Darwin, Erasmus (1731–1802) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Darwin, Erasmus(1731–1802)

Erasmus Darwin, an English physician, man of science, and poet, was the grandfather of Charles Darwin, whose evolutionary views he partly anticipated, and of Francis Galton. Like Charles he was educated at Cambridge, where he took the M.B. degree in 1755. For more than forty years he practiced medicine at Lichfield and Derby and gained a wide reputation for his skill, intellectual vigor, and originality of character. Among his friends were Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whom he met in 1766, and Joseph Priestley. He corresponded with both men. In 1784 he founded the Philosophical Society at Derby to stimulate interest in the sciences. He wrote copiously, with varying degrees of success. His chief prose works are Zoonomia or the Laws of Organic Life (2 vols., London, 1794–1796) and Phytologia or the Philosophy of Agriculture and Gardening (London, 1799). Two long poems embodying his views about the origin and development of...

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This section contains 955 words
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Buy the Darwin, Erasmus (1731–1802) Encyclopedia Article
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Darwin, Erasmus (1731–1802) from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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