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 controversythat focused the attention of naturalists in...

From the Jacket

Few issues have been more fundamental to biology than the contest between form and function as the chief organizing principle of life, and no event better represents that contest than the debate between Georges Cuvier and Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

Toby A. Appel is at Baltimore County.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:306 pages, 9.65 × 6.38 × 0.91 inPublished:March 26, 1987Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195041380

ISBN - 13:9780195041385

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: A Classic Confrontation and Its Interpretations2. Cuvier and Geoffroy: Collaborators on a New Science3. "Le Legislateur de la Science"" Cuvier and Functionalist Anatomy4. Geoffroy and the Emergence of Philosophical Anatomy5. The Battle Lines are Drawn: 1820-18296. The Debate Before the Academie7. Beyond the Academie: The Many Uses of the Debate8. Teleology, Morphology, and Evolution: The Debate and the Future of Zoology

From Our Editors

Few issues have been more fundamental to biology than the contest between form and function as the chief organizing principle of life, and no event better represents that contest than the debate between Georges Cuvier and Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

Editorial Reviews

"A first-class piece of work. The author covers an area of science's history about which we have long known something, but not enough; she balances judiciously the straight science and all of the other factors, especially the politics of biology; and, above all else, she tells a rattling goodyarn about the clash between two of the greatest prima donnas in the story of nineteenth-century France." --American Historical Review