Social darwinism essays

Life Spencer was born in Derby, England on 27 Aprilthe eldest of nine children, but the only one to survive infancy. He was the product of an undisciplined, largely informal education. From an early age, Herbert was strongly influenced by the individualism and the anti-establishment and anti-clerical views of his father, and the Benthamite radical views of his uncle Thomas. A person of eclectic interests, Spencer eventually trained as a civil engineer for railways but, in his early 20s, turned to journalism and political writing.

Social darwinism essays

Understanding Evolution: History, Theory, Evidence, and Implictions

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.

His magnum opus was The Synthetic Philosophya comprehensive work containing volumes on the principles of biologypsychologymoralityand sociology. He is best remembered for his doctrine of social Darwinismaccording to which the principles of evolution, including natural selectionapply to human societies, social Social darwinism essays, and individuals as well as to biological species developing over geologic time.

Spencer declined an offer from his uncle, the Reverend Thomas Spencer, to send him to Cambridgeand in consequence his higher education was largely the result of his own reading, which was chiefly in the natural sciences.

He was, for a few months, a schoolteacher and from to a railway civil engineer. In he contributed some letters republished later as a pamphlet, The Proper Sphere of Government [] to The Nonconformist, in which he argued that it is the business of governments to uphold natural rights and that they do more harm than good when they go beyond that.

After some association with progressive journalism through such Social darwinism essays as The Zoist devoted to mesmerism, or hypnosisand phrenology and The Pilot the organ of the Complete Suffrage UnionSpencer became in a subeditor of The Economist.

In he published Social Statics, which contained in embryo most of his later views, including his argument in favour of an extreme form of economic and social laissez-faire. In Spencer, having received a legacy from his uncle, resigned his position with The Economist. Spencer published the first part of The Principles of Psychology in Between and he published a series of essays on education, which were collected in Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical Education was eventually adopted as a textbook in nearly all teacher-training colleges in England.

In Spencer issued a prospectus and accepted subscriptions for a comprehensive work, The Synthetic Philosophy, which was to include, besides the already-published Principles of Psychology, volumes on first principles and on biology, sociology, and morality.

First Principles was published inand between then andwhen the third volume of The Principles of Sociology appeared, the task was completed. Spencer was a friend and adviser of Beatrice Potter, later Beatrice Webbthe social reformer, who frequently visited Spencer during his last illness and left a sympathetic and sad record of his last years in My Apprenticeship Spencer died inat Brighton, leaving a will by which trustees were set up to complete the publication of the Descriptive Sociology.

The series comprised 19 parts — Spencer was one of the most-argumentative and most-discussed English thinkers of the Victorian period. His strongly scientific orientation led him to urge the importance of examining social phenomena in a scientific way.

He believed that all aspects of his thought formed a coherent and closely ordered system. Science and philosophyhe held, gave support to and enhanced individualism and progress. Though it is natural to cite him as the great exponent of Victorian optimism, it is notable that he was by no means unaffected by the pessimism that from time to time clouded the Victorian confidence.

Evolution, he taught, would be followed by dissolution, and individualism would come into its own only after an era of socialism and war. The synthetic philosophy in outline Spencer saw philosophy as a synthesis of the fundamental principles of the special sciences, a sort of scientific summa to replace the theological systems of the Middle Ages.

He thought of unification in terms of development, and his whole scheme was in fact suggested to him by the evolution of biological species.

In First Principles he argued that there is a fundamental law of matter, which he called the law of the persistence of force, from which it follows that nothing homogeneous can remain as such if it is acted upon, because any external force must affect some part of it differently from other parts and cause difference and variety to arise.

From that, he continued, it would follow that any force that continues to act on what is homogeneous must bring about an increasing variety. It should be noted that Spencer published his idea of the evolution of biological species before the views of Charles Darwin and the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace were known.

Spencer at that time thought that evolution was caused by the inheritance of acquired characteristics, whereas Darwin and Wallace attributed it to natural selection.

Social darwinism essays

Spencer later accepted the theory that natural selection was one of the causes of biological evolution. Spencer believed that the fundamental sociological classification was between military societies, in which cooperation was secured by force, and industrial societies, in which cooperation was voluntary and spontaneous.

Social Science Dictionary with a Durkheim bias

Evolution is not the only biological conception that Spencer applied in his sociological theories. He made a detailed comparison between animal organisms and human societies.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 task was an enormous one, especially since blacks had only the most minimal control over the mass production and dissemination .

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Social Darwinism. Understanding Evolution: History, Theory, Evidence, and Implications.


By - March 5, Updated - May 2, Index. Introduction; Origin Mythology; Mesopotamian. the early 20th century, was Herbert Spencer.A philosopher rather than a biologist, he became an energetic proponent of evolutionary ideas, popularized a number of slogans, such as “survival of the fittest” (which was taken up by Darwin in later editions of the Origin), and engaged in social and metaphysical.

Social Darwinism had played its part in the initial aggravation of these opponent nations, by claiming that life was a competition for supremacy and survival of existence.

Nations attempted rapid take-over of foreign lands to obtain the largest of empires.4/4(1). Social Darwinism is the application of the evolutionary concept of natural selection to human term itself emerged in the s, and it gained widespread currency when used after by opponents of these ways of thinking.

Darwinism - Wikipedia