Origin of Species, The

Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859), in which he argues for the evolution of organisms by virtue of natural selection, is a seminal work in the history of science. It is also a work of enduring philosophical interest, specifically about Darwin’s methodology, as he tries to persuade the reader of the plausibility of events and causes long lost in antiquity. Darwin uses analogy-from the successes of animal and plant breeders – and also what the philosophy William Whewell called a ‘consilience of inductions,’ as Darwin argues that his mechanism of selection explains in a range of fields-behaviour, paleontology, biogeography, anatomy, systematics, and embryology-and in turn is confirmed by its successes. Is Darwin successful, and if not, could he have done better and how? [recommended by Michael Ruse, Florida State University]

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