Undoubtedly, readers strove to stretch Darwin and his writings towards a stage of “maximum logical coherence”. In the twentieth century, the Modern Synthesis criticised Darwin for not learning the lessons of his own theory, perfectly echoing what Clémence Royer had said almost a century before in her thunderous 1862 preface to the first French translation. But the contrast here is quite striking: whereas Royer believed she could draw three lessons from Darwinism (it is a theory of progress; applicable to societies as well as to nature; and it establishes a nominalist ontology), contemporary Darwinian philosophy has retained, at most, only the latter, sometimes turning Darwinism into a radical nominalism, one which must dispense with the typological or essentialist notion of species. 1