Zoonomia or The Laws of Organic Life

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by Erasmus Darwin

Zoonomia or The Laws of Organic Life
George Wythe bookplate.jpg
Title not held by The Wolf Law Library
at the College of William & Mary.
Author Erasmus Darwin
Published :
Edition Precise edition unknown
Volumes 3 volume set
Desc. 8vo
Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), was a doctor, poet, inventor, and botanist, who also provided insights in physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, and biology.[1] He was also a leader in the intellectual communities which contributed to industrialization.[2] Some of his intellectual peers included James Watt, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestly, and Josiah Wedgwood.[3] One of his greater achievements was his work in biology such as his ideas of natural selection and evolution.[4]  Erasmus came up with one of the first coherent theory of evolution, a full 70 years before his grandson, Charles Darwin, which he published in Zoonomia or the Laws of Organic Life.[5]

Zoonomia or the Laws of Organic Life is made of forty sections describing different motions, anatomy, and diseases.[6] In this work, Erasmus Darwin classifies animal life into classes, orders, genera, and species through comparing them with each other.[7] Through these classifications, Erasmus is hoping to discover more about the theory of diseases.[8] Erasmus wants to provide better patient care through the betterment of the theory of diseases.[9] At the time this book was published, it was well-received, with one reviewer comparing Darwin's additions to medicine with Sir Isaac Newton's contributions to natural philosophy.[10] Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher City: Publisher Name, Year Published.

Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Web Address (retrieved Date Accessed).

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

See also


  1. "Erasmus Darwin." Erasmus Darwin House.http://www.erasmusdarwin.org/learning/erasmus-darwin/ (accessed November 8, 2018)
  2. "Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802)." Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802).http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/Edarwin.html (accessed November 8, 2018).
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. "Erasmus Darwin"
  6. Darwin, Erasmus. Zoonomia or the Laws of Organic Life. (London:J. Hohnson, 1794), v-vi.
  7. Darwin, Zoonomia or the Laws of Organic Life, 1.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Darwin, Zoonomia or the Laws of Organic Life,1-3.
  10. "Erasmus Darwin."