Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality by Helen E. LonginoStudying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality by Helen E. Longino

Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality

byHelen E. Longino

Paperback | January 18, 2013

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In Studying Human Behavior, Helen E. Longino enters into the complexities of human behavioral research, a domain still dominated by the age-old debate of “nature versus nurture.” Rather than supporting one side or another or attempting to replace that dichotomy with a different framework for understanding behavior, Longino focuses on how scientists study it, specifically sexual behavior and aggression, and asks what can be known about human behavior through empirical investigation.
She dissects five approaches to the study of behavior—quantitative behavioral genetics, molecular behavior genetics, developmental psychology, neurophysiology and anatomy, and social/environmental methods—highlighting the underlying assumptions of these disciplines, as well as the different questions and mechanisms each addresses. She also analyzes efforts to integrate different approaches. Longino concludes that there is no single “correct” approach but that each contributes to our overall understanding of human behavior. In addition, Longino reflects on the reception and transmission of this behavioral research in scientific, social, clinical, and political spheres. A highly significant and innovative study that bears on crucial scientific questions, Studying Human Behavior will be essential reading not only for scientists and philosophers but also for science journalists and anyone interested in the engrossing challenges of understanding human behavior.

Helen E. Longino is chair and the Clarence Irving Lewis Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Stanford University. She is the author of Science as Social Knowledge and The Fate of Knowledge. 
Title:Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and SexualityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:January 18, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226492885

ISBN - 13:9780226492889

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Introduction

Part 1 Approaches to Understanding Human Behavior

Chapter 2 Quantitative Behavioral Genetics
Chapter 3 Social-Environmental Approaches
Chapter 4 Molecular Behavioral Genetics
Chapter 5 Neurobiological Approaches
Chapter 6 Integrative Approaches
Chapter 7 Scope and Limits of the Approaches

Part 2 Epistemological, Ontological, and Social Analysis

Chapter 8  What We Could Know
Chapter 9 Defining Behavior
Chapter 10 The Social Life of Behavioral Science
Chapter 11 A Brief Conclusion

Works Cited 

Editorial Reviews

“Rather than taking sides in the nature/nurture debates, Longino floats above them, beautifully illustrating what philosophers do best, laying out the complexity and interrelationships among different research approaches to human aggression and sexuality. For example, she examines the ways that various biological and social fields describe behaviors, illuminating how moral values and folk psychology get infused into the deepest research concepts from the start. An extremely thoughtful, careful, and fascinating book, accessible to all those interested in the foundations of behavior.”