In Social Evolutionism Stephen Sanderson provide a lucid account of
a body of theory that has profoundly affected both intellectual and
popular assumptions about human nature, society, and behavior. He
describes the prominent and controversial role that evolutionary
ideas have played in the development of social theory. He
demonstrates the diversity of evolutionary ideas by comparing their
notions of causation, their assumptions about human progress, and
the adequacy of their modes of explanation and interpretation of
evidence. Although he is highly critical of some aspects of
evolutionary thinking and some modes of evolutionism, Professor
Sanderson shows that an evolutionary interpretation of world
history contributes vital insights about the character of human
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