Category Archives: 01 – 19th Century Evolutionism

Make Sense of this Quote

Make Sense of this Quote 
FROM P. 310 of Suicide:
First, it implies that collective tendencies and thoughts are of a 
different nature from individual tendencies and thoughts, that the 
former have characteristics which the latter lack (Tïow can this be, it 
is objected, since there are only individuals in society? But, reasoning 
thus, we should have to say that there is nothing more in animate 
nature than inorganic matter, since the cell is made exclusively of 
inanimate atorns^Ç'o be sure, it is likewise true that society has no 
other active forces than individuals; but individuals by combining 
form a psychical existence of a new species, which consequently has 
its own manner of thinking and feeling). Of course the elementary 
qualities of which the social fact consists are present in germ in indi- 
vidual minds. But the social fact emerges from them only when they 
have been transformed by association since it is only then that it ap- 
pears. Association itself is also an active factor productive of special 
effects. In itself it is therefore something new. When the conscious- 
ness of individuals, instead of remaining isolated, becomes grouped 
and combined, something in the world has been altered.

Who said it?

What's it mean?
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Nineteenth-Century Evolutionism

Nineteenth-Century Evolutionism

This was a period in science and human thought that affected great changes in how people understand the world and human development.

Notable people of this era include:
Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace,
Herbert Spencer,
Sir Edward Burnett Tylor,
Lewis Henry Morgan,
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Notable publications include:
-Herbert Spencer, The Social Organism (1860)
-Lewis Henry Morgan, Ethnical Periods (1877)
-Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Feuerbach. Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook (1845-1846)
-Edward Burnett Tylor, Science of Culture (1871)

The readings from this section share some similar tendencies, one among these is the idea of human interaction as an evolutionary process.  Spenser’s theory is very unilateral in suggesting that civilization progress, or evolve.  His writing gives an analogous view of civilization and human interaction as a biological organism, suggesting that the social factors of human interaction have evolved from simplistic to more complicated.  This is also intertwined with  authors such as Taylor, who also compare anthropology with the natural sciences, echoing the sentiments of Darwinian theory by applying the idea to human civilization.  Feuerbach takes this idea a step further with the productions of intercourse, adding more specific elements of human interaction into what is basically the same idea presented by Spencer and Taylor.   It is important here to focus on material and its role as a driving force in this evolutionary theory.

Based on this idea, and the more in-depth literature that supports it, we would like to discuss the following:

In the spirit of 19th Century Evolutionism:  Explain the evolution of culture in the terms of the evolution of life, or as an analogy of a living organism or body, or a progressive process of change, or as the development of mental capacities.  You may want to consider: the evolution of simple to complex societies, interdependency, class structure, religion, materialism, technology innovation or art, knowledge/ education, subsistence, roles and structure of the family, government,  division of labor, or speech.  How are all these ideas related, or how are all societies related to one another?  Is there a progression of society, and if there is, what is the ultimate goal of society?

Societies slowly augment in mass…

9.18
Such, then, are the points of analogy and the points of difference. May we not say that the points of difference serve but to bring into clearer light the points of analogy? While comparison makes definite the obvious contrasts between organisms commonly so called, and the social organism, it shows that even these contrasts are not so decided as was to be expected. The indefiniteness of form, the discontinuity of the parts, and the universal sensitiveness, are not only peculiarities of the social organism which have to be stated with considerable qualifications; but they are peculiarities to which the inferior classes of animals present approximations. Thus we find but little to conflict with the all-important analogies. Societies slowly augment in mass; they progress in complexity of structure; at the same time their parts become more mutually dependent; their living units are removed and replaced without destroying their integrity; and the extents to which they display these peculiarities are proportionate to their vital activities. These are traits that societies have in common with organic bodies. And these traits in which they agree with organic bodies and disagree with all other things, entirely subordinate the minor distinctions: such distinctions being scarcely greater than those which separate one half of the organic kingdom from the other. The principles of organization are the same, and the differences are simply differences of application.

Who said that and why???

the answer is here

19th Century Evolutionism

Nineteenth-Century Evolutionism

This was a period in science and human thought that affected great changes in how people understand the world and human development.

Notable people of this era include:
Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace,
Herbert Spencer,
Sir Edward Burnett Tylor,
Lewis Henry Morgan,
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Notable publications include:
-Herbert Spencer, The Social Organism (1860)
-Lewis Henry Morgan, Ethnical Periods (1877)
-Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Feuerbach. Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook (1845-1846)
-Edward Burnett Tylor, Science of Culture (1871)

Nineteenth-Century Evolutionism

Nineteenth-Century Evolutionism

This was a period in science and human thought that affected great changes in how people understand the world and human development.
Notable people of this era include:
Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace,
Herbert Spencer,
Sir Edward Burnett Tylor,
Lewis Henry Morgan,
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Notable publications include:
-Herbert Spencer, The Social Organism (1860)
-Lewis Henry Morgan, Ethnical Periods (1877)
-Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Feuerbach. Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook (1845-1846)
-Edward Burnett Tylor, Science of Culture (1871)

-Lewis Henry Morgan, Ethnical Periods (1877)(link to article)

This is one of Morgan’s articles articulates his nineteenth century view that helped to shape anthropological theory. This was written in 1877 and discusses human progress evolution form savage to civilize. This theory of human cultural development was one of the historical foundations of nineteenth century evolution and the development of anthropology.

Morgan’s purpose is to define and category human cultural development, since there are common patterns and systems, needing structure and order. He viewed this as a moral development of the “primary institutions” such as Subsistence, government, language, the family, religion, house life and architecture, and property believing that these were in conjunction with discovery and inventions (McGee and Warm 2004, 57).These seven categories starting with the techniques of providing food to civilization beginning with the idea of ownership are what Morgan uses to define important stages in human cultural development.These are solid points that seem very reasonable to accept to some degree within anthropology and labeling of human culture and social development.

The other aspect of his theory from “Ethnic Periods” is what he calls factors were he illogically groups stages of human development starting with lower, middle and upper savagery and then moving upward to lower, middle, and upper barbarism to conclude at status of civilization (McGee and Warm 2004, 61-62).Fellow anthropologists, such as Franz Boas, criticized Morgan over his grouping method, such as the Polynesian people being labeled as middle savage in there development, but were instead of a higher category in relation to their social and governmental chiefdom structure (McGee and Warm 2004, 63-64).In this period, Morgan viewed what he would consider primitive societies as living fossils and that “human development is predetermined by the natural logic of the human mind” based on what he called “germs of thought” (McGee and Warm 2004, 66).Morgan was looking at the world’s diversity cultural and people finding that there was the ability to provide a foundation of cultural birth.