, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 5–24 | Cite as

What-if history of science

Peter J. Bowler: Darwin deleted: Imagining a world without Darwin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013, ix+318pp, $30.00 HB
  • Alan C. Love
  • Robert J. Richards
  • Peter J. Bowler
Book Symposium

Alan C. Love

Darwinian calisthenics

An athlete engages in calisthenics as part of basic training and as a preliminary to more advanced or intense activity. Whether it is stretching, lunges, crunches, or push-ups, routine calisthenics provide a baseline of strength and flexibility that prevent a variety of injuries that might otherwise be incurred. Peter Bowler has spent 40 years doing Darwinian calisthenics, researching and writing on the development of evolutionary ideas with special attention to Darwin and subsequent filiations among scientists exploring evolution (e.g., Bowler 1976, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1996, 2007). Therefore, we would expect that when Bowler engages in a counterfactual history—imagining a world without Darwin—he is able to avoid historical injury and generate novel insights. My assessment is that the results are mixed. Before we can see why, it is necessary to walk briskly through the main contours of his argument.

Bowler begins with an apologiafor a counterfactual...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan C. Love
    • 1
  • Robert J. Richards
    • 2
  • Peter J. Bowler
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Minnesota Center for Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of Minnesota - Twin CitiesMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Fishbein Center for History of Science and MedicineThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.School of History and AnthropologyQueen’s UniversityBelfastUK

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