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Metaphysics, Materialism, and the Evolution of Mind

The Early Writings of Charles Darwin

Transcribed and Annotated by Paul H. Barrett
With a Commentary by Howard E. Gruber

First published in 1974 as a companion volume to Darwin on Man by Howard E. Gruber, Paul Barrett’s transcriptions of Darwin’s M and N notebooks served to shed new light on the evolutionist’s methods and motivation.

According to Stephen Jay Gould in the New York Times Book Review, “Darwin kept [these notebooks] primarily in 1838, when he was 29 years old. In them, he recorded his early conviction of evolutionary continuity between humans and all other animals. . . . These notebooks display all the features of humanistic intellect that his detractors denied. We find erudition in his comments on Plato, Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Whewell, Burke, Montaigne, Lessing and Spencer. . . . We appreciate an artistic bent in his delight with nature and her prophet Wordsworth. . . . We grasp the breadth of his bold attempt to clothe all human thought and behaviour in a new evolutionary garb. . . . Charles Darwin was reconstructing the world and he knew exactly what he was doing.” 

252 pages | 9 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1974, 1980

Biological Sciences: Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents




PART I Previously Unpublished Manuscripts of Charles Darwin

The Notebooks on Man, Mind and Materialism:
M Notebook
N Notebook
Old and Useless Notes
Essay on Theology and Natural Selection
Questions for Mr. Wynne

PART II Selections from Previously Published Writings of Charles Darwin

From the Beagle Diary
Extracts from the B-C-D-E Transmutation Notebooks
A Biographical Sketch of an Infant


A Biographical Sketch of Charles Darwin's Father
The Suppressed Minutes of the Plinian Society Meeting of March  27, 1827



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