Lives of Eminent Victorians. Autobiography and Evolutionism in Darwin and Spencer.

Author/s Sergio Bucchi
Publishing Year 2013 Issue 2013/4
Language Italian Pages 22 P. 699-720 File size 515 KB
DOI 10.3280/SF2013-004003
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The customary tribute to every "eminent Victorian" was in this case particularly significant, because the three volumes edited by Francis Darwin included, among other things, the first edition of the great naturalist’s autobiography, and an important essay by Thomas Henry Huxley on the revolutionary effect that the publication of the Origin of Species had on Victorian public opinion. Around the same time, Herbert Spencer decided to revise the material for his autobiography with a view to its publication. One of the main goals of the Spencer’s work was to claim the complete originality of his approach to evolutionary theory. The present essay aims to compare the two autobiographies, supplemented by the recollections of the main protagonists of the age, with a view to re-examining significant documents in Victorian archives of evolutionism.

Keywords: Autobiography, Darwin, evolution, natural selection, Spencer, synthetic philosophy

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Sergio Bucchi, Storie di vittoriani eminenti. Evoluzionismo e autobiografia in Darwin e Spencer in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 4/2013, pp 699-720, DOI: 10.3280/SF2013-004003