In the context of Social Darwinism, how would I define Cerebralism? 

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Social Darwinism is known most commonly speaking as the "survival of the fittest" within a group. Those individuals who show the strongest of traits will more than likely overcome any obstacle that comes their way because they possess the skills and techniques to work around everyday issues. This type of social selection also entails that there are people who naturally attract others, lead others, and are looked up to by others. This is because they demonstrate mastery of skills such as:

  • personality
  • problem solving
  • quick thinking
  • physical fitness
  • physical beauty
  • leadership

This being said, let's discuss cerebralism. Cerebralism is a theory that explains that the brain is the originator of every construct that we believe in; that it is due to brain activity that we are able to conceptualize and give meaning to the world around us.

If this theory is correct then, in a "survival of the fittest" environment, those who are more capable of observing, analyzing and understanding the world around them will always have the upper-hand in comparison to the rest. Why? because the automatic response that arises as a result of understanding is predicting. Those able to predict are the safest risk-takers, and actually end up winning.

Take for example a police officer: knowing the way that criminal minds operate helps deputies to predict all of the physical and behavioral responses that all criminals display. This helps them ask the right questions, believe (or not) what the criminal says, keep the criminal defenseless, and take the power away from them.

Another example is a stock broker: knowing the trends of the market from the inside out allows the broker to make quick decisions based on what he or she predict will happen next. These are not shallow predictions, but informed assumptions based on their previous experiences. They will always have the upper-hand because they understand the market, analyze the market, and therefore maneuver it to perfection.

Therefore, if cerebralism consists on bestowing upon the brain the responsibility of conceptualizing the world around us, then the winners in the race of social Darwinism should be those who use their cognitive and neurological skills in a way that allows them to understand and control every aspect of their lives and their circumstances.