Scientists act within a social context and from a philosophical perspective that is inherently political. Whether they realize it or not, scientists always choose sides. The Dialectical Biologist explores this political nature of scientific inquiry, advancing its argument within the framework of Marxist dialectic. These essays stress the concepts of continual change and codetermination between organism and environment, part and whole, structure and process, science and politics. Throughout, this book questions our accepted definitions and biases, showing the self-reflective nature of scientific activity within society.
Richard Levins is John Rock Professor of Population Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health. Richard Lewontin is Alexander Agassiz Research Professor at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. His many books include Biology and Ideology, Not in Our Genes, and Human Diversity.
Introduction 1. On Evolution Evolution as Theory and Ideology Adaptation The Organism as the Subject and Object of Evolution 2. On Analysis The Analysis of Variance and the Analysis of Causes Isidore Nabi on the Tendencies of Motion Dialectics and Reductionism in Ecology 3. Science as a Social Product and the Social Product of Science The Problem of Lysenkoism The Commoditizatjon of Science The Political Economy of Agricultural Research Applied Biology in the Third World The Pesticide System Research Needs for Latin Community Health What Is Human Nature? Conclusion: Dialectics Bibliography Index