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By Igor Kon, H. Campbell Creighton

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Geographers, who shared many of the mistakes of positivist historiography, also endeavoured to bring out the role of physical factors of the environment in the development of society. One eminent sociogeographer was Karl Ritter (1779-1859), who is considered a founder of modern geography along with Alexander Humboldt (1769-1859). 4 The land was a single ‗organism‘, divided into internally linked, integrated regions. A correct determination of the boundaries of these regions called for a thorough description of the landscape and relief, climate, vegetation (especially the cultivated vegetation), the animal kingdom, and man in his historical interaction with these elements of the environment, etc.

Darwin in turn highly valued Spencer‘s theory of evolution, acknowledged its influence, and even placed Spencer intellectually above himself. Yet, in spite of this respect and influence, Spencer‘s evolutionism was more Lamarckian than Darwinian. A second line of influence, perceived and acknowledged by Spencer himself, was the works of English economists of the eighteenth century, especially those of Malthus and Adam Smith. As we know, not only Spencer, but also Darwin deduced their idea of survival of the fittest precisely from Malthus, although they both gave this theory an optimistic, ‗progressive‘ ring, it did not have with Malthus.

When Darwin‘s Origin of Species appeared in 1858, Spencer warmly welcomed it. Darwin in turn highly valued Spencer‘s theory of evolution, acknowledged its influence, and even placed Spencer intellectually above himself. Yet, in spite of this respect and influence, Spencer‘s evolutionism was more Lamarckian than Darwinian. A second line of influence, perceived and acknowledged by Spencer himself, was the works of English economists of the eighteenth century, especially those of Malthus and Adam Smith.

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