Social Darwinism In American Thought

Author : Richard Hofstadter
ISBN : 9780807054628
Genre : Science
File Size : 41.97 MB
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Social Darwinism in American Thought portrays the overall influence of Darwin on American social theory and the notable battle waged among thinkers over the implications of evolutionary theory for social thought and political action. Theorists such as Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner adopted the idea of the struggle for existence as justification for the evils as well as the benefits of laissez-faire modern industrial society. Others such as William James and John Dewey argued that human planning was needed to direct social development and improve upon the natural order. Hofstadter's classic study of the ramifications of Darwinism is a major analysis of the social philosophies that animated intellectual movements of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.
Category: Science

Paths Of American Thought

Author : Morton Gabriel White
ISBN : STANFORD:36105010426687
Genre : History
File Size : 54.88 MB
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Category: History

In Search Of Human Nature

Author : Carl N. Degler
ISBN : 0199729018
Genre : Science
File Size : 23.46 MB
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1972, and a past president of both the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association, Carl Degler is one of America's most eminent living historians. He is also one of the most versatile. In a forty year career, he has written brilliantly on race (Neither Black Nor White, which won the Pulitzer Prize), women's studies (At Odds, which Betty Friedan called "a stunning book"), Southern history (The Other South), the New Deal, and many other subjects. Now, in The Search for Human Nature, Degler turns to perhaps his largest subject yet, a sweeping history of the impact of Darwinism (and biological research) on our understanding of human nature, providing a fascinating overview of the social sciences in the last one hundred years. The idea of a biological root to human nature was almost universally accepted at the turn of the century, Degler points out, then all but vanished from social thought only to reappear in the last four decades. Degler traces the early history of this idea, from Darwin's argument that our moral and emotional life evolved from animals just as our human shape did, to William James's emphasis on instinct in human behavior (then seen as a fundamental insight of psychology). We also see the many applications of biology, from racism, sexism, and Social Darwinism to the rise of intelligence testing, the eugenics movement, and the practice of involuntary sterilization of criminals (a public policy pioneered in America, which had sterilization laws 25 years before Nazi Germany--one such law was upheld by Oliver Wendell Holmes's Supreme Court). Degler then examines the work of those who denied any role for biology, who thought culture shaped human nature, a group ranging from Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, and Margaret Mead, to John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner. Equally important, he examines the forces behind this fundamental shift in a scientific paradigm, arguing that ideological reasons--especially the struggle against racism and sexism in America--led to this change in scientific thinking. Finally, Degler considers the revival of Darwinism without the Social Darwinism, racism, and sexism, led first by ethologists such as Karl von Frisch, Nikolaas Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz, and Jane Goodall--who revealed clear parallels between animal and human behavior--and followed in varying degrees by such figures as Melvin Konner, Alice Rossi, Jerome Kagen, and Edward O. Wilson as well as others in anthropology, political science, sociology, and economics. What kind of animal is Homo sapiens and how did we come to be this way? In this wide ranging history, Carl Degler traces our attempts over the last century to answer these questions. In doing so, he has produced a volume that will fascinate anyone curious about the nature of human beings.
Category: Science

Anti Intellectualism In American Life

Author : Richard Hofstadter
ISBN : 9780307809674
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52.88 MB
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Winner of the 1964 Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction. In this award-winning classic work of consensus history, Richard Hofstadter, author of The Age of Reform, examines the role of social movements in the perception of intellect in American life. "As Mr. Hofstadter unfolds the fascinating story, it is no crude battle of eggheads and fatheads. It is a rich, complex, shifting picture of the life of the mind in a society dominated by the ideal of practical success." --Robert Peel in the Christian Science Monitor
Category: Social Science

Social Darwinism

Author : Robert Bannister
ISBN : 9781439906057
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 90.99 MB
Format : PDF
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"The most systematic and comprehensive effort yet made to assess the role played by Darwinian ideas in the writings of English-speaking social theorists of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries." --Isis "In seeking to set the record straight, Bannister cuts through the amalgam with an intellectual shredder, exposing the illogic and incompatibility involved in fusing Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species with Herbert Spencer's Social Statics.... Bannister's familiarity with relevant texts and their reception by contemporary social theorists, scholars, and critics on both sides of the Atlantic is impressive." --Journal of Interdisciplinary History "A fine contribution to Anglo-American intellectual history." --Journal of American History
Category: Social Science

American Socialists And Evolutionary Thought 1870 1920

Author : Mark Pittenger
ISBN : 0299136043
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 89.18 MB
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American Socialists and Evolutionary Thought, 1870-1920 demonstrates how evolutionary theories fundamentally shaped, and ultimately undercut, the American socialist movement. Mark Pittenger examines the attempts of radicals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to synthesise the evolutionary ideas of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer with socialist philosophy, social theory and political practice. In contrast to authors who have shown the influence of Darwinism on conservative and progressive political ideologies, Pittenger establishes that radicals also took scientific ideas seriously and wanted to link the public fascination with evolution to their own cause.
Category: Political Science

American Violence

Author : Richard Hofstadter
ISBN : 9780307814005
Genre : History
File Size : 25.60 MB
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With eyewitness accounts and contemporary reports—linked together by succinct analytical commentaries—Richard Hofstadter and his young collaborator, Michael Wallace, have created a superb documentary reader that is, in effect, a history of violence in America through four centuries. Here, as experienced by men and women who lived through them, are not only the familiar, chilling eruptions—Harper’s Ferry; the Civil War draft riot in New York; Homestead; Centralia; the Detroit ghetto; the assassinations of Lincoln, Malcolm X, and Robert Kennedy—but also less commonly remembered episodes, such as the New York slave riots of 1712, the doctors’ riot of 1788, vigilante terror in Montana, the anti-Chinese riot in Los Angeles in 1871, and the White League coup d’état of 1874 in New Orleans. In his extensive introduction, Richard Hofstadter shows how, in the face of the record, Americans have had an extraordinary ability to persuade themselves that they are among the best-behaved and the best-regulated of peoples. With more than one hundred entries, the editors have documented and put into perspective the thread of violence in American history whose rediscovery—as Hofstadter suggests—will undoubtedly be one of the most important intellectual legacies of the 1960’s. The book clearly demonstrates, even as the reader comes to grips with long-eluded truths, that America’s consistent history of violence has not yet breached beyond hope of restoration our long record of basic political stability, that most social reforms in the United States have been brought about without violence.
Category: History

Newton S Apple And Other Myths About Science

Author : Ronald L. Numbers
ISBN : 9780674915473
Genre : Science
File Size : 54.75 MB
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A falling apple inspired the law of gravity—or so the story goes. Is it true? Perhaps not. But why do such stories endure as explanations of how science happens? Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science brushes away popular misconceptions to provide a clearer picture of scientific breakthroughs from ancient times to the present.
Category: Science