Darwin's son George wrote a defence of his father in the form of a review article on the American philologist William Dwight Whitney's Darwinism and Language, which had appeared in the November 1874 issue of the Contemporary Review. Müller responded with 'My Reply to Mr Darwin' in the January 1875 issue of the same journal, and this letter is Charles Darwin's private reply to Müller's article. Whitney added his own contribution to the controversy in the April 1875 issue of Contemporary Review, and Müller published a pamphlet, 'In Self Defence', later in the year, enclosing a copy with a letter to Darwin dated 25 October in which he summarised their difference:
“...The point at issue between you & me is a very simple one: is that which can pass a certain line in nature the same as that which cannot? It may be, no doubt, & in that case the highest animal would simply be a stunted man. But this seems to me a narrow view of nature, particularly if we consider that everything organic is after all much more truly that which it can be than that which it is...” (DCP-LETT-10194).
Darwin and Müller were careful to distinguish their academic dispute from the far more rancorous argument that Charles and George Darwin had with St George Jackson Mivart, where an intense dispute over natural selection had been personalised by Mivart in an anonymous piece in the Quarterly Review of July 1874, in which he asserted that George Darwin approved of prostitution as a means to check population growth. As a result of this article Darwin broke off all contact with Mivart.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale