The past several decades have given rise to the concept of a Darwinian political theory that is also Aristotelian and Humean: an agreement with Aristotle that "human beings are by nature social and political animals"; an agreement with Hume that "human beings are by nature endowed with a moral sense"; and an agreement with Charles Darwin that "human society and morality are rooted in human biology." 1
Such an interpretation of Darwinian theory of evolution may seem anomalous, in view of its past association with an essentially Hobbesian concept of a pre-social state of nature as a condition of conflict and competition, where man is at war with others in seeking to gratify his desires to keep what he has, and to preserve his reputation. The nineteenth century "Social Darwinism" of Herbert Spencer was an influential application of Darwin's concept of struggle for existence and "survival of the fittest" to the laissez faire "rugged individualism" of American capitalism. 2 But the more recent interpretations of Darwinian theory are an indication that past interpretations have been a
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Publication information: Book title: Toward a Naturalistic Political Theory:Aristotle, Hume, Dewey, Evolutionary Biology, and Deep Ecology. Contributors: Terry Hoy - Author. Publisher: Praeger Publishers. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 69.
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