See Article History Herbert Spencer, born April 27,DerbyDerbyshire, England—died December 8,BrightonSussexEnglish sociologist and philosopher, an early advocate of the theory of evolutionwho achieved an influential synthesis of knowledge, advocating the preeminence of the individual over society and of science over religion.
It has appeared necessary to devote some space to this subject, inasmuch as that usually acute writer Sir Henry Maine has accepted the word " tenure " in its modern interpretation, and has built up a theory under which the Irish chief " developed " into a feudal baron.
I can find nothing in the Brehon laws to warrant this theory of social Darwinism, and believe further study will show that the Cain Saerrath and the Cain Aigillue relate solely to what we now call chattels, and did not in any way affect what we now call the freehold, the possession of the land.
In fact, Spencer was not described as a social Darwinist until the s, long after his death. Hofstadter later also recognized what he saw as the influence of Darwinist and other evolutionary ideas upon those with collectivist views, enough to devise a term for the phenomenon, "Darwinist collectivism".
Eric Fonerin an introduction to a then-new edition of Hofstadter's book published in the early s, declines to go quite that far. But before he wrote, it was used only on rare occasions; he made it a standard shorthand for a complex of late-nineteenth-century ideas, a familiar part of the lexicon of social thought.
As such, social Darwinism has been criticized for being an inconsistent philosophy, which does not lead to any clear political conclusions.
Part of the difficulty in establishing sensible and consistent usage is that commitment to the biology of natural selection and to 'survival of the fittest' entailed nothing uniform either for sociological method or for political doctrine.
A 'social Darwinist' could just as well be a defender of laissez-faire as a defender of state socialism, just as much an imperialist as a domestic eugenist.
The process includes competition between individuals for limited resources, popularly but inaccurately described by the phrase " survival of the fittest ", a term coined by sociologist Herbert Spencer.
Creationists have often maintained that Social Darwinism—leading to policies designed to reward the most competitive—is a logical consequence of "Darwinism" the theory of natural selection in biology. While the term has been applied to the claim that Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection can be used to understand the social endurance of a nation or country, Social Darwinism commonly refers to ideas that predate Darwin's publication of On the Origin of Species.
Others whose ideas are given the label include the 18th century clergyman Thomas Malthusand Darwin's cousin Francis Galton who founded eugenics towards the end of the 19th century. The expansion of the British Empire fitted in with the broader notion of social Darwinism used from the s onwards to account for the remarkable and universal phenomenon of "the Anglo-Saxon overflowing his boundaries", as phrased by the late-Victorian sociologist Benjamin Kidd in Social Evolution, published in However, Spencer's major work, Progress: In The Social OrganismSpencer compares society to a living organism and argues that, just as biological organisms evolve through natural selection, society evolves and increases in complexity through analogous processes.
Jeff Riggenbach argues that Spencer's view was that culture and education made a sort of Lamarckism possible  and notes that Herbert Spencer was a proponent of private charity. While Malthus's work does not itself qualify as social Darwinism, his work An Essay on the Principle of Population, was incredibly popular and widely read by social Darwinists.
In that book, for example, the author argued that as an increasing population would normally outgrow its food supply, this would result in the starvation of the weakest and a Malthusian catastrophe.
Malthus himself anticipated the social Darwinists in suggesting that charity could exacerbate social problems. Another of these social interpretations of Darwin's biological views, later known as eugenics, was put forth by Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton, in and Galton argued that just as physical traits were clearly inherited among generations of people, the same could be said for mental qualities genius and talent.
Galton argued that social morals needed to change so that heredity was a conscious decision in order to avoid both the over-breeding by less fit members of society and the under-breeding of the more fit ones.
Francis Galton In Galton's view, social institutions such as welfare and insane asylums were allowing inferior humans to survive and reproduce at levels faster than the more "superior" humans in respectable society, and if corrections were not soon taken, society would be awash with "inferiors".
Darwin read his cousin's work with interest, and devoted sections of Descent of Man to discussion of Galton's theories. Neither Galton nor Darwin, though, advocated any eugenic policies restricting reproduction, due to their Whiggish distrust of government.
Nietzsche's point of view on sickness and health, in particular, opposed him to the concept of biological adaptation as forged by Spencer's "fitness". Nietzsche criticized Haeckel, Spencer, and Darwin, sometimes under the same banner by maintaining that in specific cases, sickness was necessary and even helpful.
Wherever progress is to ensue, deviating natures are of greatest importance. Every progress of the whole must be preceded by a partial weakening.
The strongest natures retain the type, the weaker ones help to advance it. Something similar also happens in the individual. There is rarely a degeneration, a truncation, or even a vice or any physical or moral loss without an advantage somewhere else.
In a warlike and restless clan, for example, the sicklier man may have occasion to be alone, and may therefore become quieter and wiser; the one-eyed man will have one eye the stronger; the blind man will see deeper inwardly, and certainly hear better.
To this extent, the famous theory of the survival of the fittest does not seem to me to be the only viewpoint from which to explain the progress of strengthening of a man or of a race. It was adopted by emerging social sciences to support the concept that non-European societies were "primitive" in an early stage of development towards the European ideal, but since then it has been heavily refuted on many fronts  Haeckel's works led to the formation of the Monist League in with many prominent citizens among its members, including the Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Ostwald.
The simpler aspects of social Darwinism followed the earlier Malthusian ideas that humans, especially males, require competition in their lives in order to survive in the future.
Further, the poor should have to provide for themselves and not be given any aid. However, amidst this climate, most social Darwinists of the early twentieth century actually supported better working conditions and salaries. Such measures would grant the poor a better chance to provide for themselves yet still distinguish those who are capable of succeeding from those who are poor out of laziness, weakness, or inferiority.
Hypotheses relating social change and evolution[ edit ] Further information: Social evolution "Social Darwinism" was first described by Oscar Schmidt of the University of Strasbourgreporting at a scientific and medical conference held in Munich in Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (–) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and initiativeblog.com called Darwinian theory, it originally .
clearly intended to “turn” the new century’s image of the black away from the stereotypes scattered throughout plantation fictions, blackface minstrelsy, vaudeville, racist pseudo-science, and vulgar Social initiativeblog.com task was an enormous one, especially since blacks had only the most minimal control over the mass production and dissemination .
Social Darwinism is the application of the evolutionary concept of natural selection to human initiativeblog.com term itself emerged in the s, and it gained widespread currency when used after by opponents of these ways of thinking.
A collection of essays on the work of Ken Wilber, written by several authors. The Scientific Origins of National Socialism [Daniel Gasman] on initiativeblog.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Many studies of the origins of National Socialism claim that the völkisch and proto-Nazi movement arose largely as a reaction to the materialistic ideas of nineteenth-century science and especially to the naturalistic philosophy of .
Social Darwinism is a concept that can be applied to both the natural world and the society of humans that reside on Earth. This concept can be best described as the survival of the fittest theory.3/5(5).