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In Search of Human NatureThe Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought$
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Carl N. Degler

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780195077070

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195077070.001.0001

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Invoking the Darwinian Imperative

Invoking the Darwinian Imperative

(p.3) 1 Invoking the Darwinian Imperative
In Search of Human Nature

Carl N. Degler

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Charles Darwin's thoughts about human nature. Around the mid-19th century, Darwin provided a paradoxical interpretation of human nature by showing that nature changed over time, with the agent of change being natural selection. Thus, he made nature a more powerful influence on human thought and he also set the framework within which American social scientists of the late 19th century pursued their effort to understand human behavior and human nature.

Keywords:   human nature, Charles Darwin, natural selection, human behaviour, social science

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