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Evolution and MoralityNOMOS LII$
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James E. Fleming and Sanford Levinson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814771228

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814771228.001.0001

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Comment on Larry Arnhart, “Biopolitical Science”

Comment on Larry Arnhart, “Biopolitical Science”

Chapter:
(p.266) 9 Comment on Larry Arnhart, “Biopolitical Science”
Source:
Evolution and Morality
Author(s):

Daniel Lord Smail

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814771228.003.0009

This chapter comments on the previous chapter's essay by Professor Larry Arnhart, suggesting that the question is not whether biology and neuroscience are relevant to fields like politics, economics, and history, but how they are going to be relevant. At the outset, Arnhart notes that some political scientists have been complaining about the deficiencies of their discipline, and the main target of the seven-point critique that follows is the principle of the rational maximization of self-interest. The implication of this critique is that the principle would do a poor job of accounting for Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, which Arnhart hopes to explain. Hence the need for a biopolitical science and the more robust understanding of human nature that such a science can offer.

Keywords:   political science, biology, neuroscience, Emancipation Proclamation, biopolitical science, human nature, self-interest

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