By Paul Crook
This ebook demanding situations the acquired view that Darwinism generated primarily 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 essentially loose humanity, no longer fettered through iron legislation of organic necessity or ruled through violent genes. through exploring a gamut of Darwinian readings of historical past and conflict, in most cases within the English-speaking international sooner than 1919, this learn throws vital new mild on militarism, peace activities, the origins of worldwide warfare I and British social proposal.
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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
The metaphysical stage was associated first with feudalism, where the supranational Catholic belief system constrained the military state; and then with the 'critical' era of Protestantism and natural rights radicalism. The self-interested individualism of that period, the basis of capitalism, was to be ultimately chastened and socialised in the positive stage. This era would see the hegemony of the scientific mind-set, the rule of harmony, altruism and progress, spiritualised by a Religion of Humanity.
The American sociologist William Graham Sumner explored this theme of group solidarity in Gumplowicz, Ratzenhofer and Walter Bagehot's Physics and Politics. He concluded that, since the competition of life arose between groups, ' it is the competition of life that makes war, and that is why war has always existed and always will'. 12 Gumplowicz's sexual anthropology pointed the way to J. J. Atkinson and Sigmund Freud. Yet it is symptomatic of his limited biological perspective that he showed no interest in converting his sexual theory of war and society into terms of differential reproduction or selective advantage.
He justified this philosophically with a curious blending of Comtean positivism and German monism. Hopefully problems such as war could be solved when humans learnt to raise politics ' to a scientific discipline upon the basis of sociological intelligence'. Ratzenhofer was an The age of Spencer and Huxley 35 ethical idealist, less committed to group conflict and power theory than Gumplowicz. Nevertheless he still viewed selective struggle as a key to evolution, and regarded war as entrenched in the human condition:' it is more and more evident that wars are the consequences of social development; that is, (a) of the increase of population in reaction upon the life-conditions, and (b) of racial antitheses'.
Darwinism, War and History: The Debate over the Biology of War from the 'Origin of Species' to the First World War by Paul Crook
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