- Darwin, Charles Robert
- (1809–1882)English naturalist. Darwin was born in Shrewsbury and studied medicine at Edinburgh, then Cambridge. His naturalistic observations came to maturity on the famous voyage of the Beagle (1831–6). During the subsequent twenty years Darwin consolidated his scientific reputation while living the life of a country gentleman of scientific interests, breeding and observing domestic animals, especially pigeons, and working out the details of the theory of evolution. It was only in 1858 that, prodded by reading the essay On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type sent to him by Alfred Russell Wallace (1823–1913), he prepared a joint paper with Wallace, to be read to the Linnaean Society. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection followed in 1859. Darwin's work is the foundation of modern biology. In itself it affords a rich field not only for philosophers of science interested, for example, in the relationship between theory and observation, or in the place of falsification in science, but also to those interested in the sociology of paradigms, and the various factors that affect the climate of ideas. Darwin's other claim to philosophical attention arises from The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872).
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.