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Ornithology, Evolution, and Philosophy

De
Ernst Mayr (1904–2005), eminent naturalist-systematist and ornithologist, “- chitect” of the Synthetic Theory of Evolution, leading evolutionary biologist and in?uential historian and philosopher of biology, was asked repeatedly by friends, associates, and peers to write an autobiography, but he always declined such s- gestions because he considered those of other people he knew as inadequate. Moreover, he could not very well talk about himself without bragging, which did not appeal to him. Who else has had a private dinner with the Emperor and - pressofJapan?WhoelsehashadhonorarydegreesfromtheUniversitiesofOxford, Cambridge, Harvard, the Sorbonne, Uppsala, and Berlin? And who else has been able to celebrate the 75th anniversary of his PhD? He also published several au- biographicalaccounts,dictatedcopiousautobiographicalnotes,andannotatedhis bibliography. I had the privilege of using these notes and, in addition, of asking him numerous questions, which he answered patiently in many personal letters. He supported the plan of a biography wholeheartedly from the beginning and reviewed a ?rst draft in detail. In many ways he should be considered a coauthor of this book. As a high school student and eager birdwatcher in Germany, I read Kramer’s (1948) extensive review of Mayr’s Systematics and the Origin of Species (1942e) and was impressed with the general evolutionary relevance of the discussions and conclusions in this book based, in large part, on his ornithological studies.
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Contents
Introduction
Part I The Young Naturalist in Germany
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2
Childhood and Youth The Family ...................................................................................... Birdwatching ................................................................................... The Duck with a Red Bill ................................................................... University Student in Greifswald and Berlin ......................................... Friendships at School and University ..................................................
The Budding Scientist PhD Thesis and Examination ............................................................. The Influence of Teachers .................................................................. Erwin Stresemann—Teacher and Friend ............................................. Assistant Curator at the Museum of Natural History in Berlin ................. Expeditions to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.............................
Part II Ornithologist and Evolutionist in New York
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4
5
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1
8 8 15 22 23 33
35 35 37 39 42 48
The New York Years (1931–1953) 95 Emigration to the United States and Life in New York City...................... 95 Curator of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History ....... 113
Ornithologist and Zoogeographer 140 Birds of Oceania ............................................................................... 140 Birds of Australia, the Malay Archipelago and Southeastern Asia............. 157 Descriptions of New Species and Subspecies of Birds ............................. 161 Zoogeography ................................................................................. 163
Biological Species and Speciation—Mayr’s First Synthesis 183 A Modern Unified Theory of Evolution................................................ 183 Community Architect ....................................................................... 232
Life in North America during World War II 242 New York and Tenafly, New Jersey ....................................................... 242
12 Summary: Appreciation of Ernst Mayr’s Science
10 Systematics and Classification 320 Diversity ......................................................................................... 320 Classification ................................................................................... 321 Zoological Nomenclature .................................................................. 332
Ernst Mayr—the Man 283 Personality and General Views ........................................................... 283 Health ............................................................................................ 301 The Farm near Wilton, New Hampshire ............................................... 306 Residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts .............................................. 310 Adviser to the National Academy of Sciences and the NSF ...................... 311 National and International Recognition ............................................... 313
375
11 History and Philosophy of Biology—Mayr’s Third Synthesis 338 History of Biology ............................................................................ 340 Philosophy of Biology ....................................................................... 360
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385
Part IV Appendices
Evolutionary Biology—Mayr’s Second Synthesis 266 Overviews of Evolutionary Biology ..................................................... 266 Integrated Gene Complexes versus Beanbag Genetics ............................ 273 Animal Species and Evolution............................................................. 275 Behavior and Evolution ..................................................................... 277 Particular Topics of Evolutionary Biology ............................................ 278
Cold Spring Harbor (1943–1952) ........................................................ 243 Citizenship ...................................................................................... 250
The Harvard Years (1953–2005) 255 Teaching and PhD Students ............................................................... 259 Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology .................................. 263
Part III Professor of Zoology at Harvard University
Curriculum Vitae (Including Honorary Degrees, Honorary Memberships, Medals, and other Special Awards)
1
7
VIII
References
List of Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
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8
Contents
Contents
2
3
IX
Bibliography of Ernst Mayr 406 List of Books by Ernst Mayr ............................................................... 453 Coauthorship................................................................................... 455
Subject Analysis of Ernst Mayr’s Publications
Index
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459
http://www.springer.com/978-3-540-71777-5