Canguilhem and his Workgroup

José Ternes


This paper develops a brief analysis of the book Du développement à l’évolution au XIXe siècle, by Georges Canguilhem and his research workgroup during the years 1958-1960. What is at stake is the history of two core concepts of biology in the 19th century whose unfolding continues to persist at the beginning of the 21st century. Concerning the positive history of modern science, influential works and authors in this history, particularly Spencer and Darwin, are addressed here, in addition to Auguste Comte and Lamarck, when taking into consideration their legendary aspect. Each of these concepts has a birthplace of its own. It is also possible to identify a remarkable historical démarche but also moments of rapprochement and even of inversion of their meanings; a history of errors, as well as a fundamental history of their histories and of their many retrospective illusions.


Canguilhem; History of Biology; Theory of Evolution; Development; Spencer and Darwin

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ISSN: 2526-2270

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