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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2004

The importance of french transformist ideas for the second volume of lyell's principles of geology

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Abstract

Recently there has been considerable revaluation of the development of natural sciences in the early nineteenth century, dealing among other things with the works and ideas of Charles Lyell. The task of interpreting Lyell in balanced terms is extremely complex because his activities covered many fields of research, and because his views have been unwarrantably distorted in order to make him the precursor of various modern scientific positions. Martin Rudwick in particular has contributed several papers relating to Lyell's Principles of geology, and has repeatedly stressed the need for a comprehensive evaluation of Lyell's scientific proposals, and of his position in the culture of his time. (1) In the present paper I hope to contribute to the reassessment of Lyell's work by concentrating on his discussion of transformism, which constituted the central theme of the second volume of the Principles of geology : the very length of Lyell's detailed and critical analysis of Lamarck's theories reveals the importance he attributed to the question of transformism in the contemporary natural sciences. (2)
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halshs-00002894 , version 1 (20-09-2004)

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  • HAL Id : halshs-00002894 , version 1

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Pietro Corsi. The importance of french transformist ideas for the second volume of lyell's principles of geology. 2004. ⟨halshs-00002894⟩
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