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Author Topic: Sociobiology - how biology directs social behaviour.  (Read 2309 times)

Offline Matt Emery

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Sociobiology - how biology directs social behaviour.
« on: September 29, 2008, 07:27:09 PM »
This is a great topic to look into - if you're up for a bit of hobby research.  Sociobiology explores interesting questions such as;

  • Are certain behavioural traits inherited? If so, what are they?
  • To what degree is genetic selfishness and altruism attributable to biology?
  • Why isn’t everybody nice and cooperative and caring about others, as our moral ideals would require?
  • Are humans more murderous than other animals?

Here is a link to get you started; http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/sociobiology/
Holcomb, Harmon and Jason Byron, "Sociobiology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

Here is an interesting example of how biology controls the social behaviour of species:
Edward O. Wilson, referring to ants, once said that "Karl Marx was right, socialism works, it is just that he had the wrong species", meaning that while ants and other social insects appear to live in communist-like societies, they only do so because they are forced to do so from their basic biology, as they lack reproductive independence: worker ants, being sterile, need their ant-queen to survive as a colony and a species and individual ants cannot reproduce without a queen, thus being forced to live in centralised societies. Humans, however, as a more advanced biological being, do possess reproductive independence so they can give birth to offspring without the need of a "queen", and in fact humans enjoy their maximum level of Darwinian fitness only when they look after themselves and their families, while finding innovative ways to use the societies they live in for their own benefit.
Sources: Edward O. Wilson; From Ants to Ethics and Karl Marx was right, it is just that he had the wrong species.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 09:23:56 PM by Matt Emery »
"Be true to your biology"