From 1784 to 1791 German philosopher, poet and literary critic Johann Gottfried von Herder published in Leipzig Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit in 4 volumes. Herder's history has long been regarded as a very strong statement of the theory of evolution before Darwin; many passages come close to general statements on evolution by natural selection. Among the passages most often regarded as anticipatory are those on the temporal sequence of forms from simpler to more highly organized, and on the overabundance of nature with the ensuing struggle for existence between species and individuals.
J. Norman (ed) Morton's Medical Bibliography 5th ed (1991) no. 215.3.