William Bateson
Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1992; originally published 1894, English
Nonfiction, General
ISBN: 9780801844195

From the Publisher. The work of William Bateson on variation and heredity pioneered the study of genetics. Controversial when published in 1894, this book is organised by anatomical parts. Exploring phylogeny, heredity and variation among a wide range of species, it offers insight into how the study of genetics and inheritance itself evolved.

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Greg Lynn

This 1894 classic was a life changer for me. While browsing through the card catalogue at the University of Illinois at Chicago where I was teaching for the first time in my life, I found this book and grabbed it only because of the title. William Bateson coined the term “symmetry breaking” and developed “Bateson’s Rule” of symmetry as a critique of Darwinian random growth. Bateson’s definition of “generic” is a highlight for me.  The book was an escape route for me in regard to Colin Rowe and Rudolf Wittkower’s reductive formalism and it was a bridge to Derrida’s work on Edmund Husserl. And the author is Gregory Bateson’s father!

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