Automotive Holiday Deals GG Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Get Ready for the Winter Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Outdoor Deals on HTL
Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree: The Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0231164122
ISBN-10: 0231164122
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $14.68
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$48.90 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$63.38 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
22 New from $47.05 13 Used from $44.67
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Alfred Wegener: Science, Exploration, and the Theory of Continental Drift by Mott T. Greene
"Alfred Wegener" by Mott T. Greene
Alfred Wegener aimed to create a revolution in science which would rank with those of Nicolaus Copernicus and Charles Darwin. Learn more | See related books
$63.38 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree: The Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order
  • +
  • The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge
Total price: $81.64
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


J. David Archibald is one of the leading paleomammalogists in the world, and one of the foremost experts on the biotic changes across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. In this book, he shows a deep understanding of the chronology and iconography of the 'tree' as both an iconic metaphor and a conceptual device in the history of biology.

(Kevin Padian, University of California, Berkeley)

This book presents a fascinating trip through the history of imagery and conceptual frameworks used to understand the diversity and evolution of life. J. David Archibald has produced an authoritative and delightful text that will be relished by anyone interested in evolution, biodiversity, the history and philosophy of science, scientific art, or graphic design.

(David M. Hillis, University of Texas at Austin)

Through the long history of drawings and diagrams, J. David Archibald's magnificent new book shows us how people have depicted the diverse interrelated array of life: from linear chains and ladders up through modern evolutionary trees. Archibald's work makes it clear that these relationships have been sensed regardless of the competing ideas of how the patterns were formed: whether through supernatural causes or natural evolutionary processes.

(Niles Eldredge, author of Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life)

Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree provides a fascinating insight into the way biologists use diagrams to show the history of evolution. David Archibald documents the story of these pictures in an engaging and refreshing style, ranging from beautiful early manuscripts and frescoes that display religious and human genealogical relationships, to the most modern phylogenetic trees that appear in scientific journals and textbooks. A great book for a biologist!

(Janet Browne, Harvard University)

Archibald's book is interdisciplinary, authoritative, well-written and complete, with a deep historiographic appreciation of its many subjects.


Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree will be intellectually stimulating for those interested in the history and philosophy of biology, and especially for those impressed by the importance of the visual for the construction of scientific knowledge.

(Reports of the National Center for Science Education)

Impressive and rather humbling...


Fascinating... A book that is very much worth reading by anyone who is interested in the conceptual heritage of phylogenetic trees.

(Systematic Biology)

Splendid.... Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree is a wonderful book.

(Quarterly Review of Biology)

Illuminating... It has cross-disciplinary appeal, but will be more digestible to readers with prior knowledge of evolutionary theories.

(Journal of Historical Geography)

Rich in content, beautifully illustrated, and often thought-provoking, this book should be of interest to anyone interested in the history of visual representations in the life sciences... This is a book to think with.

(Archives of Natural History)

About the Author

J. David Archibald is professor emeritus of biology at San Diego State University as well as curator of mammals in the SDSU Vertebrate Collections. He has written or coedited more than 150 articles and 6 books, including The Rise of Placental Mammals: Origins and Relationships of the Major Extant Clades and Extinction and Radiation: How the Fall of Dinosaurs Led to the Rise of Mammals.


Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (August 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231164122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231164122
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. David Archibald is Professor Emeritus of Biology, San Diego State University []. Born in 1950, Lawrence, Kansas, he is an American paleobiologist. He received his BSc (Magna cum Laude) from Kent State University, 1972 and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, 1977. His dissertation dealt with biotic change, notably of mammals across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in eastern Montana. From 1977 through 1983 he was J. Willard Gibbs Postdoctoral Fellow in Geology and then Assistant Professor in Biology at Yale University. He declined promotion to Associate Professor to return to California, where he has been since 1983. In May, 2011 he became Professor and Curator Emeritus of Biology. His fieldwork has taken him to the American West innumerable times and to Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan 13 times. He lectures in the U.S and overseas. He has written over 150 articles, essays, and reviews on the systematics and evolution of early mammals, biostratigraphy, faunal analysis, extinction, and evolutionary history, which have appeared in many journals including Nature and Science. His books include: A Study of Mammalia and Geology Across the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary in Garfield County, Montana (1982, University of California Press), Dinosaur Extinction and the End of an Era: What the Fossils Say (1996, Columbia University Press), The Rise Of Placental Mammals: Origins And Relationships Of The Major Extant Clades (2005, edited with Ken Rose), Extinction and Radiation: How the Fall of the Dinosaurs Led to the Rise of the Mammals (2011 - both, Johns Hopkins University Press), Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia: Extinct Life, 2 Volume Set (2013, Gale, edited with Norm MacLeod and Philip Levin), and Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree: The Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order (2014, Columbia University Press). This most recent book deals with how iconography of especially ladders and trees from Aristotle though DNA has shaped the perception of our place in nature. His work has been supported by some 24 grants from various organizations, most notably the he National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. Among his honors are associations with four national and international museums, a Gibbs Fellowship at Yale, a Paleontology Society Distinguished Lecturership, a Fulbright Scholarship in Russia, the Langston Distinguished Lectureship at UT Austin, and a 2007 election as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He taught mammalogy, macroevolution, biogeography, and vertebrate evolution for over 30 years, and has mentored some 30 graduate students and hundreds of undergraduates in his lab and the field.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rhee on January 3, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
wonderful book
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree: The Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order
This item: Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree: The Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order
Price: $63.38
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: science history