Re: reply to Whitehead

Harriet Whitehead (whitehea@WSUAIX.CSC.WSU.EDU)
Thu, 8 Dec 1994 11:18:56 -31802

Hi all! I';ve been frozen out of my e-mail for a week (and the problem
isn't cleared up yet), so I'm joining the thread late. Sorry.

Two points: hey, I'm glad someone else admires Fiske besides me!
Second: the "fragmentation of the creature" is an analytic move to sort
of buy leverage, sort of like in calculus where you pretend that the arc
consists of many, many bitty little straight lines. Of course the
creature has to be evolving as a system too, at the same time that any
particular fragment of it may have its own special relationship to some
aspect of the environment. But one should allow that there is a tension
between the two dimensions of evolution, and that this may accouont for
contradictions in "human nature."

More further down the thread...

On Wed, 30 Nov 1994, Mike Lieber wrote:

> Good news and bad news. Fiske YES! This is a very important piece of work,
> marred only by an uncritical acceptance of sociobiology. Surely one of the
> most innovative and profound works on social organization in this century.
> Behavioral geneticists are the ones who talk about behavioral phenotypes. Now
> think carefully about what is implied in that concept. Relationship? Uh uh.
> The thing about Harriet's excellent post that bothers me is the refragmentation
> of creature. Does the eye really evolve in isoltion from the toenail? Or is
> it just a matter of analytical convenience writ large? Step carefully through
> these minefields.
> Mike Lieber