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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Ernst Haeckel1   6 June 1875

Jena

6 Juni 1875

Hochverehrter theurer Freund!

Beifolgend erhalten Sie von meinem hiesigen Collegen und Freunde Fritz Schultze eine Schrift, betitelt: “Kant und Darwin”, von der ich nicht bezweifle, dass dieselbe Sie sehr interessiren wird. Sie ersehen daraus, dass unser grösster deutscher Philosoph schon vor mehr als einem Jahrhundert Ideen vertrat, welche nicht nur als die ersten klaren Conceptionen der Descendenz-, sondern auch Ihrer Selections-Theorie zu betrachten sind.2 Ich empfehle Ihnen besonders S. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 32, 38, 46, 47, 48–50, 55–58 61 (—1775!!), 65, 76, 84 etc.

Es ist ein neuer Lorber in dem Kranze Ihres Ruhmes, in dem grössten Denker Deutschlands einen Vorgänger gehabt zu haben!— Ich hoffe, dass dadurch viele deutsche Philosophen zum “Darwinismus” bekehrt werden!—

Im März und April war ich in Corsica und Sardinien (besonders längere Zeit in Ajaccio) wo ich gutes neues Material für meine Gastraea-Theorie gesammelt habe.3 Auch bin ich jetzt mit der 6. Edit. der Schöpfungsgesch. und mit der 3. der “Anthropogenie” beschäftigt.4 Von beiden Büchern werden Sie englische Übersetzungen noch im Laufe dieses Sommers erhalten.5

Hoffentlich geht es Ihnen gut. In bekannter Verehrung mit den herzlichsten Grüssen Ihr treu ergebener | Ernst Haeckel

CD annotations

1.6 25] double underl blue crayon
1.6 26] underl blue crayon
1.6 32] underl blue crayon
1.7 47] double underl blue crayon
1.7 48–50] underl blue crayon
1.7 55–58] double underl blue crayon
1.7 61] double underl blue crayon
Top of letter: ‘Hackel’ purple crayon

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Appendix I. .
In his book on Immanuel Kant and CD (Schultze 1875, pp. 58–79), Schultze reproduced Kant’s essay on race, ‘Von den verschiedenen Racen der Menschen’ (On the different races of man; Kant 1777). Kant had defined races as deviations within a single line of descent preserved invariably over many generations. He discussed the idea that a noble stock of human beings could be created by breeding, but noted that nature would work to hinder such a scheme (ibid., p. 61). For more on Kant’s ideas about race, including a translation of his original essay on race of 1775 and the expanded version of 1777, see Mikkelsen ed. 2013.
Haeckel first developed his ‘gastraea theory’ in his monograph on calcareous sponges (Haeckel 1872, 1: 344–5; see Correspondence vol. 21, letter from Ernst Haeckel, 8 October 1873 and n. 7). He proposed that two primary cell types or germ layers were differentiated in the early embryonic development of all multicellular organisms and that the ancestral mode of germ-layer formation was by invagination to produce a functional gut. This stage in development was called gastrulation. He further hypothesised, drawing on his biogenetic law (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny), that there had existed an actual ‘gastraea’, by analogy with the developmental stage. Ajaccio is on Corsica.
The sixth edition of Haeckel’s Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (Natural history of creation; Haeckel 1875a) did appear in 1875, but the third edition of Anthropogenie oder Entwickelungsgeschichte des Menschen (Anthropogeny or the developmental history of man; Haeckel 1877) was published in 1877. CD’s copy of Haeckel 1875a has not been found; his copy of Haeckel 1877 is in the Darwin Library–Down.
Haeckel’s History of creation (Haeckel 1876a; translation of Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte) was published in 1876. Evolution of man (Haeckel 1879a; translation of Anthropogenie) appeared in 1879.

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Kant, Immanuel. 1777. Von den verschiedenen Racen der Menschen. In Der Philosoph für die Welt, edited by Johann Jakob Engel. Leipzig: Dyckische Buchhandlung.

Schultze, Fritz. 1875. Kant und Darwin. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Entwicklungslehre. Jena: Hermann Dufft.

Translation

From Ernst Haeckel1   6 June 1875

Jena

6 June 1875

Most honoured dear friend!

Accept the enclosed book, by my colleague and friend here, Fritz Schultze, entitled “Kant und Darwin”, which I don’t doubt will interest you very much. You will see from it that over a century ago, our greatest German philosopher already advocated ideas that must be regarded not just as the first clear conception of the theory of descent, but also of your theory of selection.2 I recommend you in particular p. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 32, 38, 46, 47, 48–50, 55–58 61 (—1775!!), 65, 76, 84 etc.

It is yet another laurel in the wreath of your fame, to have a predecessor in the greatest thinker of Germany!— I hope that this will convert many German philosophers to “Darwinism”!—

In March and April I was in Corsica and Sardinia (I stayed especially long in Ajaccio) where I collected useful new material for my Gastraea-theory.3 I am now also busy with the 6th edition of Schöpfungsgesch. and with the 3rd of the “Anthropogenie”.4 You will receive English translations of both sometime this summer.5

I hope you are well. With the familiar veneration & with the most cordial greetings, your loyally devoted | Ernst Haeckel.

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original German, see pp. 222–3.
In his book on Immanuel Kant and CD (Schultze 1875, pp. 58–79), Schultze reproduced Kant’s essay on race, ‘Von den verschiedenen Racen der Menschen’ (On the different races of man; Kant 1777). Kant had defined races as deviations within a single line of descent preserved invariably over many generations. He discussed the idea that a noble stock of human beings could be created by breeding, but noted that nature would work to hinder such a scheme (ibid., p. 61). For more on Kant’s ideas about race, including a translation of his original essay on race of 1775 and the expanded version of 1777, see Mikkelsen ed. 2013.
Haeckel first developed his ‘gastraea theory’ in his monograph on calcareous sponges (Haeckel 1872, 1: 344–5; see Correspondence vol. 21, letter from Ernst Haeckel, 8 October 1873 and n. 7). He proposed that two primary cell types or germ layers were differentiated in the early embryonic development of all multicellular organisms and that the ancestral mode of germ-layer formation was by invagination to produce a functional gut. This stage in development was called gastrulation. He further hypothesised, drawing on his biogenetic law (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny), that there had existed an actual ‘gastraea’, by analogy with the developmental stage. Ajaccio is on Corsica.
The sixth edition of Haeckel’s Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (Natural history of creation; Haeckel 1875a) did appear in 1875, but the third edition of Anthropogenie oder Entwickelungsgeschichte des Menschen (Anthropogeny or the developmental history of man; Haeckel 1877) was published in 1877. CD’s copy of Haeckel 1875a has not been found; his copy of Haeckel 1877 is in the Darwin Library–Down.
Haeckel’s History of creation (Haeckel 1876a; translation of Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte) was published in 1876. Evolution of man (Haeckel 1879a; translation of Anthropogenie) appeared in 1879.

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Kant, Immanuel. 1777. Von den verschiedenen Racen der Menschen. In Der Philosoph für die Welt, edited by Johann Jakob Engel. Leipzig: Dyckische Buchhandlung.

Schultze, Fritz. 1875. Kant und Darwin. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Entwicklungslehre. Jena: Hermann Dufft.

Summary

Comments on Fritz Schultze, Kant und Darwin [1875].

Describes recent activities.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-10012
From
Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Jena
Source of text
DAR 166: 64
Physical description
2pp (German)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10012,” accessed on 22 November 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-10012.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23

letter