Social Darwinism in European and American Thought, 1860-1945: Nature as Model and Nature as Threat

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Mar 13, 1997 - History - 344 pages
0 Reviews
This wide-ranging study focuses upon the controversies surrounding the meaning and significance of Social Darwinism. It clarifies the nature of Social Darwinism and its relationship to the ideas of Darwin, Lamarck and Herbert Spencer. After examining the development of Social Darwinist theories by a number of European and American thinkers, Mike Hawkins explores the use of these theories in a number of ideological debates and movements of the period 1860-1945. These include socio-political reform, national and racial conflict, eugenics, the position of women and Nazism/Fascism. The aim is to illuminate, through detailed comparative analyses, both the flexibility and the limits of Social Darwinism - limits which derive from the view of nature which lies at the very heart of Social Darwinism. The study concludes with a discussion of modern sociobiology in order to assess the continuing vitality of Social Darwinism.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Defining Social Darwinism
21
The distinctiveness of Social Darwinism
39
Pioneers
59
The emergence of Social Darwinism
61
Herbert Spencer and cosmic evolution
82
Social Darwinism in the USA
104
Social Darwinism in France and Germany
123
Case studies
149
Races nations and the struggle for existence
184
The eugenic conscience
216
Social Darwinism nature and sexual difference
249
Nazism Fascism and Social Darwinism
272
Social Darwinism old and new the case of sociobiology
292
Bibliography
314
Index
335
Copyright

Reform Darwinism
151

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information