By Daniel P. Todes

ISBN-10: 0195058305

ISBN-13: 9780195058307

19th century Russian intellectuals perceived a Malthusian bias in Darwin's concept of evolution by way of ordinary choice. They pointed out that bias with Darwin's suggestion of the fight for life and his emphasis upon the evolutionary function of overpopulation and intraspecific clash. during this ebook, Todes records a historic Russian critique of Darwin's Malthusian errors, explores its dating to such medical paintings as Mechnikov's phagocytic conception, Korzhinskii's mutation idea and Kropotkin's idea of mutual relief, and reveals its origins in Russia's political economic climate and within the very nature of its land and weather. this can be the 1st e-book in English to check intimately the clinical paintings of 19th century Russian evolutionists, and the 1st in any language to discover the connection of Russian theories to the industrial, political, and ordinary situations within which they have been generated. It combines a large scope (dealing with political figures and cultural hobbies) with an in depth research of medical paintings on a variety of themes.

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Additional resources for Darwin without Malthus: The Struggle for Existence in Russian Evolutionary Thought (Monographs on the History and Philosophy of Biology)

Example text

Shchurovskii, and others). Furthermore, evolutionism resonated with the materialist and positivist inclinations of the urban intelligentsia of the 1860s, particularly of the progressives who flooded the biological sciences. 74 Darwin's Russian audience was, then, well prepared for his evolutionism. It was, by the same token, well prepared to evaluate critically the novel features of Darwin's selection theory, particularly his appeal, through the metaphor "struggle for existence, " to a body of common knowledge that proved not so common at all.

Rachinskii's translation of the Origin and the appearance of Pisarev's and Timiriazev's popular essays on the selection theory. Rachinskii's edition sold out quickly, and others soon followed. Darwin's other works were also translated rapidly and read eagerly: the Russian and English editions of Descent of Man (1871) appeared almost simultaneously, and the Russian publisher of The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872) actually beat the English to press (V. O. Kovalevskii accomplished this feat by using plates from his previous edition of a work by Brehm), A translation of The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (1868) appeared in the early 1870s.

14 Malthus enjoyed great fame in England, Arsen'ev explained, and had been the first to argue that "population size is necessarily in harmony with the quantity of food supplies, or that there cannot be more inhabitants in a nation than there are supplies to feed them. "15 But this contention ignored the fact that additional people produce the additional "means of existence" that they require. He added: Malthus's proposition, one-sided and very limiting for other powers, would be beneficial for Russia, since, judging by its natural riches and the breadth of its cultivatable l a n d s .

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Darwin without Malthus: The Struggle for Existence in Russian Evolutionary Thought (Monographs on the History and Philosophy of Biology) by Daniel P. Todes


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