Lamarkian Inheritance

Paul Marsden (
Fri, 5 Dec 1997 04:53:29 -0500

Date: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 04:53:29 -0500
From: Paul Marsden <>
Subject: Lamarkian Inheritance
To: "" <>

The lit review for my thesis (Darwinian Minds, Selves and Societies), whi=
should be finished by Xmas includes a section on Lamarckian *inheritance=
(not evolution, which I maintain is Darwinian (a la Cziko)) and I'll send=

you a copy if you think it could be useful
=2E =

First references to Lamarkian social inheritance include

Herbert Spencer and W.G Sumner, and of course Darwin himself.

Benjamin Kidd in 1894 in Social Evolution states.

"Improved artillery, like improved teeth, will enable the group to which =
belongs to extirpate or subdue its competitors. But in another respect
there is an obvious difference. For the improved teeth belong only to th=
individuals in whom they appear and to the descendants to whom they are
transmitted by inheritance; but the improved artillery may be adopted by =
group of individuals who form a continuous society with the original

Much of the work that came out of Social Darwinism was based on the
Lamarkian notion of inheritance.

For a good overview of Lamarckism in Social Evolution, I commend to you

Kaye, HL 1986, The Social Meaning of Modern Biology
(VB Press New York)


Paul Marsden
Graduate Research Centre in the Social Sciences
University of Sussex

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