The strange survival and apparent resurgence of sociobiology

History of the Human Sciences 31 (1):19-35 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

A recent dispute between Richard Dawkins and Edward O. Wilson concerning fundamental concepts in sociobiology is examined. It is argued that sociobiology has not fared well since the 1970s, and that its survival as a ‘scientific’ perspective has been increasingly tenuous. This is, at least in part, because it has failed to move forward in the ways its developers anticipated, but also because it has not seen the developments in natural history, genomics and social science it was relying upon. It is argued that sociobiology has become a purely utilitarian perspective, a way of looking at things, reliant increasingly on studies of the behaviour of social insects for its scientific credentials. The dispute between Dawkins and Wilson is then reconsidered in this light, and it is argued that – regardless of which position prevails – sociobiology’s parlous state as a means of explaining action is now difficult to disguise.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,737

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is Sociobiology a Pseudoscience?R. Paul Thompson - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:363 - 370.
Sociobiology.Harmon Holcomb & Jason M. Byron - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Sociobiology.Robert A. Wilson - 2014 - Eugenics Archives.
Is sociobiology a new paradigm?Michael Ruse - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (1):98-104.
Soziobiologie und Ethik.Eve-Marie Engels - 1989 - Zeitschrift Für Evangelische Ethik 33 (1):162-175.
Sociobiology.Vittorio Hösle - 2012 - Symposium 16 (1):112-128.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-12-24

Downloads
26 (#454,552)

6 months
12 (#88,238)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Alex Dennis
University of Sheffield

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations