The study of the biological basis of social behaviour. Much of the study concerns non-human organisms, e.g. ants and bees, but some sociobiologists also attempt to (1) explain human social phenomena by processes of natural se_lection; (2) reduce cultural and social theory to biological theory; (3) establish a kind of ethical naturalism. It attracted attention through the writings of E. O. Wilson: Socio_biology 1975; On Human Nature 1978; Genes, Mind and Culture 1981. These writings provoked a lively debate about the alleged or actual moral and political implications of the theory. Sociobiology has been critized by sociologists, anthropologists and feminists, who argue that human behavior varies considerably between cultures and cannot be reduced to biological determinism.
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