Author: John P Jackson
Release Date: 2017-07-06
Genre: Social Science
Darwinism, Democracy, and Race examines the development and defence of an argument that arose at the boundary between anthropology and evolutionary biology in twentieth-century America. In its fully articulated form, this argument simultaneously discredited scientific racism and defended free human agency in Darwinian terms. The volume is timely because it gives readers a key to assessing contemporary debates about the biology of race. By working across disciplinary lines, the book’s focal figures--the anthropologist Franz Boas, the cultural anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, the geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky, and the physical anthropologist Sherwood Washburn--found increasingly persuasive ways of cutting between genetic determinist and social constructionist views of race by grounding Boas’s racially egalitarian, culturally relativistic, and democratically pluralistic ethic in a distinctive version of the genetic theory of natural selection. Collaborators in making and defending this argument included Ashley Montagu, Stephen Jay Gould, and Richard Lewontin. Darwinism, Democracy, and Race will appeal to advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and academics interested in subjects including Philosophy, Critical Race Theory, Sociology of Race, History of Biology and Anthropology, and Rhetoric of Science.
Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection challenges our very sense of belonging in the world. Unlike prior evolutionary theories, Darwinism construes species as mutable historical products of a blind process that serves no inherent purpose. It also represents a distinctly modern kind of fallible science that relies on statistical evidence and is not verifiable by simple laboratory experiments. What are human purpose and knowledge if humanity has no pre-given essence and science itself is our finite and fallible product? According to the Received Image of Darwinism, Darwin’s theory signals the triumph of mechanism and reductionism in all science. On this view, the individual virtually disappears at the intersection of (internal) genes and (external) environment. In contrast, William James creatively employs Darwinian concepts to support his core conviction that both knowledge and reality are in the making, with individuals as active participants. In promoting this Pragmatic Image of Darwinism, McGranahan provides a novel reading of James as a philosopher of self-transformation. Like his contemporary Nietzsche, James is concerned first and foremost with the structure and dynamics of the finite purposive individual. This timely volume is suitable for advanced undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers interested in the fields of history of philosophy, history and philosophy of science, history of psychology, American pragmatism and Darwinism.
This volume concerns philosophical issues that arise from the practice of anthropology and sociology. The essays cover a wide range of issues, including traditional questions in the philosophy of social science as well as those specific to these disciplines. Authors attend to the historical development of the current debates and set the stage for future work. · Comprehensive survey of philosophical issues in anthropology and sociology · Historical discussion of important debates · Applications to current research in anthropology and sociology
This Encyclopedia examines all aspects of the history of science in the United States, with a special emphasis placed on the historiography of science in America. It can be used by students, general readers, scientists, or anyone interested in the facts relating to the development of science in the United States. Special emphasis is placed in the history of medicine and technology and on the relationship between science and technology and science and medicine.
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 2008-01
Exploring the natural scientific foundations of far-reaching social ideologies The nineteenth century produced scientific and cultural revolutions that forever transformed modern European life. Although these critical developments are often studied independently, Richard G. Olson's Science and Scientism in Nineteenth-Century Europe provides an integrated account of the history of science and its impact on intellectual and social trends of the day. Focusing on the natural scientific foundations underlying liberalism, socialism, positivism, communism, and social Darwinism, Olson explores how these movements employed science to clarify their own understanding of Enlightenment ideals, as well as their understanding of progress, religion, industry, imperialism, and racism. Starting with the impact of the French Revolution on scientific thought, Olson engages with key texts from J. B. Say, Henri Saint-Simon, Kant, Goethe, Darwin, Walter Bagehot, and Edward Bellamy to demonstrate the complex set of forces that shaped nineteenth-century thinking.
Author: Robert Wald Sussman
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2014-10-06
Genre: Social Science
Although eugenics is now widely discredited, some groups and individuals claim a new scientific basis for old racist assumptions. Pondering the continuing influence of racist research and thought, despite all evidence to the contrary, Robert Sussman explains why—when it comes to race—too many people still mistake bigotry for science.
Author: M. Meloni
Release Date: 2016-05-25
Genre: Social Science
This book explores the socio-political implications of human heredity from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present postgenomic moment. It addresses three main phases in the politicization of heredity: the peak of radical eugenics (1900-1945), characterized by an aggressive ethos of supporting the transformation of human society via biological knowledge; the repositioning, after 1945, of biological thinking into a liberal-democratic, human rights framework; and the present postgenomic crisis in which the genome can no longer be understood as insulated from environmental signals. In Political Biology, Maurizio Meloni argues that thanks to the ascendancy of epigenetics we may be witnessing a return to soft heredity - the idea that these signals can cause changes in biology that are themselves transferable to succeeding generations. This book will be of great interest to scholars across science and technology studies, the philosophy and history of science, and political and social theory.
Author: Richard Hofstadter
Publisher: Beacon Press
Release Date: 1944
Social Darwinism in American Thought portrays the overall influence of Darwin on American social theory and the notable battle waged among thinkers over the implications of evolutionary theory for social thought and political action. Theorists such as Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner adopted the idea of the struggle for existence as justification for the evils as well as the benefits of laissez-faire modern industrial society. Others such as William James and John Dewey argued that human planning was needed to direct social development and improve upon the natural order. Hofstadter's classic study of the ramifications of Darwinism is a major analysis of the social philosophies that animated intellectual movements of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.
Over his philosophical career, David Wiggins has produced a body of work that, though varied and wide-ranging, stands as a coherent and carefully integrated whole. In this book Ferner examines Wiggins’ conceptualist-realism, his sortal theory ‘D’ and his human being theory in order to assess how far these elements of his systematic metaphysics connect. In addition to rectifying misinterpretations and analysing the relations between Wiggins’ works, Ferner reveals the importance of the philosophy of biology to Wiggins’ approach. This book elucidates the biological anti-reductionism present in Wiggins’ work and highlights how this stance stands as a productive alternative to emergentism. With an analysis of Wiggins’ construal of substances, specifically organisms, the book goes on to discuss how Wiggins brings together the concept of a person with the concept of a natural substance, or human being. An extensive introduction to the work of David Wiggins, as well as a contribution to the dialogue between personal identity theorists and philosophers of biology, this book will appeal to students and scholars working in the areas of philosophy, biology and the history of Anglophone metaphysics.
There has been considerable and lively debate in philosophy of biology over the decade since the first edition of this anthology appeared. Changes and additions in the new edition reflect the ways in which the subject has broadened and deepened on several fronts; more than half of the-chapters are new. In all, twenty-three selections take up fitness, function and teleology, adaptationism, units of selection, essentialism and population thinking, species, systematic philosophies, phylogenetic inference, reduction of Mendelian genetics to molecular biology, ethics and sociobiology, and cultural evolution and evolutionary epistemology. Elliott Sober is Hans Reichenbach Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Author: Sean A Valles
Release Date: 2018-05-11
Genre: Social Science
Population health has recently grown from a series of loosely connected critiques of twentieth-century public health and medicine into a theoretical framework with a corresponding ?eld of research—population health science. Its approach is to promote the public’s health through improving everyday human life: afford-able nutritious food, clean air, safe places where children can play, living wages, etc. It recognizes that addressing contemporary health challenges such as the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will take much more than good hospitals and public health departments. Blending philosophy of science/medicine, public health ethics and history, this book offers a framework that explains, analyses and largely endorses the features that de?ne this relatively new ?eld. Presenting a philosophical perspective, Valles helps to clarify what these features are and why they matter, including: searching for health’s "upstream" causes in social life, embracing a professional commitment to studying and ameliorating the staggering health inequities in and between populations; and reforming scienti?c practices to foster humility and respect among the many scientists and non- scientists who must work collaboratively to promote health. Featuring illustrative case studies from around the globe at the end of all main chapters, this radical monograph is written to be accessible to all scholars and advanced students who have an interest in health—from public health students to professional philosophers.
An “arresting” and deeply personal portrait that “confront[s] the touchy subject of Darwin and race head on” (The New York Times Book Review). It’s difficult to overstate the profound risk Charles Darwin took in publishing his theory of evolution. How and why would a quiet, respectable gentleman, a pillar of his parish, produce one of the most radical ideas in the history of human thought? Drawing on a wealth of manuscripts, family letters, diaries, and even ships’ logs, Adrian Desmond and James Moore have restored the moral missing link to the story of Charles Darwin’s historic achievement. Nineteenth-century apologists for slavery argued that blacks and whites had originated as separate species, with whites created superior. Darwin, however, believed that the races belonged to the same human family. Slavery was therefore a sin, and abolishing it became Darwin’s sacred cause. His theory of evolution gave a common ancestor not only to all races, but to all biological life. This “masterful” book restores the missing moral core of Darwin’s evolutionary universe, providing a completely new account of how he came to his shattering theories about human origins (Publishers Weekly, starred review). It will revolutionize your view of the great naturalist. “An illuminating new book.” —Smithsonian “Compelling . . . Desmond and Moore aptly describe Darwin’s interaction with some of the thorniest social and political issues of the day.” —Wired “This exciting book is sure to create a stir.” —Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University, and author of Charles Darwin: Voyaging
This edited volume of 13 new essays aims to turn past discussions of natural kinds on their head. Instead of presenting a metaphysical view of kinds based largely on an unempirical vantage point, it pursues questions of kindedness which take the use of kinds and activities of kinding in practice as significant in the articulation of them as kinds. The book brings philosophical study of current and historical episodes and case studies from various scientific disciplines to bear on natural kinds as traditionally conceived of within metaphysics. Focusing on these practices reveals the different knowledge-producing activities of kinding and processes involved in natural kind use, generation, and discovery. Specialists in their field, the esteemed group of contributors use diverse empirically responsive approaches to explore the nature of kindhood. This groundbreaking volume presents detailed case studies that exemplify kinding in use. Newly written for this volume, each chapter engages with the activities of kinding across a variety of disciplines. Chapter topics include the nature of kinds, kindhood, kinding, and kind-making in linguistics, chemical classification, neuroscience, gene and protein classification, colour theory in applied mathematics, homology in comparative biology, sex and gender identity theory, memory research, race, extended cognition, symbolic algebra, cartography, and geographic information science. The volume seeks to open up an as-yet unexplored area within the emerging field of philosophy of science in practice, and constitutes a valuable addition to the disciplines of philosophy and history of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Author: Carl N. Degler
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1992-11-05
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1972, and a past president of both the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association, Carl Degler is one of America's most eminent living historians. He is also one of the most versatile. In a forty year career, he has written brilliantly on race (Neither Black Nor White, which won the Pulitzer Prize), women's studies (At Odds, which Betty Friedan called "a stunning book"), Southern history (The Other South), the New Deal, and many other subjects. Now, in The Search for Human Nature, Degler turns to perhaps his largest subject yet, a sweeping history of the impact of Darwinism (and biological research) on our understanding of human nature, providing a fascinating overview of the social sciences in the last one hundred years. The idea of a biological root to human nature was almost universally accepted at the turn of the century, Degler points out, then all but vanished from social thought only to reappear in the last four decades. Degler traces the early history of this idea, from Darwin's argument that our moral and emotional life evolved from animals just as our human shape did, to William James's emphasis on instinct in human behavior (then seen as a fundamental insight of psychology). We also see the many applications of biology, from racism, sexism, and Social Darwinism to the rise of intelligence testing, the eugenics movement, and the practice of involuntary sterilization of criminals (a public policy pioneered in America, which had sterilization laws 25 years before Nazi Germany--one such law was upheld by Oliver Wendell Holmes's Supreme Court). Degler then examines the work of those who denied any role for biology, who thought culture shaped human nature, a group ranging from Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, and Margaret Mead, to John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner. Equally important, he examines the forces behind this fundamental shift in a scientific paradigm, arguing that ideological reasons--especially the struggle against racism and sexism in America--led to this change in scientific thinking. Finally, Degler considers the revival of Darwinism without the Social Darwinism, racism, and sexism, led first by ethologists such as Karl von Frisch, Nikolaas Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz, and Jane Goodall--who revealed clear parallels between animal and human behavior--and followed in varying degrees by such figures as Melvin Konner, Alice Rossi, Jerome Kagen, and Edward O. Wilson as well as others in anthropology, political science, sociology, and economics. What kind of animal is Homo sapiens and how did we come to be this way? In this wide ranging history, Carl Degler traces our attempts over the last century to answer these questions. In doing so, he has produced a volume that will fascinate anyone curious about the nature of human beings.