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Habermas III 218
Society/Progress/Spencer/Habermas: in the 19th century. Here the development theories culminating in H. Spencer interpret the progress of civilization darwinistically as the development of organic systems. (1)
Habermas III 219
Thus Spencer was able to establish a theory of social evolution that cleared up the unclear idealism of philosophy of history and regarded the progress of civilization as a continuation of natural evolution and thus subsumed it under the laws of nature without all ambiguities. Trends such as scientific development; the capitalist growth, the establishment of constitutional states, the emergence of modern administrations, etc. could thus be treated directly as empirical phenomena and understood as consequences of the structural differentiation of social systems. They no longer needed to be interpreted as empirical indicators for an internal history of the mind, traced back to learning processes and accumulation of knowledge, no longer as signs of rationalisation in the sense of philosophy of history.


1. L. Sklair, The Sociology of Progress, London 1970, p. 56ff.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Spencer I
Herbert Spencer
The Man versus the State Indianapolis 2009

Ha I
J. Habermas
Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne Frankfurt 1988

Ha III
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. I Frankfurt/M. 1981

Ha IV
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. II Frankfurt/M. 1981


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