Trapped between the caricatured causalities of biological determinism and the sinister abdications of sociological relativism, socio-ecological interdisciplinarity stagnates. It has lost sight of the ambition of a long-term program and no longer works to conduct applied research on the concrete prerequisites for reliable cooperation, despite an accumulation of emergencies.
The difficulty lies in the general and prolonged abandonment of necessary procedures under the influence of hidden philosophical presumptions. In the end, ecology, sociology, history, economics, agronomy, etc. are seriously handicapped by the absence of a common epistemology of comparative practice, an absence maintained by the dominant epistemology itself.
Social Structures and Natural Systems seeks to demonstrate, with regard to social anthropology and ecology, a scientific compatibility of research subject to methodological requirements that are deductible from the conditions of the existence of science itself. All of this boils down to one observation: this book will be a success if, and only if, it becomes a beginning.
The relationship between technicity and scientificity is often overlooked or avoided despite being a determining factor for establishing interdisciplinarity. By focusing on this relationship and highlighting a number of its ramifications, this book sheds light on the hidden or skewed stakes that condition a wide array of scientific projects. The authors present different approaches based on their own professional experience, focusing on the technique–science relationship in domains as diverse as brain mapping, the decipherment of Mycenaean writing and the design process. Each chapter presents varying and often opposing epistemological conclusions to provide the reader with a wide breadth of examples in different fields. Although the scope of this book is far from exhaustive, it serves as a starting point for the necessary and long-overdue clarification of the relationship between these neighboring, yet disjointed, sectors.
As a theory, sociobiology is opposed to socio-ecology, a discipline hampered since its birth. The indictment of the ideological intentions of the first has obscured the notion that the growing domination of the image of the “selfish gene” has obstructed the necessary rise of the second. For 40 years, a terrible force of inertia has thus frozen the global analysis of socio-ecological interactions outside the theoretical bias externally imposed on social sciences by so-called “behavioral ecology”, which amounts to a simple emanation of sociobiology. This book summarizes the methodological abuses and the illusory legitimations of a school whose sterility can no longer be concealed, but which is preparing to reinvent itself by cynically replacing its faltering laws by hijacking the recent advances in epigenetics. The authors shed light on unjustly sacrificed paths in the study of socio-ecological interactions.
The analysis of kinship plays a major role in social anthropology. However, the intellectual triumph of structuralism has transformed this analysis into an ivory tower and the methodological hegemony of functionalism inhibits any historical authority. Kinship, Ecology and History informs the reader of these old, yet long-lasting issues. By presenting new, original perspectives, this book reinvents the manner in which we can study kinship. It also examines ecology and history as a conjectural reflection, which make up the foundations on which human kinship can be reflected upon. Whether human kinship is understood in the form of systematics models or as articulated practices, it has to be conceived as a strategic means for modes of action and of transformation of life in society. The three case studies presented in this book give body to new issues. They deconstruct the existing models in order to re-establish kinship as a condition and consequence of social evolution.
On comprendra en lisant ce livre que l'idéologie innéiste de la sociobiologie humaine, aux accents inévitablement inégalitaires et racistes, est interdite par les sciences mêmes que cette « discipline » prétend intégrer. Mais disqualifier scientifiquement l'hypothèse centrale de cette théorie - l'aptitude des gènes à déterminer le jeu complexe des relations sociales, et à en fournir la clé - n'est assurément pas tout ce à quoi des scientifiques peuvent aujourd'hui aspirer. Il faut en outre, dès cette tache accomplie, en vulgariser l'explication, de manière à combattre l'emprise d'un fascisme théorique - celui, notamment, de la « nouvelle droite » - dont l'actuelle « sociobiologie », relayée par un certain journalisme, constitue, en remplacement du vieux « darwinisme social » et suivant la même stratégie, l'idéologie de soutien Première réfutation pluridisciplinaire des fondements de cette idéologie de crise, ce livre dont les enjeux contemporains sont considérables - l'interprétation du darwinisme, sa lecture marxiste hier et aujourd'hui, les rapports de la science et de l'idéologie, les limites de la génétique, les sciences de l'homme dans leurs relations aux sciences de la nature, le couple nature culture ou nature/société -, a choisi d'exister en vue de cette action.