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

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9781403965028: From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germany
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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.

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"This is one of the finest examples of intellectual history I have seen in a long while. It is insightful, thoughtful, informative, and highly readable. Rather than simply connecting the dots, so to speak, the author provides a sophisticated and nuanced examination of numerous German thinkers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who were influenced to one degree or another by Darwinist naturalism and their ideas, subtly drawing both distinctions and similarities and in the process telling a rich and colorful story. "
-- Ian Dowbiggin, Professor of History at the University of Prince Edward Island and author of A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America
|"This is one of the finest examples of intellectual history I have seen in a long while. It is insightful, thoughtful, informative, and highly readable. Rather than simply connecting the dots, so to speak, the author provides a sophisticated and nuanced examination of numerous German thinkers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who were influenced to one degree or another by Darwinist naturalism and their ideas, subtly drawing both distinctions and similarities and in the process telling a rich and colorful story. "
-- Ian Dowbiggin, Professor of History at the University of Prince Edward Island and author ofA Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America

About the Author:

RICHARD WEIKART is an Associate Professor of Modern European History, California State University, Stanislaus, USA. He has had two previous books published, including Socialist Darwinism: Evolution in German Socialist Thought from Marx to Bernstein (1999), as well as articles in German Studies Review, Journal of the History of Ideas, Isis, European Legacy and History of European Ideas.

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Book Description Palgrave Macmillan. Hardcover. Condition: New. 324 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.8in. x 1.0in.From Darwin to Hitler elucidates the revolutionary impact Darwinism had on ethics and morality. Weikart 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) as 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 thinking had its biggest impact on Germany, since Hitler built his view of ethics on Darwinian principles, not on nihilism as popularly believed. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9781403965028

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