Evolution and Environment
Edited with an Introduction by George Woodcock
The 11th volume of The Collected Works of Peter Kropotkin gathers the many unpublished articles and essays written during his life-long and mostly ignored scientific career. His vision foresaw the more inter-relative and co-operative world that has become evident to us today in the 20th century. Kropotkin the geographer had a social and political concern that transformed his interest in science into a larger ecological concern that outstripped the understanding of his contemporaries. He upheld the instinct of individuals to support one another, and acknowledged environmental influences on mutation and evolution. Whereas arguments at the time based all change on the drive for survival, Kropotkin's insight – now acknowledged by ecologists – insisted on the selective pressure of the environment and the importance of habitat.
Divided into two sections, “Modern Science and Anarchism” and “Thoughts On Evolution”, this volume illustrates the conjunction of science and anarchism in Kropotkin's life. The essays look to a wider of the world as environment together with human influence, rather than the strict Hegelian dialectical determinism of humanistically-influenced early Marxism.
George Woodcock (1912-1995) has published more than 140 titles on history, biography, philosophy, poetry and literary criticism. He has been called “a gentle anarchist in a state of grace”. Here, his introductions and prefaces help the reader appreciate Kropotkin's revolutionary insights and put the articles in their historical context, scientifically and politically.
Table of Contents
- Modern Science and Anarchism: Preface by George Woodcock
- I. The Origin of Anarchism
- II. The Intellectual Movement of the Eighteenth Century
- III. The Reaction at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century
- IV. Comte's Positive Philosophy
- V. The Awakening in the Years 1856-1862
- VI. Herbert Spencer's Synthetic Philosophy
- VII. The Function of Law in Society
- VIII. Place of Anarchism in Modern Society
- IX. The Anarchist Ideal and the Preceding Revolutions
- X. Anarchism
- XI. A Few Conclusions of Anarchism
- XII. The Means of Action
- XIII. Conclusion
Part of our Collected Works of Peter Kropotkin
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