The "Survival of the Fittest" and the Origins of Social Darwinism

  title={The "Survival of the Fittest" and the Origins of Social Darwinism},
  author={Gr{\'e}gory Claeys},
  journal={Journal of the History of Ideas},
  pages={223 - 240}
  • G. Claeys
  • Published 2000
  • Philosophy
  • Journal of the History of Ideas
Remontant aux origines du darwinisme social inspire par Malthus au jeune Darwin et au jeune Wallace, l'A. examine les differentes sources de l'idee de survie du plus adapte qui apparait dans les doctrines sociales et politiques liees a la theorie de la selection naturelle. Mesurant l'influence de l'individualisme de Spencer, l'A. montre que Darwin n'a realise aucune decouverte revolutionnaire dans la theorie sociale, mais a formule le darwinisme social a partir de la structure preexistante du… Expand
Economists on Darwin's Theory of Social Evolution and Human Behaviour
This article analyses Darwin's image among economists with a specific focus on his theory of social evolution as presented in the Descent of Man (1871). We propose an analysis of the way and contextExpand
Experimental Appraisal of Social Darwinism By Way of Temperament and Personality
Social Darwinism believes that human groups and races are subject to the same laws of natural selection as Charles Darwin had perceived in plants and animals in nature. According to the theory, whichExpand
Social Darwinism in Anglophone Academic Journals: A Contribution to the History of the Term
This essay is a partial history of the term 'Social Darwinism'. Using large electronic databases, it is shown that the use of the term in leading Anglophone academic journals was rare up to theExpand
Darwin, artificial selection, and poverty
  • L. Sanchez
  • Medicine, Sociology
  • Politics and the Life Sciences
  • 2010
Abstract This paper argues that the processes of evolutionary selection are becoming increasingly artificial, a trend that goes against the belief in a purely natural selection process claimed byExpand
Contemporary implications of a forgotten argument
This paper argues that the processes of evolutionary selection are becoming increasingly artificial, a trend that goes against the belief in a purely natural selection process claimed by Darwin’sExpand
‘Blond Beasts of Prey’: A Nietzschean interpretation of the language of Britain's colonisation of New Zealand
This article explores the efficacy of applying Friedrich Nietzsche's hypothetical reconstruction of the emergence of human morality, to examples of the language used by agents of the BritishExpand
Social Darwinism and Race Consciousness In Japanese-American Relations
The relationship between Japan and the United States began at the same time as social Darwinism became an increasingly dominant paradigm in the social sciences, in the making of public policy, and inExpand
Alfred Russel Wallace on Man: A Famous 'Change of Mind'--Or Not?
In recent years, a re-examination of Wallace's place in history has been underway that has entered into the task of testing the reliability of negative evidence and correlations in time. Expand
Alfred Russel Wallace’s Medical Libertarianism: State Medicine, Human Progress, and Evolutionary Purpose
  • M. Flannery
  • Medicine
  • Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences
  • 2015
This article argues that his positions were logical outgrowths of his medical libertarianism and evolutionary and social theories, which revealed itself in a libertarianism that defended traditional socialist constituencies against state-mandated medical interventions. Expand
Pragmatism and Prophecy: H. G. Wells and the Metaphysics of Socialism
  • D. Bell
  • Philosophy
  • American Political Science Review
  • 2017
Read throughout the world, H. G. Wells was one of the most famous political thinkers of the early twentieth century. During the first half of the 1900s, he elaborated a bold and idiosyncraticExpand


The origin of theOrigin revisited
Reexamen de L'Origine des Especes. Le commentaire de D. Brewster sur le Cours de Philosophie Positive d'Auguste Comte. L'impact de ce commentaire sur Darwin. Darwin et Adam Smith. Darwin, Quetelet etExpand
Darwin as a social evolutionist
  • J. C. Greene
  • Philosophy, Medicine
  • Journal of the history of biology
  • 1977
The fifteen commentaries on Freeman's essay published in the September 1974 issue of Current Anthropology illustrate the wide disparity of opinions prevailing on the subject of Darwin's concept of social evolution. Expand
Malthus, Darwin, and the concept of struggle.
  • P. Bowler
  • Philosophy, Medicine
  • Journal of the history of ideas
  • 1976
It is suggested that a careful analysis reveals a significant difference between the ways in which Malthus and Darwin used the idea of struggle, with the concept that was really important in Darwin's theory occupying only a subsidiary position in MalthUS' work. Expand
Darwin and Social Theory
  • K. Bock
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy of Science
  • 1955
1. The Alleged Influence of Darwin. It has been argued repeatedly that the modern study of social and cultural evolution took its inspiration and form from Charles Darwin's Origin of Species andExpand
Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution
In her enduring study of the impact of Darwinism on the intellectual climate of the nineteenth century, Gertrude Himmelfarb brings massive documentation to bear in challenging the conventional viewExpand
Darwin and the political economists: Divergence of character
  • S. Schweber
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Journal of the history of biology
  • 1980
A third stage occurred in 1858 with the amalgamation of the tree-of-life vizualization of the process of speciation, where Speciation, geographic distribution, and systematics were all then embedded in a conceptual matrix with vast explanatory powers. Expand
The social history of Darwin's Descent of Man
This paper covers two major contentious points in the history of the relationship between the sciences and social thought - the question of the character of ideological intervention within theExpand
Social Darwinism: The Two Sources
"Social Darwinism" means almost as many things as there are people who have written on it'; but this paper takes it to be a generic term for theories of human social development and maintenance whichExpand
Malthus, Darwin, and Bagehot: A Study in the Transference of a Concept
A familiar phenomenon in the history of science is the transference of a concept from one field of investigation to another. At present the newer concepts in use in physics are being applied in theExpand
Darwin, Malthus, and selection
  • S. Herbert
  • History, Medicine
  • Journal of the history of biology
  • 1971
Previously lost pages from Darwin's "Notebooks on Transmutation of Species" establish the dates on which Darwin was reading Malthus and record Darwin's immediate response to the importance of what he was reading for his own ideas on the origin of species. Expand