Journal of the History of Biology 53 (1):5-44 (2020)
AbstractThe sole diagram in On the Origin of Species is generally considered to be merely an illustration of Darwin’s ideas, but such an interpretation ignores the fact that Darwin himself expressly stated that the diagram helped him to discover and express his ideas. This article demonstrates that developing the so-called “tree diagram” substantially aided Darwin’s heuristics. This demonstration is based on an interpretation of the diagram and of 17 sketches found in Darwin’s scientific papers. The key to this interpretation is the meaning that Darwin assigned to the graphic elements he used to construct the preliminary sketches and the diagram. I argue that each of the sketches contributed to the shaping of Darwin’s ideas and that, in their succession, each added new elements that ultimately resulted in the fully developed published diagram.
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References found in this work
On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.Charles Darwin - 1859 - Sterling.
The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection of the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.Charles Darwin - 1859 - Norton.
Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation".James A. Secord & John M. Lynch - 2001 - Journal of the History of Biology 34 (3):565-579.
Charles Darwin's Natural Selection: Being the Second Part of His Big Species Book Written From 1856 to 1858.Charles Darwin - 1975 - Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work
Three-Dimensional Phylogeny in Two Dimensions: How Darwin and Other Nineteenth-Century Naturalists Created Three-Dimensional Figures of the Natural System by Combining Trees of Life and Maps of Affinity.Kees van Putten - 2021 - Journal of the History of Biology 54 (4):639-687.
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