Malthus, Darwin, and Social Darwinism
Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Bowler, P. J. 2006. Malthus, Darwin, and Social Darwinism. eLS.
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Darwin's theory of natural selection was inspired in part by T. R. Malthus's principle of population expansion. This was linked to the ideology of free-enterprise individualism, leading to claims that Darwin's theory reflected a similar ideology. Darwinism was certainly used to justify competitive social policies, but the relationship between science and ideology requires careful analysis.
- struggle for existence;
- survival of the fittest