Course Content
Survival of the Fittest
Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer
Moral Actions – Spencer
Types of Cooperation – Herbert Spencer
Critique of Communism and Socialism
Society as a Thing – Spencer and Realism
Comparative-Historical Method
Value Free Sociology of Spencer
Criticism of Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
    About Lesson

    The Evolutionary Doctrine

    The Origin of Species, written by Charles Darwin, significantly impacted Spencer (1859). It brought about a fundamental shift in the scientific view of how life progressed from primitive, unicellular creatures to sophisticated, multicellular organisms like ourselves.

    Spencer argues that since the social construct is unique, sociology as a discipline must explain how society got to where it is now by describing how evolution began and then applying the rules of evolution to those early phases.

    The foundation of Spencer’s whole system of knowledge was his conviction that “evolution” was the crucial idea for comprehending the universe and the role humans play within it. The concept of evolution, in turn, was based on the idea that all of nature’s many forms, including those of birds, fish, reptiles, trees, grass, mountains, and seas, were just different variations of the same fundamental material element.

    Thus, all knowledge will be a structured and verifiable collection of hypotheses about the many transformational patterns that make up the world as humans know it. And the evolutionary principle is this fundamental process of change that permeates every component of existence.

    According to Spencer, humans discuss the process of evolution that occurs on earth in relation to the human body.   Human bodies are primarily made of water, blood, bones, and flesh, all products of the natural world. When humans pass away, individuals revert to the surrounding natural elements. Thus, all processes of change are identical in that they arise from the physical components of the world, have unique patterns of change and transformation, and eventually decline and disintegrate following these patterns.

    Here, they transition from

    A. from a condition of simplicity to a condition of structured complexity.

    B. from an ambiguous condition to a definite condition.

    C. from a condition of relative undifferentiation to a condition of growing specialization, in which their components exhibit intricate structural and functional distinction.

    D. from an unstable condition of similar units that behaved relatively disconnectedly and incoherently to a stable state of comparatively fewer pieces. This is because modern humans are so finely structured and expressed that their conduct is predictable, regular, and coherent.

    Sociology Plus