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

    Elements of Evolutionary Theory

    First, evolution entails gradual transformation from a less coherent to a more coherent form or greater integration.

    Secondly, increased integration is accompanied by the transition from homogeneity to growing heterogeneity; that is, evolution entails increasing differentiation.

    Third, there is a change from chaos to order, from not knowing what will happen to knowing what will happen, from not being able to tell one thing from another to be able to tell one thing from another.

    Thus, increasing integration, heterogeneity, and definiteness are the three fundamental components of evolution. Spencer focused on these components and his overarching theory of evolution as they relate to structures and functions. Spencer equated structures with “matter” on the broadest level and saw them becoming increasingly defined, diverse, and integrated. Likewise, functions are related to “retained motion” and are seen as becoming more heterogeneous, defined, and integrated.

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    Sociology Plus