From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany

From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany

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by R. Weikart
     
 

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ISBN-10: 140397201X

ISBN-13: 9781403972019

Pub. Date: 04/02/2006

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US

In this work, Richard Weikart explains the revolutionary impact Darwinism had on ethics and morality. He demonstrates that many leading Darwinian biologists and social thinkers in Germany believed that Darwinism overturned traditional Judeo-Christian and Enlightenment ethics, especially the view that human life is sacred. Many of these thinkers supported moral

Overview

In this work, Richard Weikart explains the revolutionary impact Darwinism had on ethics and morality. He demonstrates that many leading Darwinian biologists and social thinkers in Germany believed that Darwinism overturned traditional Judeo-Christian and Enlightenment ethics, especially the view that human life is sacred. Many of these thinkers supported moral relativism, yet simultaneously exalted evolutionary 'fitness' (especially intelligence and health) to the highest arbiter of morality. Darwinism played a key role in the rise not only of eugenics, but also euthanasia, infanticide, abortion and racial extermination. This was especially important in Germany, since Hitler built his view of ethics on Darwinian principles, not on nihilism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403972019
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
04/02/2006
Edition description:
2004
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
560,037
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction PART I: LAYING NEW FOUNDATIONS FOR ETHICS The Origins of Morality and the Rise of Relativism Evolutionary Progress as the Highest Good Organizing Evolutionary Ethics PART II: DEVALUING HUMAN LIFE The Value of Death The Specter of Inferiority: Devaluing the Disabled The Science of Racial Inequality PART III: ELIMINATING THE "INFERIOR ONES" Controlling Reproduction: Redefining Sexual Morality Killing the Unfit War and Peace Racial Struggle and Extermination Part IV: Impacts Hitler's Ethics Conclusion

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From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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