Korean J Med Hist.  2023 Apr;32(1):423-433. 10.13081/kjmh.2023.32.423.

A Panorama of Constellation of Thoughts on Heredity Book Review on Hans-Jörg Rheinberger and Staffan Müller-Wille, Korean trans. Jaehwan Hyun, A Cultural History of Heredity (Pusan: Pusan National University Press, 2022).

  • 1Assistant Professor, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)


This book review examines A Cultural History of Heredity as a historical account of the development of a body of thought that the authors refer to as “biological hereditarian thinking” in Europe and North America during the long 19th and 20th centuries. Rather than a standard history of modern genetics, the book, as the title properly suggests, introduces and connects various ideas about heredity. The aim of this review is to simplify the complex historical time frame and highlight some of the main themes and lines of thinking to make this masterpiece more accessible to life and medical scientists. In other words, this review seeks to provide an epistemological typology of heredity.

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