Medicine Studies 2 (2):139-150 (2010)

This paper explores the question whether war was regarded as eugenic or dysgenic before, during and after the First World War. The main focus is on the positions of the German military officer and historian Friedrich von Bernhardi, who in Germany and the Next War, first published in 1912, argued for war as eugenic, and Vernon Kellogg’s Headquarters Nights, published in 1917, which marks an important work characterizing war as dysgenic. I argue that an international community of biologists and social scientists who debated the hereditary effect of war existed before World War I and trace how the concepts of altruism and group selection contributed to a eugenic or dysgenic interpretation of war
Keywords History of biology  History of medicine  Eugenics  World War I  Levels of selection
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DOI 10.1007/s12376-010-0048-y
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The "Survival of the Fittest" and the Origins of Social Darwinism.Gregory Claeys - 2000 - Journal of the History of Ideas 61 (2):223-240.
Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope, and Aims.Francis Galton - 1904 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (1):1 - 25.
Social Darwinism in American Thought, 1860-1915.Joseph L. Blau - 1945 - Journal of Philosophy 42 (7):191-193.
Shifting Values Partly Explain the Debate Over Group Selection.Ayelet Shavit - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (4):697-720.

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