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A Logical Structure for Human Sociobiology

Steven J. C. Gaulin
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1986, Volume Two: Symposia and Invited Papers (1986), pp. 75-86
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192791
Page Count: 12
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A Logical Structure for Human Sociobiology
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Abstract

Because sociobiology has been the focus of much politically motivated debate, its logical structure has frequently been misrepresented. In an attempt to clarify that structure, I develop the following ideas: 1) All evolved features have some genetic basis. 2) Although sociobiologists study the evolution of behavior, their analyses do not (necessarily) invoke genetic determinism. 3) The most important relationships in sociobiological analyses are not the connections between genes and behaviors but the connections between environments and behaviors. 4) This emphasis on environment-behavior associations specifies the form of analogical argument that can extend models of animal behavior to the human case, and 5) suggests progressive rather than socially pernicious implications of sociobiological research.

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