By Hilary Rose, Steven Rose
At the present time, genes are referred to as upon to give an explanation for virtually each element of our lives, from social inequalities to future health, sexual choice and illegal activity. in accordance with Darwin's thought of evolution and usual choice, Evolutionary Psychology with its declare that 'it's all in our genes' has turn into the most well-liked clinical conception of the past due twentieth century. Books comparable to Richard Dawkins's The egocentric Gene, Edward O.Wilson's Consilience and Steven Pinker's The Language intuition became bestsellers and body the general public debate on human existence and improvement: we will see their impression once we open a Sunday newspaper. in recent times, notwithstanding, many biologists and social scientists have started to contest this new organic determinism and proven that Evolutionary Psychology rests on shaky empirical facts, incorrect premises and unexamined political presuppositions. during this provocative and ground-breaking publication, Hilary and Steven Rose have accrued jointly the main eminent and outspoken critics of this trendy ideology, starting from Stephen Jay Gould and Patrick Bateson to Mary Midgley, Tim Ingold and Annette Karmiloff-Smith. What emerges is a brand new point of view on human improvement which recognizes the complexity of existence through putting at its centre the dwelling organism instead of the gene.
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Extra resources for Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology
In a competitive academic world, it has been a delight to work with contributors none of whom attempted to impose their special disciplinary understandings on others, but who were prepared to listen and to collaborate in creating this book as, we trust, something more than the sum of its parts. This process was aided by Charles Jencks’s generous hospitality at Portrack and by the input of others present at the seminar, but who are not represented in this book: Cambridge (US) molecular biologist Jeremy Ahouse, MIT psychologist Bob Berwick and Birkbeck College historian of science Dorothy Porter.
We conceived of it early in 1998. We recognised that, by contrast with the case of sociobiology, this time the critiques of EP must of necessity come from many disciplines. But we wanted to ensure that as far as possible those who spoke in these many voices had the opportunity to discuss their ideas with one another and mutually hone them before presenting them in book form. Such an opportunity was provided by the postmodernist architectural critic Charles Jencks, who hosted a three-day seminar in September 1998 in the Keswicks’ family house, Portrack, in Scotland.
The term ‘Darwinian’ is employed to explain processes as seemingly varied as the origin of the universe, the expansion of companies on the Internet and the growth and competition of rival scientific theories. ‘Darwinian methods’ are supposed to underlie everything from computer technology to the processes of human thought. One philosopher, Daniel Dennett, has described Darwinism as a ‘universal acid’ that eats through everything it touches. Among the disciplines rebranding themselves with the prefix ‘evolutionary’, the most influential has been evolutionary psychology.
Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology by Hilary Rose, Steven Rose