In a message dated 11/4/2002 7:32:04 PM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
If evolutionary psychology has been dominated by the right, that's partially
because the left has expended all its energy denouncing the very premise
that natural selection has had an impact on who were are and the social
relationships that we gravitate towards. That seems foolish to me, and I
think it would have seemed foolish to Marx as well. (I think his 'species
being' is not far from what the ev psych folks are talking about.) It seems
much more productive for the left to make sure that the science is sound,
and then see if there's something to learn from what it finds. As I
suggested at the end of my piece, we are a mix of nature and nurture, and a
progressive politics should be able to build on that mix in productive ways
-- dialectical might in fact be a very nice way of describing that
interaction. I would love to see some examples of Marxist writing that
incorporated Darwinian models of the human mind, but my sense is that there
aren't many out there... Almost everything I read sounds like your post:
Sociobiology is the enemy! How dare we even think about learning anything
from these people!
This is nonsense. That natural selection might have shaped behaviour is entirely possible, but that natural selection is the main process of man's evolution is both unproven and rendered highly implausible by such issues as the eonic effect and its model.
As to Marx, he is clearly on record as expressing skepticism over Darwin, but he was unable to put his finger on the problem. Don't be claiming Marx for Darwinism, then, and the idea that species being equates with evolutionary psychology is silly. What is species being?
In any case, Marxism has no system that is coherent at this point, and its stance ought better to be that we simply don't know how man evolved.
Website on the eonic effect
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