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The Spirit of System: Lamarck and Evolutionary Biology

by Richard W Burkhardt Jr
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995. 320 pages.

A definitive study of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, often credited as the first scientist to develop a truly coherent evolutionary theory, Richard W Burkhardt Jr's The Spirit of System considers Lamarck and his achievements in their own context, rather than as a mere, and misguided, anticipation of Darwin. Praising the revised edition, Michael Ruse wrote, "The Spirit of System was a classic from its first appearance. It was and still is simply the definitive account of the great French founder of evolutionary biology. ... Burkhardt's remains the one essential volume that one must read on the topic."