A translated and annotated version of the original French text by Edmond Perrier
McBirney, Alex, Cook, Stanton
2009, XX, 266 p.
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From the reviews: “The 20 chapters cover a range of pre-Darwin naturalists and scholars, primarily discussing their ideas with admirable conciseness and perspective. Rarely does a relatively short opus address so much in such detail as this one. Cook and Retallack … supply a comprehensive glossary of terms and a ‘Biographical Index.’ … Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections.” (F. S. Szalay, Choice, Vol. 47 (7), March, 2010)
The Philosophy of Zoology Before Darwin. A Translated and Annotated Version of the Original French Text by Emond Perrier is a welcome and much-needed addition to a huge volume of literature in the history of biology. As McBirney notes in his introduction to this translation, he was surprised to find Perrier’s history so ignored within the canon of history of biology. Perrier’s history provides a unique synthesis of pre-Darwinian philosophical assumptions—he traces these premises throughout the centuries and millennia of their influence in his short, informative, biographical sketches. The book is a solid reminder of a time in the history of biology when history itself carried legitimate explanatory power. Review by Lydia Pyne, PaleoAnthropology 2010