Sociobiology

Eugenics Archives (2014)
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Abstract

This is an introductory article on sociobiology, particularly its relationship to eugenics. Sociobiology developed in the 1960s as a field within evolutionary biology to explain human social traits and behaviours. Although sociobiology has few direct connections to eugenics, it shares eugenics’ optimistic enthusiasm for extending biological science into the human domain, often with reckless sensationalism. Sociobiology's critics have argued that sociobiology also propagates a kind of genetic determinism and represents the zealous misapplication of science beyond its proper reach that characterized the eugenics movement. More recently, evolutionary psychology represents a sophistication of sociobiology that attends to the mind as the "missing link" between evolution and behaviour (Cosmides and Tooby 1992, Pinker 1997).

Author's Profile

Robert A. Wilson
University of Western Australia

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