Social Darwinism In American Thought

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Social Darwinism In American Thought

Author : Richard Hofstadter
ISBN : 9780807054628
Genre : Science
File Size : 36.80 MB
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Social Darwinism in American Thought portrays the overall influence of Darwin on American social theory and the notable battle waged among thinkers over the implications of evolutionary theory for social thought and political action. Theorists such as Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner adopted the idea of the struggle for existence as justification for the evils as well as the benefits of laissez-faire modern industrial society. Others such as William James and John Dewey argued that human planning was needed to direct social development and improve upon the natural order. Hofstadter's classic study of the ramifications of Darwinism is a major analysis of the social philosophies that animated intellectual movements of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.
Category: Science

Social Darwinism In American Thought

Author : Richard Hofstadter
ISBN : IND:30000007716065
Genre : Evolution
File Size : 60.53 MB
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Tracing the impact of Darwin on thinkers throughout the gilded Age and the Progressive era, 'Social Darwinism' shows how a politically neutral scientific theory has been adapted with skillful rhetoric to contradictory purposes.
Category: Evolution

In Search Of Human Nature

Author : Carl N. Degler
ISBN : 0199729018
Genre : Science
File Size : 59.7 MB
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1972, and a past president of both the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association, Carl Degler is one of America's most eminent living historians. He is also one of the most versatile. In a forty year career, he has written brilliantly on race (Neither Black Nor White, which won the Pulitzer Prize), women's studies (At Odds, which Betty Friedan called "a stunning book"), Southern history (The Other South), the New Deal, and many other subjects. Now, in The Search for Human Nature, Degler turns to perhaps his largest subject yet, a sweeping history of the impact of Darwinism (and biological research) on our understanding of human nature, providing a fascinating overview of the social sciences in the last one hundred years. The idea of a biological root to human nature was almost universally accepted at the turn of the century, Degler points out, then all but vanished from social thought only to reappear in the last four decades. Degler traces the early history of this idea, from Darwin's argument that our moral and emotional life evolved from animals just as our human shape did, to William James's emphasis on instinct in human behavior (then seen as a fundamental insight of psychology). We also see the many applications of biology, from racism, sexism, and Social Darwinism to the rise of intelligence testing, the eugenics movement, and the practice of involuntary sterilization of criminals (a public policy pioneered in America, which had sterilization laws 25 years before Nazi Germany--one such law was upheld by Oliver Wendell Holmes's Supreme Court). Degler then examines the work of those who denied any role for biology, who thought culture shaped human nature, a group ranging from Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, and Margaret Mead, to John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner. Equally important, he examines the forces behind this fundamental shift in a scientific paradigm, arguing that ideological reasons--especially the struggle against racism and sexism in America--led to this change in scientific thinking. Finally, Degler considers the revival of Darwinism without the Social Darwinism, racism, and sexism, led first by ethologists such as Karl von Frisch, Nikolaas Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz, and Jane Goodall--who revealed clear parallels between animal and human behavior--and followed in varying degrees by such figures as Melvin Konner, Alice Rossi, Jerome Kagen, and Edward O. Wilson as well as others in anthropology, political science, sociology, and economics. What kind of animal is Homo sapiens and how did we come to be this way? In this wide ranging history, Carl Degler traces our attempts over the last century to answer these questions. In doing so, he has produced a volume that will fascinate anyone curious about the nature of human beings.
Category: Science

Human Beings In International Relations

Author : Daniel Jacobi
ISBN : 9781107116252
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 49.20 MB
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Asks how, why and to what ends humans appear in international relations theories and how this makes us interpret world politics.
Category: Philosophy

The Evolution Controversy In America

Author : George Webb
ISBN : 9780813148489
Genre : Science
File Size : 54.16 MB
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For well over a century, the United States has witnessed a prolonged debate over organic evolution and teaching of the theory in the nation's public schools. The controversy that began with the publication of Darwin's Origin of the Species had by the 1920s expanded to include theologians, politicians, and educators. The Scopes trial of 1925 provided the growing antievolution movement with significant publicity and led to a decline in the teaching of evolution in public schools. George E. Webb details how efforts to improve science education in the wake of Sputnik resurrected antievolution sentiment and led to the emergence of "creation science" as the most recent expression of that sentiment. Creationists continue to demand "balanced treatment" of theories of creation and evolution in public schools, even though their efforts have been declared unconstitutional in a series of federal court cases. Their battles have been much more successful at the grassroots level, garnering support from local politicians and educators. Webb attributes the success of creationists primarily to the lack of scientific literacy among the American public. Although a number of published studies have dealt with specific aspects of the debate, The Evolution Controversy in America represents the first complete historical survey of the topic. In it Webb provides an analysis of one of the most intriguing debates in the history of American thought.
Category: Science

American Socialists And Evolutionary Thought 1870 1920

Author : Mark Pittenger
ISBN : 0299136043
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 26.94 MB
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American Socialists and Evolutionary Thought, 1870-1920 demonstrates how evolutionary theories fundamentally shaped, and ultimately undercut, the American socialist movement. Mark Pittenger examines the attempts of radicals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to synthesise the evolutionary ideas of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer with socialist philosophy, social theory and political practice. In contrast to authors who have shown the influence of Darwinism on conservative and progressive political ideologies, Pittenger establishes that radicals also took scientific ideas seriously and wanted to link the public fascination with evolution to their own cause.
Category: Political Science

Hunting Down Social Darwinism

Author : Stuart K. Hayashi
ISBN : 9780739186718
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 41.85 MB
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Hunting Down Social Darwinism is the third and final installment in the trilogy, The Nature of Liberty. The trilogy gives a secular, ethical defense of laissez-faire capitalism, inspired by Ayn Rand’s ideas. The trilogy’s first book, The Freedom of Peaceful Action, provided the philosophic theory behind the ethics of a free-enterprise system based on the individual rights to life, liberty, and private property which John Locke described. The second installment, Life in the Market Ecosystem, explained how free enterprise functions much as a natural ecosystem wherein behavioral norms develop, bottom-up, from repeat interactions among individual participants in the economy. As such defenses of free enterprise are frequently criticized as “social Darwinism,” however, this third and final installment of the trilogy asks the question, “What is social Darwinism?” The book embarks on a hunt for the term’s meaning, explores social Darwinism’s beginnings, and examines whether it is fair to describe such nineteenth-century free-market advocates as Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner as social Darwinists. It then addresses the accusation that the free-market Darwinism commonly ascribed to Spencer and Sumner rationalized bigotry and founded the pseudoscience of eugenics. In the process, the book refutes various myths about the topic popularized by such scholars as Richard Hofstadter and John Kenneth Galbraith. The extent to which the popular narratives about social Darwinism prove to be inaccurate holds enormous ramifications for current controversies. It has implications for debates over the ethical appropriateness of reducing taxpayer spending on social welfare programs, and also sheds new light on the pros and cons of attempts to apply biological evolutionary theory to the study of human social institutions. Additionally discussed is the manner in which various prominent figures in economics, evolutionary psychology, and Complexity Theory have grown famous for advancing ideas which Spencer and Sumner originated, even as such figures simultaneously downplay the importance of Spencer and Sumner to their field. Following the hunt for social Darwinism, this work sums up the trilogy with some final thoughts on the importance that liberty holds for every effort to live life to the fullest.
Category: Business & Economics

Jewish Tradition And The Challenge Of Darwinism

Author : G. N. Cantor
ISBN : 9780226092768
Genre : Religion
File Size : 33.99 MB
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Darwin’s theory of evolution transformed the life sciences and made profound claims about human origins and the human condition, topics often viewed as the prerogative of religion. As a result, evolution has provoked a wide variety of religious responses, ranging from angry rejection to enthusiastic acceptance. While Christian responses to evolution have been studied extensively, little scholarly attention has been paid to Jewish reactions. Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism is the first extended meditation on the Jewish engagement with this crucial and controversial theory. The contributors to Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism—from several academic disciplines and two branches of the rabbinate—present case studies showing how Jewish discussions of evolution have been shaped by the intersections of faith, science, philosophy, and ideology in specific historical contexts. Furthermore, they examine how evolutionary theory has been deployed when characterizing Jews as a race, both by Zionists and by anti-Semites. Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism addresses historical and contemporary, as well as progressive and Orthodox, responses to evolution in America, Europe, and Israel, ultimately extending the history of Darwinism into new religious domains.
Category: Religion

Workers In America A Historical Encyclopedia 2 Volumes

Author : Robert E. Weir
ISBN : 9781598847192
Genre : History
File Size : 87.96 MB
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This encyclopedia traces the evolution of American workers and labor organizations from pre-Revolutionary America through the present day. • Suggested reading for each entry, including both print and online resources • A chronology of important labor highlights • 350 entries covering key topics
Category: History

1877

Author : Michael A. Bellesiles
ISBN : 9781595585943
Genre : History
File Size : 65.62 MB
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“[A] powerful examination of a nation trying to make sense of the complex changes and challenges of the post–Civil War era.” —Carol Berkin, author of A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution In 1877—a decade after the Civil War—not only was the United States gripped by a deep depression, but the country was also in the throes of nearly unimaginable violence and upheaval, marking the end of the brief period known as Reconstruction and reestablishing white rule across the South. In the wake of the contested presidential election of 1876, white supremacist mobs swept across the South, killing and driving out the last of the Reconstruction state governments. A strike involving millions of railroad workers turned violent as it spread from coast to coast, and for a moment seemed close to toppling the nation’s economic structure. Celebrated historian Michael A. Bellesiles reveals that the fires of that fated year also fueled a hothouse of cultural and intellectual innovation. He relates the story of 1877 not just through dramatic events, but also through the lives of famous and little-known Americans alike. “A superb and troubling book about the soul of Modern America.” —William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West “A bold, insightful book, richly researched, and fast paced . . . Bellesiles vividly portrays on a single canvas the violent confrontations in 1877.” —Alfred F. Young, coeditor of Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation “[A] wonderful read that is sure to appeal to those interested in the challenges of creating a post–Civil War society.” —Choice
Category: History

Evolution

Author : Edward J. Larson
ISBN : 1588365387
Genre : Science
File Size : 47.55 MB
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“I often said before starting, that I had no doubt I should frequently repent of the whole undertaking.” So wrote Charles Darwin aboard The Beagle, bound for the Galapagos Islands and what would arguably become the greatest and most controversial discovery in scientific history. But the theory of evolution did not spring full-blown from the head of Darwin. Since the dawn of humanity, priests, philosophers, and scientists have debated the origin and development of life on earth, and with modern science, that debate shifted into high gear. In this lively, deeply erudite work, Pulitzer Prize–winning science historian Edward J. Larson takes us on a guided tour of Darwin’s “dangerous idea,” from its theoretical antecedents in the early nineteenth century to the brilliant breakthroughs of Darwin and Wallace, to Watson and Crick’s stunning discovery of the DNA double helix, and to the triumphant neo-Darwinian synthesis and rising sociobiology today. Along the way, Larson expertly places the scientific upheaval of evolution in cultural perspective: the social and philosophical earthquake that was the French Revolution; the development, in England, of a laissez-faire capitalism in tune with a Darwinian ethos of “survival of the fittest”; the emergence of Social Darwinism and the dark science of eugenics against a backdrop of industrial revolution; the American Christian backlash against evolutionism that culminated in the famous Scopes trial; and on to today’s world, where religious fundamentalists litigate for the right to teach “creation science” alongside evolution in U.S. public schools, even as the theory itself continues to evolve in new and surprising directions. Throughout, Larson trains his spotlight on the lives and careers of the scientists, explorers, and eccentrics whose collaborations and competitions have driven the theory of evolution forward. Here are portraits of Cuvier, Lamarck, Darwin, Wallace, Haeckel, Galton, Huxley, Mendel, Morgan, Fisher, Dobzhansky, Watson and Crick, W. D. Hamilton, E. O. Wilson, and many others. Celebrated as one of mankind’s crowning scientific achievements and reviled as a threat to our deepest values, the theory of evolution has utterly transformed our view of life, religion, origins, and the theory itself, and remains controversial, especially in the United States (where 90% of adults do not subscribe to the full Darwinian vision). Replete with fresh material and new insights, Evolution will educate and inform while taking readers on a fascinating journey of discovery.
Category: Science

The Crisis Of Democratic Theory

Author : Edward A. Purcell Jr.
ISBN : 9780813146041
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 21.61 MB
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Widely acclaimed for its originality and penetration, this award-winning study of American thought in the twentieth century examines the ways in which the spread of pragmatism and scientific naturalism affected developments in philosophy, social science, and law, and traces the effects of these developments on traditional assumptions of democratic theory.
Category: Political Science

Encyclopedia Of Educational Theory And Philosophy

Author : D. C. Phillips
ISBN : 9781483364759
Genre : Education
File Size : 41.31 MB
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Education is a field sometimes beset by theories-of-the-day and with easy panaceas that overpromise the degree to which they can alleviate pressing educational problems. The two-volume Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy introduces readers to theories that have stood the test of time and those that have provided the historical foundation for the best of contemporary educational theory and practice. Drawing together a team of international scholars, this invaluable reference examines the global landscape of all the key theories and the theorists behind them and presents them in the context needed to understand their strengths and weaknesses. In addition to interpretations of long-established theories, this work offers essays on cutting-edge research and concise, to-the-point definitions of key concepts, ideas, schools, and figures. Features: Over 300 signed entries by trusted experts in the field are organized into two volumes and overseen by a distinguished General Editor and an international Editorial Board. Entries are followed by cross references and further reading suggestions. A Chronology of Theory within the field of education highlights developments over the centuries; a Reader’s Guide groups entries thematically, and a master Bibliography facilitates further study. The Reader’s Guide, detailed index, and cross references combine for strong search-and-browse capabilities in the electronic version. Available in a choice of print or electronic formats, Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy is an ideal reference for anyone interested in the roots of contemporary educational theory.
Category: Education