Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-Enchantment of the World

By George Levine | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
AModern Use
Sociobiology

Having looked briefly at some late-Victorian uses of Darwin, and having attempted to suggest the degree to which Darwin himself bears the responsibility for these enterprises, I want now to consider some very recent, clearly and explicitly “Darwinian” considerations of the same problem: sociobiology and its immediate and apparently more effective descendant, evolutionary psychology. Taking scientific explanation deep into the human psyche, these enterprises would seem the last word in disenchantment, and the furious debates over their validity suggest that there is much more at stake here than whether their arguments are truly Darwinian.

Whether the disagreements are political or scientific is often obscure. The simple version is this: as sociobiology and evolutionary psychology attempt to biologize all of human nature and behavior, they fall into the trap of (or are in fact exploited by) reactionary and racist ideology. The counterargument is that the “truth” of science is apolitical, and that unless one biologizes the human, one misses fundamental truths about humanity and succumbs to the fallacy that human behavior is determined by cultural rather than biological factors. My point, however, will not be to criticize these phenomena—however uneasy they make me, I am in no position to do more than take advantage of the many and serious critiques and expositions of the work already in place—but to think of them as, precisely, another and later use of Darwin, one that is distinctly descended from the late Victorian uses we have just considered, and that remains extremely controversial on political and moral as well as scientific grounds. In the course of the debates over these issues, Darwin evokes all the critical battles that might have been waged directly over interpretations of his writing: biological determinism, reductionism,

-93-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-Enchantment of the World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xxv
  • Chapter 1 - Secular Re-Enchantment 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Disenchanting Darwin 45
  • Chapter 3 - Using Darwin 73
  • Chapter 4 - Amodern Use Sociobiology 93
  • Chapter 5 - Darwin and Pain: Why Science Made Shakespeare Nauseating 129
  • Chapter 6 - “and If It Be a Pretty Woman All the Better” Darwin and Sexual Selection 169
  • Chapter 7 - A Kinder, Gentler, Darwin 202
  • Epilogue: What Does It Mean? 252
  • Notes 275
  • Index 297
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 304

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.