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"Love of Shopping" Is Not a Gene--Problems With Darwinian Psychology.

"Love of Shopping" Is Not a Gene--Problems With Darwinian Psychology

Anne Innis Dagg

Black Rose Books

2250 Military Rd., Tonawanda, NY 14150


ISBN 1551642565 $24.99 210+xii pp.

With advanced degrees in genetics and animal behavior, Dagg challenges a range of assumptions presumed to be rooted in Darwin's theory of evolution. Many of these assumptions provide the basis for the field of sociobiology; they strongly color its point of view, its topics of study, and its methodology. But Dagg discerns what amounts to ideological or political dispositions or values behind the assumptions. Contrary to the Darwinian sociobiologists who believe genes are the basic, practically exclusive explanation for human behavior, Dagg believes from her studies that "human beings act as they do primarily because of their sex and personality...based to some degree on heredity"; and in relation to this, "personality is shaped to a huge extent by culture and by [an individual's] education and experience." Crime, violence, rape, and even the shopping of the title are gone over by Dagg in support of her position in this ongoing debate on how much and in what ways genetic inheritance determine an individual's nature and behavior versus the effects of circumstances and experiences. Dagg's investigation of the range of topics--some topical, some long-standing in her field--casts light on the always engaging and intriguing subject of human nature and behavior.
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Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 2005
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