The State of Nature: Ecology, Community, and American Social Thought, 1900-1950

Front Cover
Although science may claim to be "objective," scientists cannot avoid the influence of their own values on their research. In The State of Nature, Gregg Mitman examines the relationship between issues in early twentieth-century American society and the sciences of evolution and ecology to reveal how explicit social and political concerns influenced the scientific agenda of biologists at the University of Chicago and throughout the United States during the first half of this century.

Reacting against the view of nature "red in tooth and claw," ecologists and behavioral biologists such as Warder Clyde Allee, Alfred Emerson, and their colleagues developed research programs they hoped would validate and promote an image of human society as essentially cooperative rather than competitive. Mitman argues that Allee's religious training and pacifist convictions shaped his pioneering studies of animal communities in a way that could be generalized to denounce the view that war is in our genes.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Natures Many Facets
1
Environmental Interactions
11
Biology as Gospel
48
Cooperationist Beginnings
72
Population Problems
89
The Integrity of the Group
110
From the Biological to the Social
146
Building a Cooperative World
169
Redefining the Economy of Nature
202
Notes
213
Bibliography
247
Index
281

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1992)

Elizabeth A. Kaye specializes in communications as part of her coaching and consulting practice. She has edited Requirements for Certification since the 2000-01 edition.


Bibliographic information