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Ontogeny and Phylogeny Paperback – February 16, 1985
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In Gould's...new book...Ontogeny and Phylogeny, a scholarly study of the theory of recapitulation, he not only explains scientific theory but comments on science itself, with clarity and wit, simultaneously entertaining and teaching...[This] is a rich book. (James Gorman New York Times Book Review)
It is rare indeed to read a new book and recognize it for a classic...Gould has given biologists a new way to see the organisms they study. The result is a major achievement. (S. Rachootin American Scientist)
Gould's book--pervaded, I should say, with an erudition and felicity of style that make it a delight to read--is a radical work in every sense...It returns one's attention to the roots of our science--the questions about the great pageant of evolution, the marvelous diversity of form that our theory is meant to explain. (D. Futuyma Quarterly Review of Biology)
A distinguished and pioneering work. (Ernst Mayr)
This [is a] fat, handsome book crammed with provocative ideas...Ontogeny and Phylogeny is an important and thoughtful book which will be a valuable source of ideas and controversies for anyone interested in evolutionary or developmental biology. (Matt Cartmill Science)
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Top Customer Reviews
"The world was a better place when I was young," "Kids today are worse than they were 20 years ago," are two of the more egregious examples I hear of people confusing ontogeny (development of an individual) with phylogeny (development of a type or collective). The world has always been a complicated and widely mixed placed. It is far more likely for an individual's perceptions to change in the course of a lifetime than the world that we perceive.
Gould's essays (and books collecting them) are pleasant bits of fluff that entertainingly (and sneakily) deliver well-informed and timely bits of science. "Ontogeny and Philogeny" goes the next level down, using interesting bits of (mostly) science to deliver well-informed and timely bits of philosophy.
I bought this book because I was curious about the relationship between ontogeny and philogeny. "Does ontogeny recapitulate phylogeny?" was on my mind. No, says Gould. Better, he describes what that relationship is. Along the way, he explains how humans are differentiated from other species (a topic well expanded by Jared Diamond in "The Third Chimpanzee").
Gould starts with the history of science (Lamarck, Ernst Haeckel); philosophy (Anaximander, Aristotle); and psychology (Cesare Lombroso; Freud). He starts by showing the history of the perceived relationship between phylogeny and ontogeny.Read more ›
He wrote in the “Acknowledgements” section of this 1977 book, “I view this book as an organism. I have lived with it for six years… Ernst Mayr, in a passing comment, suggested that I write this book. I only began it as a practice run to learn the style of lengthy exposition before embarking on my magnum opus about macroevolution.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) wrote many other important books, such as The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, The Panda's Thumb, Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes, The Flamingo's Smile,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Steven H Propp
One of the best of Dr. Gould's books, and there are many. Good science very well explained.Published 22 months ago by Martin A. Moe
Excellent copy and shipped fast. This is one of the books that I have been waiting to read. clean book.Published on January 28, 2013 by Sabri Gokmen
The book purchased was a used copy of Stephen Gould's "Ontogeny and Phylogeny" in paperback. The book was no surprise since I knew what it was. Read morePublished on July 30, 2009 by Stanley R. Fleming
If there is any book that has greatly reinvigorated interest in the relationship of developmental biology to evolutionary biology, then Stephen Jay Gould's "Ontogeny and Phylogeny"... Read morePublished on June 2, 2007 by John Kwok
"Ontogeny recapitulates philogeny" is the largely defunct theory that as a fetus grows it reprises the collected earlier adult states of its evolutionary forebears. Read morePublished on February 14, 2007 by Steve Reina
This book is about the history of the concepts around which the "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" developed, flourished and eventually faded out. Read morePublished on June 3, 2006 by Neal J. King
Oh my friends, I tried Atlas-fashion but to no avail. This drawn out excercise in long haired erudition was simply too much for me. Read morePublished on August 29, 2002 by Earl Dennis
Stephen Jay Gould's brilliance is evident as always in his ability to make the esoterics of great science available to people who have not thoroughly studied his field. Read morePublished on June 28, 2001 by Rivkah Maccaby