We agree with Archer that human sex differences in aggression are well explained by sexual selection, but note that explanations of human behaviors are not logically mutually exclusive from explanations and therefore should not be framed as such. We discuss why this type of framing hinders the development of both social learning and evolutionary theories of human behavior.
The final chapter of the book is devoted to the question of the epistemological status of holistic pragmatism itself. White thinks of it as a thesis, a statement that may have been originally a very generalized description of the methods of science but has become normative. Yet, in its own spirit, that does not make i t immune to correction. Still, as already noted, one is disinclined to modify or reject this sort of statement. White points out, correctly, that our (...) resistance t o reject or modify it is analogous to the reluctance of 19 th century physicists t o reject or modify the law of the conservation of energy. That law was “pinned down” but became later “unpinned”; the same may happen to holistic pragmatism. Here again, as so many times in this little book, one wants to thank its author for raising questions. Indeed the book as a whole is a challenge, a challenge to do philosophy (of culture), to fulfill its ambition. (shrink)