General characteristics of evolutionary concepts.
The evolutionary stage began in the middle of the XIX century. in connection with the spread of ideas about the historical connection of developed civilizations with primitive culture. Classical work of Charles Darwin on the theory of evolution "Origin of species" was published in 1859 and became the main methodological basis of socio-anthropological and ethnological research within the framework of evolutionism. The starting point of evolutionism in relation to society was the conviction that the past of mankind can be restored on the basis of studying existing primitive societies. Basic ideas and principles of the evolutionary concept:
- the idea of the unity of the human race and the uniformity of the development of cultures;
is a straight line of one-linearity of such a development - from simple to complex; often a thesis about mandatory the selected stages
development for all societies;
- the idea of social progress and historical optimism;
- an educational and rationalistic ideal of the future development of cultures.
The evolutionary trend developed by many researchers. Among them: in England - G. Spencer, J. McLenian, J. Lubbock, E. Tylor, J. Frazer; in Germany - A. Bastian, T. Weitz, J. Lippert, in France - S. Letourno; in the USA - LG Morgan.
The basic idea of almost all these researchers is the idea of creating a common science about man and culture. The main methodological problem faced by evolutionism is the question of the applicability of the principles of Darwinism to the development of human society. In fact, if strictly follow these principles, then evolution appears only as a certain regulator of such processes of causality, in which the most important role is played by the case. In this case, evolution is represented as the formation of loosely coupled elements and properties of culture as a result of the action of natural selection and the influence of randomness .
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Formation of evolutionism in Germany and France.
The pioneers of evolutionism in ethnography include G. Klemm, I. Unger, T. Weitz. Gustav Friedrich Klemm (1802-1867) published in the years 1843-1847. five-volume "General theory of the culture of mankind," in which he singled out three stages in the general historical development of human society. In 1850, the main work of the Austrian jurist and ethnologist Joseph Unger (1828-1913) was published, "Marriage and its world-historical development".
Adolf Bastian (1826 1905) was the first in German ethnology to consistently express the ideas of the evolution of culture. In the field of theory, he posed the grandiose task of creating a methodology and method of etiological research based on inductive perception of psychology and philosophy of all mankind. In nine expeditions to various regions of the planet, he collected huge ethnographic materials, which formed the basis for the Berlin ethnological museum created and directed by him. He attempted to systematize the accumulated materials in the form of a unified theory, in which researchers, along with the psychological, also distinguish the natural-science method. Both methods are closely interrelated.
According to Bastian, every nation had a certain amount of "elementary ideas", which constitutes a totality of cultural heritage - "popular ideas". Folk ideas They are examined by analogy with a growing biological organism. He believed that popular ideas reflect the universal laws of the development of human culture, that by comparing people's ideas, it is possible to establish such laws of thinking that can not be understood from individual thought and psychology. The presence of racial and cultural differences in individual groups of humanity Bastian explained differences in the environment through the concept of "geographical province".
In line with the evolutionary paradigm, the six-volume "Anthropology of Natural Peoples" published in 1859 was written. Theodor Weitz (1821 1864), professor of philosophy at the University of Marburg. Weitz office scientist. His work was the most solid for its time summary of all known at that time data on non-European peoples. Weitz rejected naively racist ideas about the mental disparity of the races, opposed a simplistic view of the direct influence of the geographical environment on people's culture.
He argued that culture develops in the interaction of the main groups of causes, including: 1) the physical organization of man; 2) a special form of mental life for each people; 3) the nature surrounding the people; 4) the entire amount of social relations and clashes between individuals, large and small public circles among themselves and with the outside world.
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Weitz gave a great place to the physico-anthropological characterization of mankind and its parts, but he acknowledged the most important and interesting study of the "psychological, moral and intellectual characteristics of people" .
The historian and ethnographer Julius Lippert (1839-1909) is a native of the Czech Germans. His generalizing work is "The History of the Culture of Humanity in its Organic Structure" (in the United States translation - "The History of Culture", 1886 1887). Evolutionary ideas permeate all this work: "The history of culture is the history of the work that brought humanity from a low and a poor state to the height that it now occupies" . The history of human settlement on Earth appears as a history of the struggle with nature, and it is this struggle that is the factor of progress. The most powerful lever in this struggle is the need and the beneficial work that conquers it. Like all other supporters of evolutionism, he is convinced of the unity of the laws of development of all people. Lippert's anti-racist position is also unequivocal. Together with most evolutionists, Lippert recognized the development of marriage and family from elementary forms.
In France, the evolutionary approach to the study of cultures was formed within the framework of sociology. The founder of sociology, O. Comte, developed the evolutionary periodization of the historical process on the basis of specific forms of religious beliefs. Thus, the primitive period of history he divided into the following stages: fetishism, corresponding to the period of hunting economy, polytheism, characteristic for cattle breeding, and monotheism, arising during the period of developed agriculture. Followers of O. Comte were S. Letourno and E. Durkheim. That is why the evolutionary direction in the study of cultures that existed in France in the late 19th - early 20th century is called sociological.
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