History and Philosophy Of Science | The Life and Work of Charles Darwin
X226 | 11373 | Sander Gliboff
The Life and Work of Charles Darwin
This course uses the life and work of Charles Darwin to introduce
the theory of evolution, the history of science and society in the
nineteenth century, and the variety of human experiences, ideas, and
concerns that may enter into the process of scientific discovery.
We proceed chronologically, following Darwin from his childhood home
in Shrewsbury, through his university studies in medicine at
Edinburgh and theology at Cambridge, his beetle-collecting and field
work in geology, his voyages of exploration aboard H.M.S. Beagle,
and his later research and writing at his country estate in Downe.
At each station of Darwin’s life, we will try to reconstruct his
experiences with Nature, the questions he is asking about them, the
scientific theories he is considering, the larger social, religious,
and political context in which he is working, and how all of these
considerations are reflected in his most famous book, The Origin of
The class will meet twice per week for a combination of lecture and
discussion. Students will be expected to attend regularly, to read
all the assigned materials thoroughly before each class meeting, and
be prepared to answer questions about them.
Darwin, Charles Robert, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural
Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for
Life, 1st ed. (London: John Murray, 1859; facsimile, Cambridge, MA &
London: Harvard University Press, 1964).
Darwin, Charles Robert, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-
1882: With Original Omissions Restored, edited by Nora Barlow (W. W.
Norton, 1993) ISBN 0-393-31069-8
Paley, William, Natural Theology (Coachwhip Publications, 2005)
Desmond, Adrian J. and James Richard Moore, Darwin. The Life of a
Tormented Evolutionist (1991; reprint New York & London: W. W.
Norton, 1994). ISBN 0-393-31150-3.