HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Class Conflict, Auguste Comte, Erasmus Darwin
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Darwinism and Social Darwinism
1. Marx, Darwin, Modernity?
Darwin rising out of the intellectual clement produced by those huge transformations
that we have been following.
3. Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
4. Variation and Inheritance
5. Natural Selection
6. Social Darwinism and Pseudoscientific Racism
how people started applying Darwin's views
Marx was involved with the international working mass association, which lasted until the 1860's. It
was to bring all working class citizens, internationally, to work for change/socialism.
Marx, Darwin, Modernity?
Darwin's origin of species was published in 1859, same time Marx released one of his great
works. They're engaging similar ideas as to how the world works and doesn't work.
Marx's materialistic history, material conception of history, where your class identity in terms of
production was the base for everything.
o this connects Marx to Darwin
Darwin, Marx, Wagner (book)
o Jacques Barzun
o Connects mechanical materialism (non directed material forces) drives history.
physical reality, law of nature.
connection between Marx and Darwin
o they created the idea of an alien, a cold world.
o why a cold world? they're thinking mechanically. That the world is driven by natural
forces. Not by the soul or ideas.
what connects them is that the world works mechanically and material forces is what drives it
Auguste Comte (1798-1857)
the view that human progress is inevitable and linear, bringing improvements over time
applying this to the natural world will bring steps forward
this is a kind of thinking, post enlightenment and French revolution, a direction of thinking. It
gave rise to Darwin.
Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802)
o if the great first cause indoor the ancestry of animals with the power of new traits,
they would improve.
o Charles Darwin's Grandfather
Darwin's ideas had come before
Evolution in Darwin's ideas don't have a goal, where Marx's history has an end; the end of class
struggle and a classless society.
What exactly where his ideas, how did he apply them