Download e-book for kindle: Biology Under the Influence: Dialectical Essays on Ecology, by Richard Lewontin, Richard Levins

Environmental Studies

By Richard Lewontin, Richard Levins

ISBN-10: 1583671579

ISBN-13: 9781583671573

How will we comprehend the area? whereas a few glance to the heavens for clever layout, others argue that it truly is decided by way of details encoded in DNA. technology serves as an enormous task for uncovering the tactics and operations of nature, however it can be immersed in a social context the place ideology affects the questions we ask and the way we process the cloth international. Biology less than the impact: Dialectical Essays at the Coevolution of Nature and Society breaks from the confirms of determinism, delivering a dialectical research for comprehending a dynamic social and typical world.

In Biology less than the Influence, Richard Lewontin and Richard Levins offer a devastating critique of genetic determinism and reductionism inside technological know-how whereas exploring a large variety of matters together with the character of technological know-how, biology, evolution, the surroundings, pubic well-being, and dialectics, They dismantle the ideology that makes an attempt to naturalize social inequalities, unveil the alienation of technological know-how and nature, and illustrate how a dialectical place serves as a foundation for grappling with old advancements and an international characterised by way of swap. Biology below the Influence brings jointly the illuminating essays of 2 in demand scientists who paintings to demystify and empower the public's knowing of technological know-how and nature.

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Extra info for Biology Under the Influence: Dialectical Essays on Ecology, agriculture, and health

Example text

But neither is a future possible that is bounded only by imagination and desire. Our methodological problem is to develop an approach to planning and agitation that takes into account both historical contingency and the limits to its possibilities. This page intentionally left blank 10 Are We Programmed? Living organisms are characterized by two properties that make them different from other physical systems: they are medium in size and functionally heterogeneous internally. Because they are smaller than planets and larger than atomic nuclei, and because there are a large number of interacting processes occurring within them, organisms are at the nexus of a very large number of individually weak determining forces.

It is the social mediation of individual biological phenomena that turns a single day's incapacity from the flu into the loss of a job for an already marginalized worker, with consequent catastrophic economic failure and a disintegration of health and the general conditions of life. Beyond the transformation of biological needs into forms that are specific to different times and places, the kind of social interaction that is biologically possible for the human species has an even more powerful property, the property of negating individual biological limitations.

We can, for example, include fear or despair as links in the progress of an epidemic, responding to the prevalence of a deadly disease and the availability of effective treatment, and affecting the contagion rate that feeds back into prevalence. Changing subjectivities must be included for any realistic assessment of the AIDS pandemic. The study of many different subjectivities reveals patterns of subjectivity that make psychosocial therapies possible. Thus there is no basis for arguing that dialectics is all right in natural science, where predictability and lawfulness prevail, but not in social science, where the erratic operation of capricious subjectivities thwarts science.

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Biology Under the Influence: Dialectical Essays on Ecology, agriculture, and health by Richard Lewontin, Richard Levins

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