Relationship between Biology and Political Science

Biology deals with animal life and its evolution. Some eminent writers sought to convert Political Science by treating the State as “a phase of development from associations formed among animals of a species included in the subject matter of natural history.”

Herbert Spencer is the most prominent exponent of the biological conception of the State, although the theory is as old as Plato Spencer’s explanation, in brief, is that the State is like a biological organism in all its essentials.

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It is the product of evolution and is subject to the laws of birth, growth and decay. Just as in the case of an organism there is mutual dependence of the parts, so are the individuals who constitute the State. Spencer also tried to establish that like the three parts of an organism—the sustaining, the distributaries and the regulating systems—the State, too, has three systems.

There are two views on the relationship between Political Science and Biology. Some writers argue that the State is an organism; others maintain that the State is like an organism. One may reject the assertion that the State is an organism, but it must be admitted that the State in its unity is like an organism; it has a collective life.

The analogy, however, should not be extended beyond this, lest, in the words of Lord Acton, we may come to grief to which analogies, metaphors and parallelisms generally lead to.


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