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Reductionism and Misunderstanding Human Sociality

Thomas Ernst

Reducing human character, characteristics, and behavior to biological conditions of people or specific categories of them has long been an aspect of science, and emerges from The Enlightenment. It is in some senses a part of an heroic attempt to find the cause and effect explanations of everything—to provide consistent explanation of everything from falling stones to the determinates of ‘intelligence’ and criminal minds. These explanations are based in materiality. Gould (1981) provides a good summary of much of this.

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