Sociological Forum

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 173–185 | Cite as

Why most sociologists don't (and won't) think evolutionarily

  • Pierre L. van den Berghe


The general failure of sociologists to understand, much less accept, an evolutionary perspective on human behavior transcends mere ignorance and ideological bias, although it incorporates a good deal of both. It also includes a general anthropocentric discomfort with evolutionary thinking, a self-interested resistance to self-understanding, and a trained sociological incapacity to accept the fundamental canons of scientific theory construction: reductionism, individualism, materialism, and parsimony.

Key words

evolution sociobiology environmentalism determinism reductionism, biosociology 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre L. van den Berghe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology, DK-40University of WashingtonSeattle

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