From Comte to Benjamin Kidd: The Appeal to Biology or by Robert Mackintosh

By Robert Mackintosh

Robert waterproof coat (1858-1933), a professor on the Congregationalist Lancashire self sufficient collage, lines the impact of biology and evolutionism at the examine of human ethics and society throughout the moment half the 19th century during this 1899 e-book. He starts off with Comte's founding of sociology, and maintains with the renewed attract biology for the certainty of human affairs present in the paintings of Darwin, Spencer and their circle. He then appears to be like at Benjamin Kidd's Social Evolution, released in 1894 (and additionally reissued during this series). Fifty years after Comte, Kidd argued that sociology required extra grounding by way of a brand new recourse to biology. waterproof coat supported Kidd's view. If organic clues are to come up with the money for counsel for human behavior, waterproof coat contended, they have to be supplemented by way of a clearer ethical and spiritual imaginative and prescient, and in philosophy by means of a few scheme of metaphysical evolutionism. His paintings marks a transition from Darwinism to a brand new Hegelianism.

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On the other hand, it is fully recognised that, if you wish to frame maxims for conduct, you have to take much into account besides the economic tendencies of action. And it is also confessed that in its " palmy days" political economy had identified itself with a system of individualism — with a hard doctrine of individual rights, more especially rights of property— which may well be thought a menace to the public interests. Nevertheless—such is the irony of circumstances ! — practically the same system has reappeared in all its stringency in the form of Mr.

It therefore corresponds to the " absolute ethics " or " ethics for the straight man" of Mr. Spencer's later system—a fresh proof, if further proof were needed, that ethics and sociology are only diverse names for the same product, as production is carried on in the schools of empirical sociology and evolutionary ethics. In the light of science it would seem that Comte's use of the phrase is much better justified than Spencer's. Mechanical statics discuss the conditions of stability in actual life, not in some ideal world, where the properties of things have been modified out of all recognition.

The practical wisdom of the priests, and, still more, the sagacious instincts of secular statesmanship, did a great deal to counteract the anti-social tendencies of a developed theology. Instead of dreaming away their lives in religious joys, or in thoughts of another world —as their creeds may have demanded—men were disciplined by their wise rulers to think of the interests of their country, and to aim at the public weal. e. under Christianity, or, as Comte calls it, " Catholicism "—a very great advance was made through the mediaeval separation of the spiritual and temporal powers.

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