Savage selection: analogy and elision in On the Origin of Species

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Abstract

Darwin famously built the ground-breaking argument of On the Origin of Species out of an analogy between artificial selection ('breeding') and what he called 'nature's power of selection' - or, more famously, 'natural selection'. For years, historians of science have debated the origins of this analogy and philosophers of science have disputed exactly how well it works. But is Darwin's argument really an analogy? A closer look at what the world-travelling naturalist of the Beagle has to say about selection among 'savages' opens a more complicated story.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalEndeavour
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History and Philosophy of Science

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