Darwinism, War and History: The Debate over the Biology of by Paul Crook

By Paul Crook

This e-book demanding situations the bought view that Darwinism generated basically competitive and warlike social values and pugnacious photos of humankind. Paul criminal reconstructs the influential discourse of "peace biology," whose liberal imaginative and prescient was once of a primarily loose humanity, now not fettered by way of iron legislation of organic necessity or ruled through violent genes. through exploring a gamut of Darwinian readings of background and struggle, more often than not within the English-speaking international ahead of 1919, this research throws very important new gentle on militarism, peace hobbies, the origins of worldwide conflict I and British social concept.

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Additional resources for Darwinism, War and History: The Debate over the Biology of War from the 'Origin of Species' to the First World War

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In his elaborate hierarchy of sciences, biology immediately preceded sociology, as simpler and more predictive. Biological models would need to be studied by sociologists. Social science was subordinate to biology, and social data must be viewed naturalistically (indeed could be reduced, as Comte said, 'to Positive theories' drawn from the sciences as a whole). Comtean positivism may be seen as materially aiding the ' naturalisation' of social science well before Darwinism did so. However as Comte scholars always point out, there were differences between the Comtean and Darwinian modes.

Social controls became progressively more sophisticated, customary and peaceable, while culture and commerce created social diversity and broke down aggregations of power. The occasions for war and violence were reduced as social structures became more complex. The 'culture' state tended to displace the' conquest' state. However, in his last work Soziologie (1907) Ratzenhofer seemed to concede to the rising temper of realpolitik, suggesting that races with innately superior mental capacity and aggressive will were destined to rule the weaker.

Whether legitimately or not, sociocultural factors were permitted into any account of higher evolution. Darwin said for example that' the more efficient causes of progress seem to consist of a good education during youth whilst the brain is impressible, and a high standard of excellence, inculcated by the ablest and best men, embodied in the laws, customs and traditions of the nation, and enforced by public opinion' (p. 220). This was hardly biological determinism. Inherent natural differences could not alone dictate racial destiny.

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