The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture

Titre : The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture
Auteur : Evelyn Fox Keller
Éditeur : Duke University Press
ISBN-13 : 9780822392811
Libération : 2010-05-21

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In this powerful critique, the esteemed historian and philosopher of science Evelyn Fox Keller addresses the nature-nurture debates, including the persistent disputes regarding the roles played by genes and the environment in determining individual traits and behavior. Keller is interested in both how an oppositional “versus” came to be inserted between nature and nurture, and how the distinction on which that opposition depends, the idea that nature and nurture are separable, came to be taken for granted. How, she asks, did the illusion of a space between nature and nurture become entrenched in our thinking, and why is it so tenacious? Keller reveals that the assumption that the influences of nature and nurture can be separated is neither timeless nor universal, but rather a notion that emerged in Anglo-American culture in the late nineteenth century. She shows that the seemingly clear-cut nature-nurture debate is riddled with incoherence. It encompasses many disparate questions knitted together into an indissoluble tangle, and it is marked by a chronic ambiguity in language. There is little consensus about the meanings of terms such as nature, nurture, gene, and environment. Keller suggests that contemporary genetics can provide a more appropriate, precise, and useful vocabulary, one that might help put an end to the confusion surrounding the nature-nurture controversy.

The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture

Titre : The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture
Auteur : Evelyn Fox Keller
Éditeur : Duke University Press Books
ISBN-13 : 0822347148
Libération : 2010-06-11

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In this powerful critique, the esteemed historian and philosopher of science Evelyn Fox Keller addresses the nature-nurture debates, including the persistent disputes regarding the roles played by genes and the environment in determining individual traits and behavior. Keller is interested in both how an oppositional “versus” came to be inserted between nature and nurture, and how the distinction on which that opposition depends, the idea that nature and nurture are separable, came to be taken for granted. How, she asks, did the illusion of a space between nature and nurture become entrenched in our thinking, and why is it so tenacious? Keller reveals that the assumption that the influences of nature and nurture can be separated is neither timeless nor universal, but rather a notion that emerged in Anglo-American culture in the late nineteenth century. She shows that the seemingly clear-cut nature-nurture debate is riddled with incoherence. It encompasses many disparate questions knitted together into an indissoluble tangle, and it is marked by a chronic ambiguity in language. There is little consensus about the meanings of terms such as nature, nurture, gene, and environment. Keller suggests that contemporary genetics can provide a more appropriate, precise, and useful vocabulary, one that might help put an end to the confusion surrounding the nature-nurture controversy.

Beyond Versus

Titre : Beyond Versus
Auteur : James Tabery
Éditeur : MIT Press
ISBN-13 : 9780262027373
Libération : 2014-05-09

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Why the "nature versus nurture" debate persists despite widespread recognition that human traits arise from the interaction of nature and nurture.

Refiguring Life

Titre : Refiguring Life
Auteur : Evelyn Fox Keller
Éditeur : Columbia University Press
ISBN-13 : 0231102054
Libération : 1995

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This text continues the author's study of how 'scientific technique is both contributor to and product of discourse'. It focuses on gender and, in particular, analyzes how the metaphors of information and communication technology affect biological research, especially in the field of genetics.

Making Sense of Life

Titre : Making Sense of Life
Auteur : Evelyn Fox KELLER
Éditeur : Harvard University Press
ISBN-13 : 0674039440
Libération : 2009-06-30

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What do biologists want? If, unlike their counterparts in physics, biologists are generally wary of a grand, overarching theory, at what kinds of explanation do biologists aim? How will we know when we have "made sense" of life? Such questions, Evelyn Fox Keller suggests, offer no simple answers. Explanations in the biological sciences are typically provisional and partial, judged by criteria as heterogeneous as their subject matter. It is Keller's aim in this bold and challenging book to account for this epistemological diversity--particularly in the discipline of developmental biology. In particular, Keller asks, what counts as an "explanation" of biological development in individual organisms? Her inquiry ranges from physical and mathematical models to more familiar explanatory metaphors to the dramatic contributions of recent technological developments, especially in imaging, recombinant DNA, and computer modeling and simulations. A history of the diverse and changing nature of biological explanation in a particularly charged field, "Making Sense of Life" draws our attention to the temporal, disciplinary, and cultural components of what biologists mean, and what they understand, when they propose to explain life.

The Seasons Alter How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts

Titre : The Seasons Alter How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts
Auteur : Philip Kitcher
Éditeur : Liveright Publishing
ISBN-13 : 9781631492846
Libération : 2017-04-18

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A landmark work of environmental philosophy that seeks to transform the debate about climate change. As the icecaps melt and the sea levels rise around the globe—threatening human existence as we know it—climate change has become one of the most urgent and controversial issues of our time. For most people, however, trying to understand the science, politics, and arguments on either side can be dizzying, leading to frustrating and unproductive debates. Now, in this groundbreaking new work, two of our most renowned thinkers present the realities of global warming in the most human of terms—everyday conversation—showing us how to convince even the most stubborn of skeptics as to why we need to act now. Indeed, through compelling Socratic dialogues, Philip Kitcher and Evelyn Fox Keller tackle some of the thorniest questions facing mankind today: Is climate change real? Is climate change as urgent as the “scientists” make it out to be? How much of our current way of life should we sacrifice to help out a generation that won’t even be born for another hundred years? Who would pay for the enormous costs of making the planet "green?" What sort of global political arrangement would be needed for serious action? These crucial questions play out through familiar circumstances, from an older husband and wife considering whether they should reduce their carbon footprint, to a first date that evolves into a passionate discussion about whether one person can actually make a difference, to a breakfast that becomes an examination over whether or not global warming is really happening. Entertaining, widely accessible, and thoroughly original, the result promises to inspire dialogue in many places, while also giving us a line of reasoning that explodes the so-far impenetrable barriers of obfuscation that have surrounded the discussion. While the Paris Agreement was an historic achievement that brought solutions within the realm of possibility, The Seasons Alter is a watershed book that will show us how to make those possibilities a reality.

The Restless Clock

Titre : The Restless Clock
Auteur : Jessica Riskin
Éditeur : University of Chicago Press
ISBN-13 : 9780226302928
Libération : 2016-03-07

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A core principle of modern science holds that a scientific explanation must not attribute will or agency to natural phenomena.The Restless Clock examines the origins and history of this, in particular as it applies to the science of living things. This is also the story of a tradition of radicals—dissenters who embraced the opposite view, that agency is an essential and ineradicable part of nature. Beginning with the church and courtly automata of early modern Europe, Jessica Riskin guides us through our thinking about the extent to which animals might be understood as mere machines. We encounter fantastic robots and cyborgs as well as a cast of scientific and philosophical luminaries, including Descartes and Leibnitz, Lamarck and Darwin, whose ideas gain new relevance in Riskin's hands. The book ends with a riveting discussion of how the dialectic continues in genetics, epigenetics, and evolutionary biology, where work continues to naturalize different forms of agency.The Restless Clock reveals the deeply buried roots of current debates in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and evolutionary biology.

Animacies

Titre : Animacies
Auteur : Mel Y. Chen
Éditeur : Duke University Press
ISBN-13 : 9780822352723
Libération : 2012-07-10

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Rethinks the criteria governing agency and receptivity, health and toxicity, productivity and stillness

Studying Human Behavior

Titre : Studying Human Behavior
Auteur : Helen E. Longino
Éditeur : University of Chicago Press
ISBN-13 : 9780226921822
Libération : 2013-01-18

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In Studying Human Behavior, Helen E. Longino enters into the complexities of human behavioral research, a domain still dominated by the age-old debate of “nature versus nurture.” Rather than supporting one side or another or attempting to replace that dichotomy with a different framework for understanding behavior, Longino focuses on how scientists study it, specifically sexual behavior and aggression, and asks what can be known about human behavior through empirical investigation. She dissects five approaches to the study of behavior—quantitative behavioral genetics, molecular behavior genetics, developmental psychology, neurophysiology and anatomy, and social/environmental methods—highlighting the underlying assumptions of these disciplines, as well as the different questions and mechanisms each addresses. She also analyzes efforts to integrate different approaches. Longino concludes that there is no single “correct” approach but that each contributes to our overall understanding of human behavior. In addition, Longino reflects on the reception and transmission of this behavioral research in scientific, social, clinical, and political spheres. A highly significant and innovative study that bears on crucial scientific questions, Studying Human Behavior will be essential reading not only for scientists and philosophers but also for science journalists and anyone interested in the engrossing challenges of understanding human behavior.

Brain Storm

Titre : Brain Storm
Auteur : Rebecca M. Jordan-Young
Éditeur : Harvard University Press
ISBN-13 : 9780674057302
Libération : 2010-09-07

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Jordan-Young has written a stunning book that demolishes most of the science associated with the dominant paradigm of the development of sex and gender identity, behavior, and orientation. The current paradigm, brain organization theory, proposes: "Because of early exposure to different sex hormones, males and females have different brains"; and these hormones also create "gay" and "straight" brains. Jordan-Young interviewed virtually every major researcher in the field and reviewed hundreds of published scientific papers. Her conclusion: "Brain organization theory is little more than an elaboration of longstanding folk tales about antagonistic male and female essences and how they connect to antagonistic male and female natures." She explains, in exquisite detail, the flaws in the underlying science, from experimental designs that make no statistical sense to "conceptually sloppy" definitions of male and female sexuality, contradictory results, and the social construction of normality. Her conclusion that the patterns we see are far more complicated than previously believed and due to a wider range of variables will shake up the research community and alter public perception.