Biological determinism, to paraphrase the great literary critic Roberto Schwarz, is a socially necessary illusion well-grounded in appearance. Much like art and literature, science "is historically shaped and? ... ?registers the social process to which it owes its existence." Scientists inherit the prejudices of the societies in which they live and work. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the modern incarnation of biological determinism with its decidedly neoliberal assumptions about humans and societies.
Whatever open-border libertarians think about immigration law, once the immigration scofflaw steals, trespasses, or vandalizes private property, said alien is guilty of crimes. To say, moreover, that the state’s laws made masses of men and women commit such crimes is to voice the philosophy of determinism, not individualism.
Science admits no exceptions; otherwise there would be no determinism in science, or rather, there would be no science.Claude Bernard
Both the uncertainty principle and the negentropy principle of information make Laplace's scheme [of exact determinism] completely unrealistic. The problem is an artificial one; it belongs to imaginative poetry, not to experimental science.léon brillouin
The laws of classical mechanics represent a mathematical idealization and should not be assumed to correspond to the real laws of nature. ... We now have to realize that errors are inevitable (..) a discovery that makes strict determinism impossible.léon brillouin
Our characteristic response to the mutilated statue, the bronze dug up from the earth, is revealing. It is not that we prefer time-worn bas-reliefs, or rusted statuettes as such, nor is it the vestiges of death that grip us in them, but those of life. Mutilation is the scar left by the struggle with Time, and a reminder of it — Time which is as much a part of ancient works of art as the material they are made of, and thrusts up through the fissures, from a dark underworld, where all is at once chaos and determinism.andré malraux
Perhaps to restore human freedom we should deny determinism ?simon blackburn
It is ironic that a movement that made its reputation championing the irrelevance of biological differences when those differences were to most women's disadvantage immediately returned to biological determinism when those differences were to the most women’s advantage.warren farrell
[C]ontingency is a thing unto itself, not the titration of determinism by randomness.stephen jay gould
The semimetaphysical problems of the individual and society, of egoism and altruism, of freedom and determinism, either disappear or remain in the form of different phases in the organization of a consciousness that is fundamentally social.Margaret Mead
Whatever open-border libertarians think about immigration law, once the immigration scofflaw steals, trespasses, or vandalizes private property, said alien is guilty of crimes. To say, moreover, that the state’s laws made masses of men and women commit such crimes is to voice the philosophy of determinism, not individualism.ilana mercer
Abandoned by philosophy, politics, and sociology, historical determinism continues to hold out in formalist art criticism.Harold Rosenberg
The appeal of biological determinism is that it offers plausible, scientific explanations for societal contradictions engendered by capitalism. If Type-II diabetes is reduced to the problem of genetics (which it surely is to some degree), then we don’t have to think about the rise of obesity and its underlying causes: the agro-business monopoly, income inequality, and class-based disparities in food quality. Combine this with the prevalence of drug-based solutions to disease pushed by the pharmaceutical industry and it is no surprise that we are left with the impression that complex social phenomena are reducible to simple scientific fact.