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Social Darwinism and Socialist Darwinism in Germany: 1860 to 1900

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Abstract

An influential tendency of thought1 in Anglo-Saxon history and sociology of the sciences has argued for a recognition of the essential homogeneity of science and broader features of cultural life. Older traditions of historiography which devoted themselves to an understanding of the inner dynamic of a supposedly autonomous domain of scientific ideas have been abandoned in favour of an approach which sees in the very idea of an autonomous domain of conceptual movement an evasion of the issue of the ideological and political commitments and involvements of science. Science is itself a social practice, along with others. Why, then, should it be assumed that this social practice escapes the value-conflicts, the normative constraints, the political and ideological struggles which pervade and even constitute its social surrounds?

Keywords

  • Evolutionary Theory
  • Human History
  • Human Species
  • Scientific Idea
  • Capitalist Society

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© 2002 Ted Benton

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Benton, T. (2002). Social Darwinism and Socialist Darwinism in Germany: 1860 to 1900. In: Blackledge, P., Kirkpatrick, G. (eds) Historical Materialism and Social Evolution. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781403919977_3

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