Leaving the Cave: Evolutionary Naturalism in Social-scientific Thought

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Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 1996 M05 31 - 504 pages

How can one explain the general failure of the social sciences to accumulate reliable knowledge?

According to Pat Duffy Hutcheon the social sciences have failed us in the twentieth century. Practitioners in the social realm (such as politicians, therapists, educators and economists) are unable to provide the answers we seek to meet the challenges of our everyday lives and the next millennium.

In Leaving the Cave Hutcheon explores the reasons for this failure. In this pioneering study of the development of social and biological evolutionary theory she contends that, for the first time in history, there exists a paradigm capable of integrating the life sciences and the social/behavioural sciences, a model to make effective social science a reality.

To illustrate her arguments Hutcheon traces the development of a current of thought she identifies as evolutionary naturalism. She focusses on the lives and writings of those thinkers who have most illuminated this philosophy, from the Hellenic Greeks, through the works of the early pioneers of modern social scientific thought, to the social theorists of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries whose ideas have been firmly rooted in the Darwinian and Pavlovian revolutions in biology and neuroscience.

Leaving the Cave is an innovative, multidisciplinary study of the development of social science, the philosophy of evolutionary naturalism and the effect of each on the other. Certain to arouse controversy, this is a book which everyone concerned for the future of the social sciences will want to read.

 

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Contents

Distant Echoes of a Road Not Taken Undercurrents of Naturalism in the Classical World
1
Erasmus The Reemergence of Naturalism
18
Pioneers of Modern Social Science Montaigne Hobbes and Hume
30
The Political and Educational Theories of JeanJacques Rousseau
57
Harriet Martineau and the Quiet Revolution
70
The Dialectical Materialism of Karl Marx
97
Charles Darwin The Reluctant Revolutionary
114
Herbert Spencer Setting the Stage for a Unified Study of Humanity
128
George Santayana on a Unified Social Theory
276
Bertrand Russell and the Quest for Philosophical Certainty
293
The Evolutionary Social Theory of Julian Huxley
310
The Existential Political Theory of Hannah Arendt
324
Eric Fromm and Humanistic Psychology
346
The Genetic Developmentalism of Jean Piaget
361
Karl Popper and the Evolution of Scientific Knowledge
380
The Radical Behaviourism of BF Skinner
399

What Price Immortality? The Faustian Tragedy of Sigmund Freud
149
Ivan Pavlov and the Third Copernican Revolution
172
John Dewey and the Universality of Scientific Inquiry
186
From Naturalism to Mysticism Henri Bergson
205
The Phenomenology of Edmund Husserl
217
Emile Durkheim and Max Weber A Matter of Boundaries
228
The Process of Cultural Evolution George Herbert Mead
258
Modern Evolutionary Theory Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould
420
Thomas Kuhn and the Crisis in Social Science
445
Toward a Unified Social Science
466
Evolutionary Spiral
493
Index
497
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Page 30 - This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, — often the surfeit of our own behaviour, — we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to...

About the author (1996)

Pat Duffy Hutcheon, now retired, taught sociology at the Universities of Regina and British Columbia. She is also the author of A Sociology of Canadian Education, Building Character and Culture and The Road to Reason: Landmarks in the Evolution of Humanist Thought. Recently Pat Duffy Hutcheon was named “Canadian Humanist of the Year 2000.”

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