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In Search of Human NatureThe Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought$
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Carl N. Degler

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780195077070

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195077070.001.0001

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The Uses and Misuses of Evolutionary Theory in Social Science

The Uses and Misuses of Evolutionary Theory in Social Science

(p.310) 13 The Uses and Misuses of Evolutionary Theory in Social Science
In Search of Human Nature

Carl N. Degler

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the uses and misuses of Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory in study by social scientists of human behavior. It discusses some of the theoretical gains social scientists think they have achieved from evolutionary theory and analyses why some scholars have found evolution and sociobiology useless in the study of human nature. This chapter suggests that the return of biology by the social sciences is likely to continue because biological sciences continue to throw fresh light on the nature of human beings in their relation with the rest of the animal world.

Keywords:   evolutionary theory, human behavior, social science, Charles Darwin, sociobiology, human nature

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