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How Darwinian reductionism refutes genetic determinism.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Rosoff, PM; Rosenberg, A
Published in: Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci
March 2006

Genetic determinism labels the morally problematical claim that some socially significant traits, traits we care about, such as sexual orientation, gender roles, violence, alcoholism, mental illness, intelligence, are largely the results of the operation of genes and not much alterable by environment, learning or other human intervention. Genetic determinism does not require that genes literally fix these socially significant traits, but rather that they constrain them within narrow channels beyond human intervention. In this essay we analyze genetic determinism in light of what is now known about the inborn error of metabolism phenylketonuria (PKU), which has for so long been the poster child 'simple' argument in favor of some form of genetic determinism. We demonstrate that this case proves the exact opposite of what it has been proposed to support and provides a strong refutation of genetic determinism in all its guises.

Duke Scholars

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Published In

Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci

DOI

ISSN

1369-8486

Publication Date

March 2006

Volume

37

Issue

1

Start / End Page

122 / 135

Location

England

Related Subject Headings

  • Science Studies
  • Phenylketonurias
  • Molecular Biology
  • Models, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Genetics, Medical
  • Genetic Determinism
  • 5003 Philosophy
  • 5002 History and philosophy of specific fields
  • 2203 Philosophy
 

Citation

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Rosoff, P. M., & Rosenberg, A. (2006). How Darwinian reductionism refutes genetic determinism. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci, 37(1), 122–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2005.12.005
Rosoff, Philip M., and Alex Rosenberg. “How Darwinian reductionism refutes genetic determinism.Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci 37, no. 1 (March 2006): 122–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2005.12.005.
Rosoff PM, Rosenberg A. How Darwinian reductionism refutes genetic determinism. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2006 Mar;37(1):122–35.
Rosoff, Philip M., and Alex Rosenberg. “How Darwinian reductionism refutes genetic determinism.Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci, vol. 37, no. 1, Mar. 2006, pp. 122–35. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.shpsc.2005.12.005.
Rosoff PM, Rosenberg A. How Darwinian reductionism refutes genetic determinism. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2006 Mar;37(1):122–135.
Journal cover image

Published In

Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci

DOI

ISSN

1369-8486

Publication Date

March 2006

Volume

37

Issue

1

Start / End Page

122 / 135

Location

England

Related Subject Headings

  • Science Studies
  • Phenylketonurias
  • Molecular Biology
  • Models, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Genetics, Medical
  • Genetic Determinism
  • 5003 Philosophy
  • 5002 History and philosophy of specific fields
  • 2203 Philosophy