Mandeville’s Darwinism (L75)

In what way did Mandeville lay the foundation for Darwinism?

Mandeville has been speculated to have laid the foundation for Darwinism through his ideals surrounding social order, which blended nicely into Darwin’s understanding of natural selection. (Natural selection is the idea that those smart enough to survive will, and those who are ill equipped for life will not.) Mandeville insisted that the wealth of nations was based solely on vices including avarice (greed), and prodigality. He also went on to say that frugality was a negative factor in the economy. He firmly believed that every man acted only to pursue his own self interest, but that this was crucial to society and the economy. Darwin’s spin on this is that people acting in their own self interest will eventually lead to a survival of the fittest type society/economy.

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