Moncure Conway wants to call on CD.
EAD has seen the extract from Mill's [System of] Logic which Carpenter read when arguing CD should have the Copley. Has CD seen it?
ever yours | E Darwin
- f1 4334.f1The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the following letter.
- f2 4334.f2The letter referred to has not been found. Moncure Daniel Conway was an American preacher and author with strong anti-slavery views; in 1863, he moved from Boston to London (DAB).
- f3 4334.f3See following letter.
- f4 4334.f4In the fifth edition of John Stuart Mill's System of logic, Mill discussed the proper use of scientific hypotheses, noting that `Mr. Darwin's remarkable speculation on the origin of species is another unimpeachable example of a legitimate hypothesis' (J. S. Mill 1862, 2: 18 n.). Arguing that CD had not violated the `rules of Induction' since he did not pretend his doctrine was proven, Mill wrote (ibid.):
He has opened a path of inquiry full of promise, the results of which none can foresee. And is it not a wonderful feat of scientific ingenuity to have rendered so bold a suggestion, which the first impulse of everyone was to reject at once, admissible and discussable, even as a conjecture?See also Correspondence vol. 9, letter from Henry Fawcett, 16 July  and n. 3, and Hull 1973, pp. 27--8. CD was considered for the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1863, but on 5 November the medal was awarded to Adam Sedgwick; William Benjamin Carpenter was a member of the society's council and seconded John Lubbock's nomination of CD for the medal (Royal Society, Council minutes, 5 November 1863). The Copley Medal was awarded, generally annually, by the council of the Royal Society, for outstanding `philosophical research' (Record of the Royal Society, Appendix IV).