DARWIN’S INFLUENCE IN GERMANY

  • STEFAN LORENZ SORGNER Fridrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena Deutschland
Ključne reči: Darwin, Haeckel, Social Darwinism, Third Reich

Apstrakt

In this article, I wish to give a short overview over Darwin’s influence in Germa- ny. The article is divided into four parts. In the first, I briefly deal with Darwin’s relationship to Social Darwinism and in particular to Hitler and the Third Reich, as many people still tend to see a strong link between these two movements. I show that Darwin should not be regarded as connected to the cruelties of the Third Reich. However, there is a relationship between Ernst Ha- eckel, the main defender of Darwin’s theory of evolution in Germany, and some aspects of Third Reich politics. This connection brings us to the second part of the article in which I briefly men- tion Darwin’s influence on two major German zoologists, August Weismann, and Ernst Haeckel. In the third part, I focus on the influence Darwin has had on the ideas of German philosophers, and philosophical anthropologists. David Friedrich Strauss, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Frie- drich Nietzsche, Georg Simmel, Ernst Cassirer, Max Scheler, Nicolai Hartmann, Helmuth Ple- ssner, Arnold Gehlen, and Vittorio Hosle have to be mentioned in this respect. In the fourth and last part, I conclude the article with some brief remarks on how Darwin is seen in Germany to- day. So let us with part one.
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