Science Wars : Politics, Gender, and Race book cover
1st Edition

Science Wars
Politics, Gender, and Race

ISBN 9781138514393
Published September 28, 2017 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

Few issues cause academics to disagree more than gender and race, especially when topics are addressed in terms of biological differences. To conduct research in these areas or comment favorably on research can subject one to scorn.

When these topics are addressed, they generally take the form of philosophical debates. Anthony Walsh focuses upon such debates and supporting research. He divides parties into biologists and social constructionists, arguing that biologists remain focused on laboratory work, while constructionists are acutely aware of the impact of biologists in contested territories.

Science Wars introduces the ideas motivating the parties and examines social constructionism and its issues with science. He explores arguments over conceptual tools scientists love and constructionists abhor, and he provides a solid discussion of the co-evolution of genes and culture. Walsh then focuses his attention on gender, how constructionists view it, and the neuroscience explanation of gender differences. Moving to race, Walsh looks at how some have tried to bury the concept of race, while others emphasize it. He considers definitions of race essentialist, taxonomic, population, and lineage as they have evolved from the time of the Enlightenment to the present. And finally, he attempts to bring the opposing sides together by pointing out what each can bring to a meaningful discussion.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1The Science Wars
*Platonist or Aristotelian?
*Temperament and Visions
*Early Science Wars: A Very Short History
*The Current Scene
Chapter 2Social Constructionism
*What Is Social Constructionism?
*Weak versus Strong Social Constructionism
*Fact Constructionism
*Sticking Points: Contingency, Nominalism, and Scientific Stability
Chapter 3Science and Knowing
*Defending Science
* Rationalism
*Francis Bacon and Empiricism
*Bacon and Metaphor
*Thomas Kuhn and Scientific Relativism and Revolution
Chapter 4The Conceptual Tools of Science
*Terms of Opprobrium
*Determinism and Freedom
*"Biological Determinism"
Chapter 5Human Nature
*Is There a Human Nature, and How Do We Know?
*Natural Selection and Human Nature
*Sexual Selection and Male-Female Natures
*Selection for Biparental Care and Its Consequences
Chapter 6Social Constructionism and Gender
*Gender Construction
*Gender Socialization and Gender Differences
*The Influence of Margaret Mead
*Ecological Explanations
*Melford Spiro: The Reluctant Apostate
Chapter 7The Neurohormonal Basis of Gender
*Sexing the Brain
*Disorders of Sex Development: What Can They Tell Us about Gender?
*Other Gender-Confounding Conditions
Chapter 8A Further Journey into the Gendered Brain
*Sex on the Brain
*Softwiring the Brain
*Brain Laterality
*Arousal Levels
*Dolls, Trucks, Evolution, and the Visual System
*Sugar and Spice; Snips and Snails
Chapter 9Race and Racism
*Race as Social Construct
*Race in Antiquity and Its Relationship to Slavery
*Racism East and West
*Is Race a Socially Dangerous Idea?
*Race and Racism in the Modern United States
Chapter 10The Enlightenment and Scientific
*Racial Classification
*Major Definitions of Race
*Morphology and Race
*Evolution and Behavior
*Behavioral and Psychological Traits and Race
*Anti-White Racism and White Studies
Chapter 11Race and Molecular Genetics
*Essentialism Revisited
*How Does One Prove that Something Does Not Exist?
*Race and Genetic Distance
*Lewontin Proves a Negative´┐Żor Does He?
*Postgenomic Clustering Studies
Chapter 12Is Peace Possible?
*Know Thy Enemy
*Arguments from Fear
*The Moralistic Fallacy
*Is Detente Possible?
*Gender, Race, and Interactive Kinds
*A Rose Is a Rose by Any Other Name´┐ŻOr Is It?

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