Культура «на длинном поводке» / Culture held "on a long leash"
The article shows how complexity of biological determination of culture can weaken this determination.
The sociobiology debate between Lewontin/Gould and Wilson/Dawkins is considered as an attempt to complete the project of modern. According to Habermas this completion be achieved by transdisciplinary disclosure of science, ethics and art spheres with the aim of animating the lifeworld.
The article discusses the prospects of joint research of sociologists and socio-biologists on the evolution of morality and altruism. Sociologists compare morality and altruism in human society with that in animals behavior can be seen as manifestations of empathy and althruim and of co-existence rules in groups of animals of each biological species. The authors present the current understanding of the evolutionary prehistory of human social behavior. A significant challenge for cooperation activities of sociologists and sociobiologists is the rapid progress of the natural sciences. Discoveries and findings in biology and biologists models often lead to simplistic conclusions, and at the same time the works of sociologists, in which they try to use these innovations, often turns untenable. It is therefore necessary to continue the search for the directions and mechanisms of integration of sociological and sociobiological approaches to such complex phenomena as morality and altruism.
The article discusses general and specific problems of integration methods of the social and natural sciences, in particular sociobiology, evolutionary psychology and sociology methods in the study of emotions. The author argues that the emotion research, first of all moral emotions from the perspective of the evolutionary approach, can serve as a sort of "point", in which it is possible to combine methodological tools of sociology, sociobiology, evolutionary psychology and partly neuropsychophysiology to study complex social phenomena as morality and altruism, as well as various kinds of behavior associated with them. The paper discusses the theoretical and methodological aspects of the study of emotions in this way.
The commented famous work by S.J. Gould and R.C. Lewontin is crucial not only to sociobiology critique but to polemics on evolutionary theory in general. Reflection provoked by Gould and Lewontin’s paper in the field of philosophy of biology enables to clarify the relation between the adaptationist program and biological reductionism.
Paying the due respect to the historical importance of the intellectual revolution caused by Ch. Darwin and his «Origin of species» (1859) one should not misunderstand its place in our current scholarly life. The complex development of science is based on production of new facts and theories in the course of negotiations allowing us to tell facts from their interpretations, «real» facts from systematic observational errors, to formulate, test and reshape theories, etc. Darwin is a wrong partner for this negotiation process. One can not any longer force him to accept the current standards of scientific validity, to reconsider his views, or to put them into other words. The whole world of facts and theories changed over the past 150 years. Some scientific concepts taking their origin from the works of Darwin are present in the now current theories of evolution in such a form that would not be intelligible and, perhaps, even agreeable for Darwin and his contemporaries. The notions of selection and competition attained a far higher degree of counterintuitivity and mathematical sophistication than one could imagine in the nineteenth century. Some ideas, e. g., Darwin's vague views of heredity, were completely rejected. Two principal fallacies in the treatment of Darwin's heritage are thus identified: the dogmatic literalism infollowing his views, and the readiness to engage in a scholarly debate with «Darwinism» by criticising or denigrating Darwin's original ideas. The dogmatic literalism in following Darwin's views on heredity was characteristic, e. g., for the infamous Trofim Lysenko and his adherents. On the other hand, those who are now seriously involved with criticising Darwin are performing their scholarly duties poorly. Darwin's works should remain where they are, in the history of science, situated in the culture of the nineteenth century. The current debate should be centered upon the current theoretical problems. What is no less important is that the scientists should play a more active role in reshaping the public understanding of science, introducing the increasingly complex new World to the general public.