From St G. J. Mivart 23 April 1871
7, North Bank, | N.W.
Sunday, | April 23d | 1871.
My dear Sir,
I thank you very much for your kind letter received yesterday. I can assure you that it was a very great pleasure indeed to me to express agreement with you and that it has been, & ever will be, a most painful effort on my part to force myself to state my dissent from one who has so many just titles to my esteem.1
As to the “Monkey & Mushroom”—I could hardly make my views clear without going into Metaphysics—which just now, I cannot well do.2
I hope, some day, to defend my position at length, in the meantime I may observe that our conflict lies rather in the field of “Philosophy” than in that of “Physical science”.
I rejoice much to be sure of this because I do not recollect that you have ever (either in conversation or by writings) laid claim to have made any special study of metaphysics and because, therefore, I can feel that while combatting (as duty compels me to do) positions you adopt, I am not so much combatting you, as others to whose views your scientific labours give additional currency.
I am more & more persuaded that it is philosophical questions which will form the subjects of important controversy in our own immediate future.
Thanking you very much for the gratifying expressions towards me you have been so kind as to use & wishing with all my heart we did not differ so widely I remain, with kindest regards, My dear Sir | Your’s very truly | St Geo. Mivart.
Feels their conflict lies in the field of philosophy rather than in that of physical science. Regrets that they differ so widely.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7710,” accessed on 1 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7710