The Cambridge Companion to the ‘Origin of Species’

September 17, 2009

Editors: Michael Ruse and Robert J. Richards

Edition: First

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Pages: 424

Price: £45.00 and £16.99

ISBN: 9780521870795 and 521691291

Philosophers have struggled to understand Darwin, or indeed to do his theory credit. Although, as once contributor puts it, “Darwin is all the rage in philosophy these days”, both the man and his work are often misrepresented. But this new companion to the Origin of Species should help to remedy that. The essays cover “The Origin of the Origin”; various specific aspects of the theory, such as the issues surrounding variations and inheritance or the principle of divergence; the social context and the “moral purpose” of Darwin; useful surveys of elements of the theory, such the geographical and geological record, morphology and botany; and there are methodological and political debates too. The writing is uniformly well-informed and yet clear and uncluttered.

Who is it for? Anyone seeking a critical introduction to either Darwin or the Origin of Species.

Presentation: Series of essays on well-chosen themes.

Would you recommend it? Certainly; it is an excellent resource.

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