Über den Autor
RICHARD WEIKART is an Associate Professor of Modern European History, California State University, Stanislaus, USA. He has had two previous books published, including Socialist Darwinism: Evolution in German Socialist Thought from Marx to Bernstein (1999), as well as articles in German Studies Review, Journal of the History of Ideas, Isis, European Legacy and History of European Ideas.
Introduction PART I: LAYING NEW FOUNDATIONS FOR ETHICS The Origins of Morality and the Rise of Relativism Evolutionary Progress as the Highest Good Organizing Evolutionary Ethics PART II: DEVALUING HUMAN LIFE The Value of Death The Specter of Inferiority: Devaluing the Disabled The Science of Racial Inequality PART III: ELIMINATING THE "INFERIOR ONES" Controlling Reproduction: Redefining Sexual Morality Killing the Unfit War and Peace Racial Struggle and Extermination Part IV: Impacts Hitler's Ethics Conclusion
In this work, Richard Weikart explains the revolutionary impact Darwinism had on ethics and morality. He demonstrates that many leading Darwinian biologists and social thinkers in Germany believed that Darwinism overturned traditional Judeo-Christian and Enlightenment ethics, especially the view that human life is sacred. Many of these thinkers supported moral relativism, yet simultaneously exalted evolutionary 'fitness' (especially intelligence and health) to the highest arbiter of morality. Darwinism played a key role in the rise not only of eugenics, but also euthanasia, infanticide, abortion and racial extermination. This was especially important in Germany, since Hitler built his view of ethics on Darwinian principles, not on nihilism.
The first intellectual history to focus on the controversial connection between Darwinism and Nazism
Provocative but meticulously researched