- The academic discipline best known through the work of Edward O. Wilson who coined the term in his Sociobiology: the New Synthesis (1975). The approach to human behaviour is based on the premise that all social behaviour has a biological basis, and seeks to understand that basis in terms of genetic encoding for features that are then selected for through evolutionary history. The philosophical problem is essentially one of methodology: of finding criteria for identifying features that can usefully be explained in this way, and for finding criteria for assessing various genetic stories that might provide useful explanations. Among the features that are proposed for this kind of explanation are such things as male dominance, male promiscuity versus female fidelity, propensities to sympathy and other emotions, and the limited altruism characteristic of human beings. The strategy has proved unnecessarily controversial, with proponents accused of ignoring the influence of environmental and social factors in moulding people's characteristics (e.g. at the limit of silliness, by postulating a ‘gene for poverty’). However there is no need for the approach to commit such errors, since the feature explained sociobiologically may be indexed to environment: for instance it may be a propensity to develop some feature in some social or other environment (or even a propensity to develop propensities…). The main problem is to separate genuine explanation from speculative just so stories which may or may not identify real selective mechanisms. See also biology, philosophy of ; evolutionary ethics.
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.
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Sociobiology — sociobiology … Philosophy dictionary
Sociobiology — is a neo Darwinian and socialism synthesis of scientific disciplines that attempts to explain social behavior in all species by considering the evolutionary advantages the behaviors may have. It is often considered a branch of biology and… … Wikipedia
sociobiology — sociobiology. См. социобиология. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) … Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.
sociobiology — ☆ sociobiology [sō΄sē ō bī äl′ə jē, sō΄shēō΄bī äl′ə jē ] n. the scientific study of the biological basis for animal and human social behavior: it is based on the theory that some or much of such behavior is genetically determined sociobiological… … English World dictionary
sociobiology — sociobiological /soh see oh buy euh loj i keuhl, soh shee /, adj. sociobiologically, adv. sociobiologist, n. /soh see oh buy ol euh jee, soh shee /, n. the study of social behavior in animals with emphasis on the role of behavior in survival and… … Universalium
sociobiology — A recently developed academic discipline, particularly popular in the United States, based upon the tenet that all animal and human behaviour is ultimately dependent upon genetic encoding moulded through evolutionary history by the processes of… … Dictionary of sociology
sociobiology — noun Date: 1946 the comparative study of social organization and behavior in animals including humans especially with regard to its genetic basis and evolutionary history • sociobiological adjective • sociobiologist noun … New Collegiate Dictionary
sociobiology — n. [L. socius, companion; bios, life; logos, discourse] The study of all aspects of communication and social organization … Dictionary of invertebrate zoology
sociobiology — noun The science that applies the principles of evolutionary biology to the study of social behaviour in both humans and animals … Wiktionary
sociobiology — so·cio·bi·ol·o·gy .sō sē ō bī äl ə jē, .sō shē n, pl gies the comparative study of the biological basis of social organization and behavior in animals and humans esp. with regard to their genetic basis and evolutionary history… … Medical dictionary