The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought by Robert J. RichardsThe Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought by Robert J. Richards

The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought

byRobert J. Richards

Paperback | August 15, 2009

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Prior to the First World War, more people learned of evolutionary theory from the voluminous writings of Charles Darwin’s foremost champion in Germany, Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), than from any other source, including the writings of Darwin himself. But, with detractors ranging from paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould to modern-day creationists and advocates of intelligent design, Haeckel is better known as a divisive figure than as a pioneering biologist. Robert J. Richards’s intellectual biography rehabilitates Haeckel, providing the most accurate measure of his science and art yet written, as well as a moving account of Haeckel’s eventful life.

Robert J. Richards is the Morris Fishbein Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago and the author, most recently, of The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Title:The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary ThoughtFormat:PaperbackDimensions:576 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.7 inPublished:August 15, 2009Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226712168

ISBN - 13:9780226712161


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1.         Introduction 
            The Tragic Source of the Anti-Religious Character of Evolutionary Theory
2.         Formation of a Romantic Biologist 
            Early Student Years
            University Years
            Habilitation and Engagement
3.         Research in Italy and Conversion to Darwinism
            Friendship with Allmers and Temptations of the Bohemian Life
            Radiolarians and the Darwinian Explanation
            Appendix: Haeckel’s Challenger Investigations
4.         Triumph and Tragedy at Jena
            Habilitation and Teaching
            Friendship with Gegenbaur
            For Love of Anna
            The Defender of Darwin
            Tragedy in Jena
5.         Evolutionary Morphology in the Darwinian Mode
            Haeckel’s Generelle Morphologie der Organismen
            Haeckel’s Darwinism
            Reaction to Haeckel’s Generelle Morphologie
            Appendix: Haeckel’s Letter to Darwin
6.         Travel to England and the Canary Islands: Experimental Justification of Evolution
            Visit to England and Meeting with Darwin
            Travel to the Canary Islands
            Research on Siphonophores
            A Polymorphous Sponge: The Analytical Evidence for Darwinian Theory
            Conclusion: A Naturalist Voyaging
7.         The Popular Presentation of Evolution
            Haeckel’s Natural History of Creation
            Conclusion: Evolutionary Theory and Racism
8.         The Rage of the Critics
            Critical Objections and Charges of Fraud
            Haeckel’s Responses to His Critics
            The Epistemology of Photograph and Fact: Renewed Charges of Fraud
            The Munich Confrontation with Virchow: Science vs. Socialism
9.         The Religious Response to Evolutionism: Ants, Embryos, and Jesuits
            Haeckel’s Journey to the Tropics: The Footprint of Religion
            “Science Has Nothing to Do with Christ”—Darwin
            Erich Wasmann, a Jesuit Evolutionist
            The Keplerbund vs. the Monistebund
            The Response of the Forty-six
10.       Love in a Time of War
            At Long Last Love
            The World Puzzles
            The Consolations of Love 
            Second Journey to the Tropics—Java and Sumatra
            Growth in Love and Despair
            Lear on the Heath
            The Great War
11.       Conclusion: The Tragic Sense of Ernst Haeckel
            Early Assessments of Haeckel Outside of Germany
            Haeckel in the English-Speaking World at Midcentury
            Haeckel Scholarship in Germany (1900–Present)
            The Contemporary Evaluation: Haeckel and the Nazis Again
            The Tragedy of Haeckel’s Life and Science
Appendix 1: A Brief History of Morphology
            Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)     
            Karl Friedrich Burdach (1776–1847)   
            Lorenz Oken (1779–1851)      
            Friedrich Tiedemann (1781–1861)       
            Carl Gustav Carus (1789–1869)          
            Heinrich Georg Bronn (1800–1862)    
            Karl Ernst von Baer (1792–1876)       
            Richard Owen (1804–1892)    
            Charles Darwin (1809–1882)  
Appendix 2: The Moral Grammar of Narratives in the History of Biology—the Case of Haeckel and Nazi Biology