Energy and society: Herbert Spencer’s ‘energetic sociology’ of social evolution and beyond

@article{Mckinnon2010EnergyAS,
  title={Energy and society: Herbert Spencer’s ‘energetic sociology’ of social evolution and beyond},
  author={Andrew M. Mckinnon},
  journal={Journal of Classical Sociology},
  year={2010},
  volume={10},
  pages={439 - 455}
}
Herbert Spencer is usually thought to use a biological metaphor for understanding social-evolutionary processes. Spencer’s evolutionary theory is an ‘energetic’ theory, premised on a particular understanding of physical principles; he applied these ‘energetic’ principles equally to inorganic, organic and supra-organic (social) evolution. The centrality of energy metaphors makes Spencer’s theory of social evolution directly relevant in a global society where energy has once again become an… Expand
From ‘natural selection’ to ‘survival of the fittest’: On the significance of Spencer’s refashioning of Darwin in the 1860s
This article examines what Spencer meant by his expression ‘survival of the fittest’ and its status in the explanation of change. It shows how in his Principles of Biology the expression wasExpand
Collectivity, human fulfilment and the ‘force of life’
The article traces the origination of the psychological concept of the ‘herd instinct’, popularized by British surgeon Wilfred Trotter, locating this in a distinctive moment of dialogue between theExpand
Contractual thought and Durkheim’s theory of the social: A reappraisal
Emile Durkheim developed his sociology in part by pointing to the insufficiency of contractual explanations of society. This article examines several iterations of ‘the contract’ in light of theExpand
How Societies Move on? Conceptualising Societal Transition Processes and Its Implications on Climate Change Adaptation
This article is first of its type aimed at retrieving the core sociological insights of classical, modern, and post-modern era, about the patterns of societal transitions, and situates thoseExpand
Two Ontological Orientations in Sociology: Building Social Ontologies and Blurring the Boundaries of the ‘Social’
The article highlights two contrasting ways in which social theorists have been trying to define the ontological boundaries of sociology since the early days of the discipline. Some (e.g. Durkheim,Expand
“I am going to do it": The Complex Question of Action in Theology and Science in the Life of America's First Woman Minister, Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921)
Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) became one of the most outspoken and remarkable women of her era: an ordained minister, a published author, a prominent public speaker, and a philosophicalExpand
Energy availability and energy sources as determinants of societal development in a long- term perspective
The dominant energy sources used by human societies and the transitions from one energy source to another have fundamental implications for societal development. A future energy transition is pendingExpand
Understanding Social Cohesion from the Perspective of the Host Community: Turkey Example
Citation: Seyidov, I. (2021). Understanding social cohesion from the perspective of the host community: Turkey example. Journal of Economy Culture and Society, 63, 1-22.Expand
On social integration process with refugees in Turkey: how can NGOs be more effective?
ABSTRACT According to the statistics of UN, more than 6.5 million people have been internally displaced since the Syrian crisis in 2011. There are also more than 13.1 million people in need in Syria.Expand
ENERGY JUSTICE AND FOUNDATIONS FOR A SUSTAINABLE SOCIOLOGY OF ENERGY

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 44 REFERENCES
Herbert Spencer's Four Theories of Social Evolution
  • R. Perrin
  • Sociology
  • American Journal of Sociology
  • 1976
Although there is at present a revival of critical interest in Spencer, more disagreement than agreement exists among scholars regarding the exact nature of his social evolutionism. It is here arguedExpand
Progression and retrogression: Herbert Spencer's explanations of social inequality
Herbert Spencer was one of the most important contributors to the Victorian discourse on social evolution. His theory of evolution in nature and society has been the subject of countless scholarlyExpand
Herbert Spencer and the Invention of Modern Life
The ideas of the English philosopher Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) profoundly shaped Victorian thought regarding evolutionary theory, the philosophy of science, sociology, and politics. In his day,Expand
Durkheim's Response to Spencer: An Essay Toward Historicism in the Historiography of Sociology*
Merton has made an important distinction between the “history” any “systematics” of sociological theory, and outlined the valuable functions of the former. Most histories of sociology, however, haveExpand
The principles of sociology
Herbert Spencer sought to unify all of the sciences and ethics under a common set of theoretical principles loosely derived from the physics of his time and outlined in First Principles (1862). TheExpand
Spencer is dead, long live Spencer: individualism, holism, and the problem of norms.
  • M. Zafirovski
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • The British journal of sociology
  • 2000
TLDR
This paper identifies some modern variations on this theme as well as to discern certain common tendencies of two seemingly opposite theoretical perspectives, viz. the convergence upon a normative solution to the problem of social order. Expand
ÉMILE DURKHEIM'S DIVISION OF LABOR AND THE SHADOW OF HERBERT SPENCER
This article assesses Durkheim's theory of the division of labor in advanced societies relative to Spencer's views on the subject. It seeks to correct a key chapter in the history of sociologicalExpand
War and Militarism in the Thought of Herbert Spencer
This article re-examines Herbert Spencer's position concerning war and militarism, using as a backdrop the ideas of the thinkers that preceded him. Both Smith and Ferguson had already forwarded theirExpand
Herbert Spencer: A Renewed Appreciation
Herbert Spencer The Enigma and Stigma The Earlier Rules of the Sociological Method The First General Systems Theorist The First Functionalist The Analytical Models and Abstract Principles Spencer'sExpand
War and Militarism in the Thought of Herbert Spencer
a backdrop the ideas of the thinkers that preceded him. Both Smith and Ferguson had already forwarded their idea that a civil society may be distinguished from a primitive society by theExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...