Article ID: CBB001251989

Le projet du néolamarckisme français (1880--1910) (2012)


It is generally acknowledged that the Darwinian and especially Neo-Darwinian theses had a difficult reception in the French scientific community. A different sort of transformism, generally qualified as Neo-Lamarckian, fueled the opposition with which they met. This French brand of transformism has often been described -- and sometimes by the scientists themselves -- as a heterogeneous entity, a simple juxtaposition of critical conceptions without any general unity. We would like to defend a different interpretation of this history. The main object of this paper is to present the positive aspect of French Neo-Lamarckism. This implies that, on the one hand, this transformism had a certain internal consistency, and that, on the other hand, this consistency was not reducible to a general form, the French case of which would be merely a geographical demarcation. French Neo-Lamarckism was driven by a specific project, that of rendering the transformist hypothesis scientific. This aim called for a theoretical basis, that is the inclusion of this evolutionism in the causal and mechanical explanation of the material universe. It also required an empirical aspect, that is the development of what was called experimental transformism. Behind this project, we read the desire to build a transformism similar to the model of scientificity that Bernardian physiology had acquired at the end of the 19th century.

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Authors & Contributors
Loison, Laurent
Schmidgen, Henning
Gissis, Snait B.
Schloegel, Judy Johns
Dutra, Luiz Henrique de Araujo
Erlingsson, Steindór J.
Journal of the History of Biology
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Perspectives on Science
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
UNICAMP, Centro de Lógica, Epistemologia e História da Ciência
Zone Books
Experimental biology
Bernard, Claude
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monet de
Durkheim, Émile
Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg
Descartes, René
Rabaud, Etienne
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century
17th century
Great Britain
United States
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (Great Britain)

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