Darwin’s LegacyDecember 25, 2019
The 19th century is a period of rapid changes in human history.
From railways to newspapers; from the start of production in factories to the emergence of socialist ideas; From the discovery of non-Euclidean geometries to the establishment of modern logic; from the expression of conservation laws of energy to the development of electromagnetism theory; From the spread of colonialism to the occupation of the entire American continent by the “white man sayısız, countless events took place in this century. The progress of science has become noticeable, and the fact that these advances have opened new horizons for humanity has affected philosophers deeply.
One of the most important theories that deeply influenced Western Philosophy among the scientific developments in the 19th century is Darwin’s theory of evolution. Some compare Darwin’s theory with Newton’s mechanical theory and argue that, like Newton’s ideas about matter and forces, Darwin explained the change and diversification of living things.
According to the theory developed by Darwin, random changes in genes provide individuals with different advantages in their adaptation to the environment and as a result of this, in a natural selection process, the best adaptation to the environment survives. In this way, individuals pass on their genetic characteristics to subsequent generations. This transfer process also ensures that species change and diversify over a long period of time.
This theory had different and fundamentalist consequences in both philosophical and scientific debates. For example, the English philosopher Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) applied this form of thought to history and societies and developed an opinion called social Darwinism. In the field of psychology, American psychologist and philosopher William James (1842-1910) developed a new theory called functionalism.
Functionalism is a theory of psychology developed under the influence of Darwin’s theory of evolution. It focuses on mental processes and behaviors in harmony with the environment of the organism. Although there is no long-term approach to psychology, it has had a decisive effect on the development of behaviorism.
– Who is Charles Darwin?
– What is Darwinism (Darwinism)?
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Tarihi History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook