Espousing interactions and Fielding reactions: Addressing laypeople's beliefs about genetic determinism
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 21 (3):331 – 348 (2008)
Although biologists and philosophers of science generally agree that genes cannot determine the forms of biological and psychological traits, students, journalists, politicians, and other members of the general public nonetheless continue to embrace genetic determinism. This article identifies some of the concerns typically raised by individuals when they first encounter the systems perspective that biologists and philosophers of science now favor over genetic determinism, and uses arguments informed by that perspective to address those concerns. No definitive statements can yet be made about why genetic determinism has proven so resilient in the face of empirical evidence pointing up its deficiencies, but conveying the essential interdependence of 'nature' and 'nurture' to the general public will likely require deployment of the arguments that systems theorists ordinarily use to reject genetic determinism. In addition, the elaboration of new metaphors that focus attention on the dynamic nature of trait construction will likely prove valuable, because re-conceptualizing notions like 'genes' and 'nature' will probably be one of the most effective ways to help students and the general public abandon the genetic determinism that biologists now recognize as indefensible.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Ned Block (1996). How Heritability Misleads About Race. Boston Review 20 (6):30-35.
Ned Block (1996). How Heritability Misleads About Race. In Bernard Boxill (ed.), Race and Racism (Oxford Readings in Philosophy). Oxford UP. 99-128.
Noam A. Chomsky (1976). Reflections On Language. Temple Smith.
Leda Cosmides (1989). The Logic of Social Exchange: Has Natural Selection Shaped How Humans Reason? Studies with the Wason Selection Task. Cognition 31 (3):187-276.
Scott F. Gilbert & Erik M. Jorgensen (1998). Wormwholes: A Commentary on K. F. Schaffner's "Genes, Behavior, and Developmental Emergentism". Philosophy of Science 65 (2):259-266.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Karen Eltis (2007). Genetic Determinism and Discrimination: A Call to Re-Orient Prevailing Human Rights Discourse to Better Comport with the Public Implications of Individual Genetic Testing. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35 (2):282-294.
Mary Midgley (1999). Determinism, Omniscience, and the Multiplicity of Explanations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):900-901.
Maria Kronfeldner (2009). Genetic Determinism and the Innate-Acquired Distinction. Medicine Studies 1 (2):167-181.
Patricia S. Greenspan (1993). Free Will and the Genome Project. Philosophy and Public Affairs 22 (1):31-43.
Ainsley Newson (2004). The Nature and Significance of Behavioural Genetic Information. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (2):89-111.
M. O. (2001). Genetic Prediction: What Are the Limits? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (4):619-633.
Paul E. Griffiths, The Fearless Vampire Conservator: Philip Kitcher, Genetic Determinism and the Informational Gene.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads48 ( #35,000 of 1,102,874 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #62,002 of 1,102,874 )
How can I increase my downloads?