Social Darwinism Beginning Research Thesis

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Charles Darwin, Natural selection, Evolution
  • Pages : 1 (335 words )
  • Download(s) : 185
  • Published : July 10, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
ocial Darwinism is the theory that competition amongst individuals or groups in society brings about social evolution. The theory spawned from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection, in which competition between animals and plants fueled biological evolution through "survival of the fittest". Although it bears his name, the principals of social Darwinism were mainly expounded by other influencial thinkers of the mid to late 1800's, such as Herbert Spencer, Francis Galton, and Thomas Malthus. It seems fitting for the poverty driven class wars of the Victorian era, but how does this fit into the liberal world we live in today? We see many positive examples of social Darwinism today, from small things like a sport that requires vigorous training and skill, to bigger and more significant things like political elections and __________. But naturally, with good most often comes bad, and thus the negative aspects of social Darwinism are brought to light - fighting, war, poverty - too many social ills are the result of ignorant upperclassmen attempting to justify their superiority through a theory who's true nature is in the betterment of mankind. However, it is wrong to view this delicate subject with narrowmindedness, which brings us to the many different views that have been developed and scrutized over the years. Herbert Spencer, the Englishman most associated with social Darwinism, yet not actually considered a social Darwinist, coined the term "survival of the fittest", and applied it to society. He believed humanitarian impulses should be resisted, and that the strong should continue getting stronger, while the weak are left to become weaker and eventually die off, automatically producing prosperity. Spencer also argued that it was the individual (as opposed to the whole class) that evolved.

Francis Galton, Darwin's own cousin, also partook in the social Darwinism craze. He believed that just how physical traits could be carried through...
tracking img