By Robert Bannister
"The so much systematic and accomplished attempt but made to evaluate the function performed by way of Darwinian rules within the writings of English-speaking social theorists of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries." --Isis "In looking to set the list immediately, Bannister cuts in the course of the amalgam with an highbrow shredder, exposing the illogic and incompatibility taken with fusing Charles Darwin's at the foundation of Species with Herbert Spencer's Social Statics... Bannister's familiarity with proper texts and their reception via modern social theorists, students, and critics on either side of the Atlantic is impressive." --Journal of Interdisciplinary background "A nice contribution to Anglo-American highbrow history." --Journal of yank background
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Additional info for Social Darwinism: Science and Myth in Anglo-American Social Thought
This method in turn disposed Darwin to accept Lamarck's account of the mechanism of evolution through direct adaptation to the environment and with it to accept his idea that the accumulation of changes worked to some pattern. This final point marked Darwin's departure from the Uniformitarians, since evolution through natural selection at least implied some sort of cumulative development within the geological and biological record, if not necessarily a progressive one. In physics, the law of the conservation offorce (energy) as propounded in the 1840s, provided further basis for assuming immutable continuity within nature.
At the same time, progressive reformers turned the new biology to their own advantage in calling for industrial regulation and social welfare. tual aid, and struggle for the life of others. 2 Agreement on the use of the term, however, was not always so clear. Appearing first on the Continent about 1880, the phrase social Darwinism described a variety of evils by the time it crossed the Atlantic two decades later. To Achille Loria and Emile de Laveleye, two distinguished European sociologists, Darwinisme sociale meant brutal individualism, such as Herbert Spencer advocated.
1). Herbert Spencer resisted this conclusion and attempted to incorporate natural selection within a Synthetic Philosophy framed initially in terms of mechanical concepts derived from thermodynamics. His initial success and subsequent failure was a case study of the collapse of a cluster of pre-Darwinian assumptions concerning nature and society and a clue to the causes of Spencer's final years of 10: Introduction disillusionment and despair (ch. 2). Attracted to Spencer's early writings, his American disciples shared his youthful optimism (ch.
Social Darwinism: Science and Myth in Anglo-American Social Thought by Robert Bannister