evolutionism, evolutionary theory
In the nineteenth century, evolutionism was a current of thought based on a biological analogy , but distinguished from Darwinian theory by its deterministic nature. Darwin's general theory of evolution claims that natural species evolve through variation and natural selection, a process that is not necessarily progressive. However, in the evolutionary theory espoused by Victorian social scientists, human societies were bound to improve, change was progressive, and led to further civilization and moral improvement of human society. Such theories were central to the nineteenth-century approach to society and political life. They underpinned colonialism and are still deeply entrenched in Western thought.’s essay on ‘Theories of Progress, Development, Evolution’ (in , A History of Sociological Analysis, 1979) gives a good history and overview.
Although evolutionary theory in sociology is attributed to Herbert Spencer , it is clear that it was taken for granted by writers as diverse as Karl Marx , Friedrich Engels , Émile Durkheim , and V. Gordon Childe . The fact that it can be traced in the work of both radical and conservative theorists is indicative of the profound cultural importance of evolutionism for Western thought. See also change, social ; Darwinism ; evolutionary universals ; Frazer, Sir James George; matriarchy ; Morgan, Lewis Henry; Parsons, Talcott; progress ; social anthropology.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • evoluţionism — EVOLUŢIONÍSM s.n. 1. Concepţie filozofică potrivit căreia Universul, Pământul, fiinţele vii, societatea etc. trec printr un proces istoric de evoluţie (dezvoltare) şi sunt privite din punctul de vedere al acestei dezvoltări. 2. (În sens restrâns) …   Dicționar Român

  • Evolutionism — Ev o*lu tion*ism, n. The theory of, or belief in, evolution. See {Evolution}, 6 and 7. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Evolutionism — In the creation evolution controversy, those who accept the scientific theory of biological evolution by natural selection or genetic drift are often called evolutionists , and the theory of evolution itself is referred to as evolutionism by… …   Wikipedia

  • evolutionism — evolutionist ► NOUN ▪ a person who believes in the theories of evolution and natural selection. DERIVATIVES evolutionism noun …   English terms dictionary

  • evolutionism — noun see evolution …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • evolutionism — ev·o·lu·tion·ism (ĕv ə lo͞oʹshə nĭz əm, ē və ) n. 1. A theory of biological evolution, especially that formulated by Charles Darwin. 2. Advocacy of or belief in biological evolution.   ev o·luʹtion·ist n. * * * …   Universalium

  • evolutionism — noun a) Any of several theories that explain the evolution of systems or organisms. b) The advocacy of Darwinian evolution by natural selection (Darwinism). See Also: evolutionist …   Wiktionary

  • evolutionism — Discredited late 19th and early 20th century doctrine associating the changes of evolution with a progressive view of social change, positive attitudes to competition and war, and justification of inequalities of power. See also evolutionary… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • evoluţionísm — s. n. (sil. ţi o ) …   Romanian orthography

  • evolutionism — n. theory of evolution …   English contemporary dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”