[KB] E.O. Wilson

Edward C Appel edwardcappel at frontier.com
Fri Aug 15 10:03:24 EDT 2014


I agree with you that Burke opposed any kind of "crude [biological or mechanistic] reductionism," and that E. O. Wilson, getting into the specifics of his notion, proposed that very thing.  In my judgment, however, Terrence W. Deacon's approach to the "Symbolic Species," the title of his previous book, is not "crude."  Quite to the contrary, his approach to the matter of human motives and the explication thereof intersect with Burke's dramatism in strikingly similar ways.  His "opponents," as he deals with them one by one, look the same as Burke's, starting with B. F. Skinner and the behaviorists.  A "conscilence" between Burke and Deacon does not seem too farfetched, as I see it.  In his own way, as I noted, Deacon says that action cannot be reduced to motion, and Burke says, in turn, that action does not occur without motion.

I believe much support for Burke is coming from Deacon, neuroscientist/anthropologist that he is.

Thanks for responding.



On Thu, 8/14/14, Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu> wrote:

 Subject: [KB] E.O. Wilson
 To: kb at kbjournal.org
 Date: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 10:34 PM
 Ed Appe: ". . . the call for some
 hint of "conscilence" among the hard and
 social sciences and the humanities.  C. P. Snow voiced
 that hope in 1959.
 E. O. Wilson echoed that cri de coeur in the late 1990s."
 Whatever else Burke stood for or opposed, he rejected any
 crude biological
 reductionism -- and there is no cruder biological
 reductionism than that
 peddled by E. O. Wilson.
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