[Marxism] Genes, behaviour and dialectics (was The transition to capitalism...)

Jscotlive at aol.com Jscotlive at aol.com
Wed Aug 8 22:01:26 MDT 2007

This model is wrong to the extent that it is undialectical and reductionist  
to assume that clear bounadries exist for a whole range of phenomona.  You  
describe a set of gene determined factors neatly on one side and a set of  
environment determined factors neatly on the other, but dialectics says that  there 
is a complex interrelationship between many of these factors that doesn't  
fit any either / or model.  For example, although "traits" do pertain to  genes 
and "behaviour" is largely shaped by the environment, there are "behaviour  
traits" (autism spectrum disorders, obsessive compulsion) whereby behaviour is  
clearly influenced by genes.  And it is wrong to assume that the genes  
shaping autism only effect people who are identifiably autistic.  In other  words 
there are people whose behaviour is influenced be genes for autism outside  of 
those who are known to be autistic.

Some aspects  sit firmly to one side of a boundary.  For eg, violent 
behaviour is  overwhelmingly a product of environmental factors and not genetics (and 
eye  colour is of course only determined by genes).  But models should always 
be  dialectical and avoid "neat boundaries as a general rule"  reductionism.

My analysis is based on the rule not the exception to the rule, as is the  
case with those suffering from conditions such as autism and obsessive  
compulsion, which cannot be included in such an analysis as they each constitute  and 
illness and/or disability. Any illness or disability is a huge factor in  
human behaviour, of course, but what we are talking about here  are causal 
determinants of behaviour in otherwise healthy human  beings. To expand the topic to 
include those who develop an illness or have a  congenital condition would 
render this particular discussion void.


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