Article ID: CBB001510261

Alexei Sewertzoff and Adolf Naef: Revising Haeckel's Biogenetic Law (2015)


Levit, Georgy S. (Author)
Hossfeld, Uwe (Author)
Olsson, Lennart (Author)

History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Volume: 36, no. 3
Issue: 3
Pages: 357-370

Publication Date: 2015
Edition Details: Part of a Series: Crossroads between nature and culture: Papers in honour of Christiane Groeben
Language: English

Ernst Haeckel formulated his biogenetic law, famously stating that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, in 1872. The Russian evolutionist Alexei Sewertzoff, and the Swiss-born zoologist Adolf Naef were among those who revised Haeckel's law, thus changing the course of evolutionary theory and of developmental biology. Although Sewertzoff and Naef approached the problem in a similar way and formulated similar hypotheses at a purely descriptive level, their theoretical viewpoints were crucially different. While Sewertzoff laid the foundations for a Darwinian evolutionary morphology and is regarded as a forerunner of the modern synthesis, Naef was one of the most important figures in “idealistic morphology”, which is usually seen as a type of anti-Darwinism. Both Naef and Sewertzoff aimed to revise Haeckel's biogenetic law and came to comparable conclusions at the empirical level. This paper is an attempt to explain how their fundamentally different theoretical backgrounds influenced their views on the relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny.

Included in

Article Bernardi, Giorgio; Fantini, Bernardino; Dröscher, Ariane (2015) Crossroads between Nature and Culture: An Introduction. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (pp. 301-304). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Chapter Alessandro Minelli; (2015)
I limiti temporali e la periodizzazione dello sviluppo (/isis/citation/CBB017623140/)

Article Minelli, Alessandro; (2003)
L'omologia rivisitata (/isis/citation/CBB000340720/)

Article Santos, Guilherme Francisco; de Carvalho Ramos, Maurício; (2013)
Ernst Haeckel e a sua Monografia das moneras (/isis/citation/CBB001214025/)

Chapter Di Gregorio, Mario A.; (2009)
Unter Darwins Flagge: Ernst Haeckel, Carl Gegenbaur und die Evolutionäre Morphologie (/isis/citation/CBB001035236/)

Article Breidbach, Olaf; (2003)
Post-Haeckelian Comparative Biology---Adolf Naef's Idealistic Morphology (/isis/citation/CBB000430235/)

Article Wegener, Daan; (2011)
“Das politische Welträtsel”: Ernst Haeckel en het Duitse liberalisme 1859--1900 (/isis/citation/CBB001251338/)

Article Olivier Rieppel; (2020)
Morphology and Phylogeny (/isis/citation/CBB122827069/)

Article Zachos, Frank E.; Hossfeld, Uwe; (2010)
Adolf Remane (1898--1976) and His Views on Systematics, Homology and the Modern Synthesis (/isis/citation/CBB001421107/)

Article Breidbach, Olaf; Ghiselin, Michael T.; (2007)
Anton Dohrn and the Problems of 19th-Century Phylogenetic Morphology (/isis/citation/CBB001231997/)

Essay Review Maclaurin, James; (2003)
The Good, the Bad and the Impossible (/isis/citation/CBB000340584/)

Article Hoßfeld, Uwe; Olsson, Lennart; (2003)
The Road from Haeckel: The Jena Tradition in Evolutionary Morphology and the Origins of “Evo-Devo” (/isis/citation/CBB000340573/)

Article Richardson, Michael K.; Keuck, Gerhard; (2002)
Haeckel's ABC of Evolution and Development (/isis/citation/CBB000400986/)

Chapter Gliboff, Sander; (2012)
Monism and Morphology at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (/isis/citation/CBB001201838/)

Article Reiß, Christian; (2012)
Gateway, Instrument, Environment (/isis/citation/CBB001420908/)

Article Schmitt, Stéphane; (2003)
Homeosis and Atavistic Regeneration: The “Biogenetic Law” in Entwicklungsmechanik (/isis/citation/CBB000600372/)

Article Rieppel, Olivier; Williams, David M.; Ebach, Malte C.; (2013)
Adolf Naef (1883--1949): On Foundational Concepts and Principles of Systematic Morphology (/isis/citation/CBB001320041/)

Authors & Contributors
Di Gregorio, Mario A.
Hossfeld, Uwe
Breidbach, Olaf
Rieppel, Olivier
Krausse, Erika
Olsson, Lennart
Journal of the History of Biology
Theory in Biosciences
Biology and Philosophy
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Biological Reviews Published for the Cambridge Philosophical Society
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
University of Chicago
Developmental biology
Haeckel, Ernst
Gegenbaur, Carl
Naef, Adolf
Owen, Richard
Franz, Victor
Hertwig, Oscar
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
21st century

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment