LAMARCK, J.B.

Recherches sur l'organisation des corps vivans, et particulièrement sur son origine, sur la cause de ses développemens et des progrès de sa composition, et sur celle qui, tendant continuellement à la détruire dans chaque individu, amène nécessairement sa mort; Précédé du Discours d'ouverture du Cours de Zoologie, donné dans le Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, l'an X de la République.

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Paris, chez l'Auteur/ Maillard, Libraire, (1802). 8vo (196 x 122mm). pp. viii, 216, 1 fold. table. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt ornamented spine with green gilt lettered label, sides with gilt border.

The first full-length exposition of Lamarck's evolutionary theory

A fine copy of the first edition of 'The first full-length exposition of Lamarck's evolutionary theory, appearing two years after its initial presentation in the 'Systême des animaux sans vertèbres'. Lamarck believed that changes in species occurred over time as the result of two factors: first, a natural tendency in the organic realms towards increasing complexity, as a means of explaining the hierarchical organization of the major groupings (classes, orders and families) of animals and plants; and second, the influence of the environment as the factor responsible for all deviations from this norm... Lamarck's two most famous hypotheses appear here as explanations of evolutionary phenomena: spontaneous generation, as a means of generating the simplest life forms; and the development, through repeated use, of new and heritable organs, as a means of producing more complex species" (Norman 1264).