Meanings of Social Darwinism
Seminar paper from the year 2011 in the subject History - Miscellaneous, grade: A, Indiana University (History and Philosophy of Science), course: The Meanings of Darwinism, language: English, abstract: [...] In this paper I want to show how one particular difference in defining social Darwinism affects the manner of telling history. Namely, the difference between social Darwinism as a world-view that is clearly independent of Darwin's theory and social Darwinism as an application of Darwin's theory in one way or the other. In the next section I explain why I use Hawkins as a representative of the latter version even though he claims to define social Darwinism independently of Darwin. After a short review of Hofstadter's reasons for classifying Carnegie as a social Darwinist, I will analyze Carnegie's essays in some depth. As the only historian who does not take Darwin's theory as the basis for social Darwinism, I will then confront the analysis with Greene's perspective. Finally I conclude with an answer to the question of historiographical relevance of defining social Darwinism one way or the other.
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