Philosophical Implications of Evolutionism

Classified in Philosophy and ethics

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Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism is the false idea that nature legitimises the oppression of the socially weaker by the stronger. It is based on the Darwinian theory of evolution, which states that the fittest individuals survive and reproduce. However, Social Darwinism ignores the fact that humans are not simply animals, and that we have developed moral and ethical values that prevent us from acting in a purely selfish manner.

The Role of Aggression and Violence in the Evolution of Species

Aggression among members of the same species is fundamental for the conservation of the species. For example, fighting between rivals helps to determine who is the strongest and most fit to reproduce. In the case of humans, aggression has also played a role in the development of morality. By fighting with each other, humans have learned to cooperate and coexist.

The Human Being has Developed Mechanisms Against Violence and Aggression

Humans have developed a series of norms and moral imperatives that have allowed us to tame our insatiable instinct of violence. These norms and imperatives include the Golden Rule, which states that we should treat others as we would like to be treated, and the principle of non-violence, which states that we should not harm others.


Culture is a set of knowledge, beliefs, customs, and human inventions that are socially acquired and transmitted by means of language. Culture includes:

- The tools and techniques and technological works that human beings have invented - Knowledge, beliefs, and opinions which are products of human creativity - Social customs, different ways of greeting, dance, play, and punishments and rewards associated with different actions are an important part of every society

Biological Evolution and Cultural Evolution

Biological evolution is how living beings adapt to the environment, while cultural evolution is when humans adapt the environment to their needs. Cultural adaptation allows us to:

1. Replace our lacks as animals: to defend ourselves in hostile habitats 2. Adapt the environment, natural and social, by modifying it

Material and Immaterial Culture

Material culture includes all the physical cultural elements (objects, devices, techniques). Immaterial culture includes elements related to the ways of thinking, knowledge, feelings, etc.

Ethnocentrism-Racism-Xenophobia-Cultural Relativism-Cultural Universalism

Ethnocentrism is the belief that one's own culture is superior to all others. Racism is the belief that one race is superior to all others. Xenophobia is the fear or hatred of foreigners. Cultural relativism is the belief that all cultures are equally valid. Cultural universalism is the belief that there are certain universal values that all cultures share.

Comparison of Changes Made by Humans and Nature

Darwin says that changes in living conditions cause changes in living beings, and there is evidence to prove this. At the same time, he says that it is more likely that natural selection was responsible for those changes than the influence of humans because nature has had more time to make those changes.

Secondly, Darwin makes the comparison that if humans are able to do whatever change, nature can also do it by means of changing little and internal aspects instead of external and visible aspects like humans do. And while humans only do it for their own benefit, nature does not have those limitations.

Finally, Darwin tries to explain that natural selection has a continuous search to change good aspects and reject those that are evil constantly to perfect any living being.

Lack of Adaptation of Human Beings in Nature

Human beings are an extraordinary case in nature because they are not adapted physiologically to the environment. Organically, human beings are helpless since they have not developed elements that allow them to defend and attack. This is in contrast to other organisms, which have developed claws, teeth, and other physical adaptations that help them to survive in their environment.

However, human beings are also a"cultural bein", which means that they live from their capacity to create elements that allow them to adapt, defend themselves, or attack depending on conditions and habitat. This is why human beings are able to live in a wide variety of environments, from the tropics to the Arctic.

In conclusion, although human beings are organically defenseless, they are able to create a world favorable to them.

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