Who's Afraid of Charles Darwin?

Who's Afraid of Charles Darwin? : Debating Feminism and Evolutionary Theory

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The relationship between feminism and the biological sciences has always been particularly tense and hostile. Feminists have been inclined not to trust what scientists had to say about the sexes, with science often being pronounced a Owhite, male enterprise.O But why should feminism and the biological sciences remain at odds? And what might be gained from a reconciliation? In Who's Afraid of Charles Darwin? Griet Vandermassen shows that, rather than continuing this enmity, feminism and the biological sciences, and in particular evolutionary psychology, have the potential and the need to become powerful allies. Properly understood, the Darwinian perspective proposed in this volume will become essential to tackling the major issues in feminism.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 147.3 x 226.1 x 17.8mm | 317.52g
  • Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 074254351X
  • 9780742543515
  • 1,367,170

Review quote

Vandermassen demonstrates the power and elegance of Darwinian modes of explanation of the range and diversity of sex differences and, in doing so, has opened up a new form of feminist theory. -- Elizabeth Grosz, Jean Fox O'Barr Women's Studies Professor, Duke University Griet Vandermassen's splendidly readable book should inform and inspire not only feminists but anyone who cares about science-its methods, its objectivity, its history, and its place in society. -- Helena Cronin, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics This very readable book should pave the way for a more informed debate and some degree of reconciliation between feminists and evolutionary biologists. Biologist Griet Vandermassen provides the most comprehensive treatment to date of the 150-year-long saga of marginalization, mutual suspicion, misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and missed opportunities between biology and feminist thinking. It is my hope that Vandermassen's remarkable book will remind evolutionary biologists of the contributions that feminists have made and challenge a new generation of feminist scholars to re-engage and integrate evolutionary perspectives into their understanding of the human condition. -- Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, author of Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection (1999) and The Woman That Never Evolved (1981) A book that would spark much discussion in evolutionary psychology and women's studies courses. Sex Roles: A Journal of Researchshow more

About Griet Vandermassen

Griet Vandermassen is a philosopher and research assistant at the Centre for Gender Studies, University of Ghent, Belgium, where she is currently completing her doctoral studies. She has written on evolutionary psychology, feminist theory, and the history and philosophy of science in such publications as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, European Journal of Women's Studies, and the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.show more

Table of contents

Part 2 Acknowledgements Part 3 Introduction Chapter 4 Elusive Definitions Chapter 5 Heterogeneity: Problem or Merit? Chapter 6 Sex and Gender Chapter 7 The Missing Link Chapter 8 Plan of the Book Part 9 Science and Its Problems Chapter 10 Introduction Chapter 11 Misogyny in Science: Facts about the Past Chapter 12 Fables about the Past Chapter 13 Facts and Fables about the Present Chapter 14 The Social Embeddedness of Science Chapter 15 Answers to Scientific Relativism Part 16 Feminist Views of Science Chapter 17 Introduction Chapter 18 Empiricism: The Belief in Gender-Free Science Chapter 19 Standpoint Theory: The Objectivity of Science Questioned Chapter 20 Scientific Contributions of Standpoint Theory Chapter 21 Postmodernism: The Whole Project of Science Questioned Chapter 22 Should Science Be Politically Progressive? Chapter 23 Does Feminist Science Exist? Part 24 The Sexes since Darwin Chapter 25 Introduction Chapter 26 The World before Darwin Chapter 27 Evolution by Natural Selection Chapter 28 Social Darwinism Chapter 29 Evolution by Sexual Selection Chapter 30 Darwin and the 'Coy' Female Chapter 31 Antoinette Brown Blackwell: The Road not taken Chapter 32 The 1930s and the Rise of Ethology Chapter 33 Women in Primatology Chapter 34 The 1960s and Inclusive Fitness Theory Chapter 35 The 1970s and Parental Investment Theory Chapter 36 Costly Eggs and Cheap Sperm: But Is It True? Part 37 Biophobia within Feminism Chapter 38 Introduction Chapter 39 Fear of Sex Differences Chapter 40 Intellectual Developments at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century Chapter 41 The Rise of Behaviourism Chapter 42 Cultural Anthropology: To Tropical Paradises and Back Again Chapter 43 Social Constructionism, Environmentalism, and the Left Chapter 44 The Nature-Nurture Controversy Chapter 45 The Myth of Genetic Determinism Chapter 46 The Naturalistic Fallacy Chapter 47 Current Socialisation Theories Chapter 48 Evaluating Some Environmentalist Contentions Part 49 Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology Chapter 50 Introduction Chapter 51 Proximate and Ultimate Levels of Explanation Chapter 52 Sociobiology: Of Genes and Men Chapter 53 Sarah Hrdy and the Lusty Female Chapter 54 Other Feminist Critiques of Sociobiology Chapter 55 Moral Reading Chapter 56 Cognitive Science Setting the Stage for Evolutionary Psychology Chapter 57 The Mind as a Swiss Army Knife Chapter 58 Indications of a Panhuman Design Chapter 59 Characteristics of Adaptations Chapter 60 Is Evolutionary Psychology Scientifically Defensible? Part 61 A Metatheory for Feminism Chapter 62 Introduction Chapter 63 Feminist Observations Chapter 64 The Seeds of Adulthood Chapter 65 Sexual Selection as an Origin Theory Chapter 66 An Evolved Male Psychology Chapter 67 An Evolved Female Psychology Chapter 68 Benefits of an Evolutionary Framework Chapter 69 The Evolutionary Origins of Patriarchy Chapter 70 Towards a Darwinian Left Part 71 Conclusion Part 72 Bibliographyshow more

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