Malthus, Darwin, Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Ibn Khaldûn: On Human Species Survival

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Gordian Knot Books, 2009 - Social Science - 248 pages
This book presents unique, critical, summaries of major works that the author proposes as the core classical sociological theory (Émile Durkheim’s), as the three main supplementary classical sociological theories (Karl Marx’s, Max Weber’s, and Abdurahman Muhammad Ibn Khaldûn’s), and as two key precursor theories (Thomas Malthus’s and Charles Darwin’s).

The author discusses, using many supporting quotations from the originals, themes from Darwin’s The Origin of Species; Malthus’s First Essay on Population; Durkheim’s The Division of Labor in Society, Suicide, Moral Education, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, and The Rules of Sociological Method; Marx’s Capital, The Communist Manifesto, The German Ideology, and Wage Labor and Capital; Weber’s Economy and Society, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, and The Methodology of the Social Sciences; and Ibn Khaldûn’s The Muqaddimah, together with works that employ the same basic theme as the latter that originated as part of 20th century Western sociology.

Darwin introduced the concept of “natural selection,” that is, the non-foresightful, non-preparatory, and therefore probabilistically reactive, survival mechanism whereby a single hypothetically original life species has survived on Earth by differentiating itself into the hundreds of millions of species that have existed so far (most of which have already gone extinct). Malthus, however, had already introduced the idea of a proactive theory that would anticipate and prepare our species to meet survival threats before they actually occur.

The central question of this book, then, is What do the theories examined here contribute to our eventually constructing a sociological theory that would participate in identifying, forecasting, and preparing our descendants to meet future threats to human species survival?

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Malthuss and Darwins Precursor
The Individual
Employer past contributions to human species survival

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About the author (2009)

WALTER L. WALLACE holds degrees from Columbia University, Atlanta University, and the University of Chicago. He has taught at Spelman College, Northwestern University, and, from 1971 to 2001, Princeton University -- where he is now Professor Emeritus. He has also been a Staff Sociologist at Russell Sage Foundation. In addition to articles in scholarly journals and books edited by others, he is author of Student Culture (1966), Sociological Theory (author-editor, 1969), The Logic of Science in Sociology (1971), Black Elected Officials (with James E. Conyers, 1976), Principles of Scientific Sociology (1983), A Weberian Theory of Human Society (1994), and The Future of Ethnicity, Race, and Nationality (1997). He has served on the editorial boards of Social Forces (1984-1987), The American Sociologist (1988-1991), The Sociological Quarterly (1989-1992), The American Sociological Review (1997-2000), and Sociological Theory (2000-2003). He was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (1968-1969), and is currently a member of The Sociological Research Association, and of The Advisory Board, International Journal of Comparative Sociology. He has been listed in Who's Who in America since 1986.

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