Download Biology and Freedom: An Essay on the Implications of Human by S. A. Barnett PDF

By S. A. Barnett

Biology and Freedom is an essay on human nature; an try to make a simply evaluation of a species usually provided as predominantly and necessarily violent, grasping, and silly. Likening people to animals is a conventional approach to influencing attitudes on questions of morals and politics. right here, Professor Barnett indicates that sleek ethology, experimental psychology, genetics, and evolutionary idea supply the at the moment trendy misanthrophy no actual aid. He asks no matter if the speculation of evolution has any touching on, for example, Machiavellianism in politics or the concept that of unique sin; and no matter if laboratory experiments at the results of gift and punishment let us know something important approximately why we paintings, or in regards to the enigma of unfastened will. Combining the findings of recent biology with common sense and humor, Professor Barnett provides a lucid substitute portrait of humanity. He stresses the questions that the complexities of human lifestyles will bring up lengthy after the presently stylish theories have pale. All these drawn to those questions, within the fact approximately human nature, and sooner or later of human society should want to learn this booklet.

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Extra resources for Biology and Freedom: An Essay on the Implications of Human Ethology

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Harvey also compares the heart with the sun, and this, writes Temkin, elucidates Harvey's very concept of circulation. The sun makes vapors rise from the earth; these vapors in turn become condensed and change into rain which moistens the earth . . Likewise in man, the blood reaches all parts of the body while warm and nutrient, but is itself cooled and worn out so that it returns to the h e a r t . . in order to be perfected. In a book full of metaphors, Temkin remarks, those of the sun, monarch and heart present a 'system of physiology which .

Hoffman describes the use of metaphor by these physicists, and by Michael Faraday (1791—1867), the principal founder of modern knowledge of electricity, who 'at almost every turn . . relied on metaphor'. 36 These examples, among the many possible ones, warn us not to dismiss imagery as merely a literary device. Metaphors do not provide proofs of theories, but they are unavoidable features of our communication and our thinking. In this book we are concerned especially with metaphors of which the impact is strengthened by equating human beings with animals.

But the dances of a honey bee are iconic, like a map or a diagram: they are miniature representations of the flight needed to reach the target. Hence they have a very narrowly defined scope: they all convey direction, and many convey distance; when they refer to food, they may also indicate its relative amount; when they report a place for a new hive, they report its suitability. But that is all. Yet a further contrast is in the uniformity, in time and space, of the 'language' of bees. With minor exceptions, the honey bee, wherever it is in the world, uses the same code; and these signals go on, generation after generation, without detectable change.

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