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Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism can be defined as the act of utilizing the theory of evolution brought forward by Charles Darwin in the description of the present society as well as the formulation of good prescriptions of society's constitution. From Darwin's theory of evolution, animals and plants are in a continuous struggle for their existence leading to evolutionary transformation. The change undergone by plants and animals is regarded to be perpetual leading to development. Due to the perpetual change experienced in struggle for existence, social Darwinism has had profound influence on the philosophers in sociology.

Social Darwinism influenced various philosophers in developing their theories about the society. Auguste Comte, believed to be the father of sociology, derived much of his works from social Darwinism. In his analytical study of the change of social order, Comte proposed the application of positivism in sociological studies. Therefore, social Darwinism was evident in the pursuit of social change.

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Perhaps, the ideas of Herbert Spencer greatly emphasized social Darwinism. According to Spencer, the society should evolve progressively from low levels of existence to more complex ones. Moreover, Spencer articulated the "survival of the fittest" principle, a major characteristic of societal evolution.

Finally, social Darwinism had lasting influence on Emille Durkheim's views on sociology. Durkheim's proposition of the recognition of sociology as an independent scientific discipline was highly influenced by social Darwinism. In his attempt to understand suicidal behavior, Durkheim concluded that a wholesome understanding of human behavior needed a in-depth examination of social forces. As such, social Darwinism influenced the contributions of the three philosophers' immensely.

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