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Against Reductionist Explanations of Human Behaviour: John Dupré

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This paper attacks some prominent contemporary attempts to provide reductive accounts of ever wider areas of human behaviour. In particular, I shall address the claims of sociobiology (or evolutionary psychology) to provide a universal account of human nature, and attempts to subsume ever wider domains of behaviour within the scope of economics. I shall also consider some recent suggestions as to how these approaches might be integrated. Having rejected the imperialistic ambitions of these approaches, I shall briefly advocate a more pluralistic approach to the understanding of human behaviour, and one which leaves some space for the possibility of genuine human autonomy.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Exeter and Birkbeck College London

Publication date: June 1, 1998


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