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ERIC Number: ED106398
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Race, Reification, and Responsibility.
Cancro, Robert
Noting that many of the attacks on individual scientists as well as some of the attacks on the field of behavior genetics are more than intemperate--they are non-rational--the author discusses his experience as a signatory to a document drawn up by Ellis B. Page during the winter of 1971-1972. The intent of this controversial document was to defend publicly the right of scientists to pursue the investigation of the role of biologic factors, in human behaviors. The author identifies two historical trends--and perhaps even forces operating within science that contribute to much of the confusion in the current controversy. One is the tendency of scientists to reify or think of theoretical formulations, and especially Descartes' distinction between the mind and body, which are comfortable ways to think about data as if they are Platonic truths. Behavior genetics, in contrast, identifies the artificiality of the gene-environment distinction and insists on recognizing genetic and non-genetic factors as essential co-determinants of human behavior. Another factor involves the use of the IQ test to select the intellectual elite class. The author concludes by arguing that it is the prime responsibility of the academic community to guard the precious fire of free inquiry. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psycholgical Association (New Orleans, Louisiana, December 1974)