Wilde’s interest in the world of evolutionary discourse was focused in his long-standing preoccupation with heredity. Biology might seem a strange fixation for a figure so often invoked as an avatar of performative, decentered selfhood. But heredity was especially alluring to Wilde, this chapter argues, as a rationale for locating transgressive desire at the very heart of his criticism. His broadly Lamarckian understanding of heredity enabled a recasting of Platonic anamnesis, within which responsiveness to beauty brings to consciousness repressed desires understood as a biological inheritance. In this light, the sense of sin that Wilde associates with aesthetic experience is the index of one’s capacity to “realize” the plenitude of both personal identity and the history that has shaped it. Sin becomes “an essential element in progress,” and history an arena of unnerving yet exhilarating seduction.