File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1998/nietzsche.9801, message 61


Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 16:58:25 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Darwin Does Not Equal Marx!


Randall Albright wrote:

>John Duryea again:
>
>>....In fact, Marxism and Darwinism
>>became inseparably intertwined....
>
>Only if you allow them to be.

Apart from confusing Marxism and Darwinism, which are, I agree, not at all
the same thing (although there may be afinities between the two
"doctrines"), there is also the matter of confusing Marx with Marxism and
Darwin with Darwinism, which are also not at all the same things.

The key question here for Nietzsche (relative to Mill, as well) would seem
to be that of Utilitarianism. Now, if anyone would care to make a case for
either Darwin or Marx being utilitarians (putting aside the question of
Darwinism or Marxism), that, it seems to me, is clearly where the afinity
lies. That, however, does not mean that the theory of evolution (or natural
selection) as a scientific theory is a utilitarian doctrine--it could only
be called utilitarian if it were being used to ground a value theory. This
is exactly what Nietzsche is disputing--the utilization of the theory of
evolution as a value theory (be it Spencerism or Darwinism).

Best,

Steve
----------------------------------------------------------------------
=A6 Steven E. Callihan            =A6        "The more mistrust,         =A6
=A6                               =A6        the more philosophy."       =A6
=A6 URL: http://www.callihan.com/ =A6                                    =A6
=A6 E-Mail: callihan-AT-callihan.com =A6-F. Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 346.=A6
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