Capitalist Contexts for Darwinian Theory: Land, Finance, Industry and Empire [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Biology 42 (3):399 - 416 (2009)
When socio-economic contexts are sought for Darwin's science, it is customary to turn to the Industrial Revolution. However, important issues about the long run of England's capitalisms can only be recognised by taking a wider view than Industrial Revolution historiographies tend to engage. The role of land and finance capitalisms in the development of the empire is one such issue. If we historians of Darwin's science allow ourselves a distinction between land and finance capitalisms on the one hand and industrial capitalism on the other; and if we ask with which side of this divide were Darwin and his theory of branching descent by natural selection aligned, then reflection on leading features of that theory, including its Malthusian elements, suggests that the answer is often and largely, though not exclusively: on the land side. The case of Wallace, socialist opponent of land capitalism, may not be as anomalous for this suggestion as one might at first think. Social and economic historians have reached no settled consensuses on the long-run of England's capitalisms. We historians of Darwin's science would do well to import some of these unsettled states of discussion into our own work over the years to come.
Keywords Darwin  Wallace  Malthus  natural selection  capitalism  land  finance  empire  industry  industrial revolution  class  political economy  population
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10739-009-9187-y
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,359
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Cambridge Companion to Darwin.Jonathan Hodge & Gregory Radick (eds.) - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
Darwin's Keystone : The Principle of Divergence.David Kohn - 2009 - In Michael Ruse & Robert J. Richards (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the "Origin of Species". Cambridge University Press.
Revolution of the Space Invaders: Darwin and Wallace on the Geography of Life.James Moore - 2005 - In David N. Livingstone & Charles W. J. Withers (eds.), Geography and Revolution. University of Chicago Press.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Spontaneous Market Order and Evolution.Naomi Beck - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
Darwin’s Book: On the Origin of Species.Jonathan Hodge - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (9):2267-2294.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Land Ethic, Moral Development, and Ecological Rationality.Charles Starkey - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):149-175.
Holists and Fascists and Paper Tigers...Oh My!Michael P. Nelson - 1996 - Ethics and the Environment 1 (2):103 - 117.
Agriculture, Ethics, and Restrictions on Property Rights.Kristin S. Shrader-Frechette - 1988 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (1):21-40.
Ecological Morality and Nonmoral Sentiments.Ernest Partridge - 1996 - Environmental Ethics 18 (2):149-163.
The Greening of Heart and Mind: A Love Story.Roman Briggs - 2009 - Environmental Ethics 31 (2):155-168.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
29 ( #198,507 of 2,225,162 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #425,061 of 2,225,162 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature