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Victorian Scientific NaturalismCommunity, Identity, Continuity$
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Bernard Lightman and Gowan Dawson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226109503

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226109640.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

Odd Man Out: Was Joseph Hooker an Evolutionary Naturalist?

Odd Man Out: Was Joseph Hooker an Evolutionary Naturalist?

(p.157) 6 Odd Man Out: Was Joseph Hooker an Evolutionary Naturalist?
Victorian Scientific Naturalism

Jim Endersby

University of Chicago Press

Joseph Dalton Hooker has conventionally been regarded as a proponent of scientific naturalism; one of those Victorian men of science whose explanations of natural phenomena excluded divine purpose and teleology in favour of: the atomic theory of matter; the conservation of energy; and, evolution. Naturalism often appears like the glue that connected the three major changes that shaped the redefinition of science during the Victorian period: Darwinism, secularisation and professionalisation. Hence, Hooker has been grouped with the “young guard” of British science, those whom the late Frank Turner described as having taken up “the public championship of professionalized science”. Yet, Hooker seldom referred to himself as a professional, preferring the epithet “philosophical” for himself and those – amateur and professional – whose scientific work he prized. Hooker's allegiance to Darwin was unshakeable, yet – unlike his close friend, Thomas Huxley – Hooker championed evolution by natural selection without attacking conventional religion. This chapter argues that all serious Victorian men of science considered themselves scientific naturalists, hence the category is too broad to be analytically useful.

Keywords:   Joseph Hooker, T. H. Huxley, British Association for the Advancement of Science, Darwinism, professionalization, secularism

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