Conwy Lloyd Morgan

Professor Emeritus of Zoology and Geology, University of Bristol

Emergent Evolution

In his series of lectures, Lloyd Morgan establishes that emergent evolution works upwards from matter, moving from life to consciousness. In humankind, it attains its highest reflective or supra-reflective level, and accepts the ‘more’ at each ascending stage as that which is given and accepts it to the full. Emergent evolution urges that the ‘more’ of any given stage, even the highest one, involves the ‘less’ of the stages before it and that continue to coexist with it


Conwy Lloyd Morgan was born on 6 February 1852 in London. In the English-speaking world, Lloyd Morgan was one of the chief founders of the scientific study of animal psychology. In 1878, he began teaching in South Africa at the Diocesan College at Rondebosch. He returned to England in 1884 to take up the Chair of Geology and Zoology at University College, Bristol. He was elected Principal three years later, and in 1910, became Vice-Chancellor. After three months, he resigned and resumed his previous post, renamed the Chair of Psychology and Ethics, retiring in 1919. 

Elected as the first President of the Psychological Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1921, he was also President of the Aristotelian Society in 1926. Lloyd Morgan received honorary degrees from the universities of Aberdeen, Wisconsin-Madison, and Bristol and was a Lowell Lecturer at Harvard. Important works include Animal Biology: An Elementary Textbook (1889), Animal Life and Intelligence (1890), An Introduction to Comparative Psychology (1894), Animal Behaviour (1900), Instinct and Experience (1912), Psychology for Teachers (1909), and Animal Mind (1930).

Published/Archival Resources
Published as Emergent Evolution.