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Darwin's Evolving IdentityAdventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation$
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Alistair Sponsel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226523118

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Darwin's Evolving Identity
Author(s):

Alistair Sponsel

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.003.0001

This introduction forecasts the book’s main argument, that caution was not Charles Darwin’s original attitude toward publishing, and lays out what is at stake in examining Darwin’s self-fashioning as a man of science. His reticent approach to publishing on evolution was a conscious attempt to avoid repeating missteps he felt he had taken as a rash young author of geological theories. While this book focuses on Darwin, its purpose is to answer broader questions about science as a vocation and a body of knowledge. Through analysis of how Darwin came to transcend the role of voyaging observer-collector to become a credible author of grand scientific theories, the book will draw lessons about the importance of face-to-face mentorship, the status of theorizing, and the cultivation of audiences in nineteenth-century science. The chapter’s end-notes contain extended discussions of, inter alia, “identity” as a category of analysis, Bruno Latour’s methods in science studies, and the Strong Programme in the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK).

Keywords:   Charles Darwin, evolution, coral reefs, Charles Lyell, Alexander von Humboldt, geology, On the Origin of Species, theories, authorship, identity, science studies

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