Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226492872 Published January 2013
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226492889 Published January 2013
E-book $7.00 to $25.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226921822 Published January 2013

Studying Human Behavior

How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality

Helen E. Longino

Helen E. Longino

256 pages | 6 halftones, 3 line drawings, 3 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2012
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226492872 Published January 2013
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226492889 Published January 2013
E-book $7.00 to $25.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226921822 Published January 2013

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.

Philosophy of Science Association: PSA Women's Caucus Prize
Won

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Erika Lorraine Milam, Princeton University | Science
“[A] fascinating book. . . . Longino has clearly articulated the methodological plurality of research on human behavior.”
Carrie Figdor | New Books in Philosophy
“In her groundbreaking book . . . Longino looks closely at a variety of scientific approaches to the study of human aggression and sexuality to argue that there is no one right way to divide nature from nurture within the scientific approaches to the study of behavior, and that the nature/nurture dichotomy reinforces and reflects an undue emphasis on explanations that focus on the dispositions of individuals rather than those that look at patterns of frequency and distribution of behavior within populations.”
R. F. White, College of Mount St. Joseph | Choice
“[An] important contribution to the philosophy of the science(s) of human behavior. . . . [T]his is a must read for philosophers of science and behavioral scientists. . . . Recommended.”
Angela Potochnik, University of Cincinnati | Notre Dame Philosophical Review
“Overall, this book offers a useful overview of a number of scientific approaches to investigating human behavior and a thorough examination of the existing concerns with each approach. Longino’s treatment of the different ways these approaches parse the causal space is illuminating for those interested in the sciences of human behavior, and also as a case study of how multiple approaches address a phenomenon in very different ways that are not easily reconcilable.”
C. Kenneth Waters, University of Minnesota
Studying Human Behavior offers a groundbreaking account of the sciences of human behavior. Longino’s detailed analysis of how each science investigates and explains behaviors associated with aggression and sexual orientation shows that each has more limitations than champions acknowledge and each has more power than critics grant. At a time when science is being dismissed by some and elevated to a religion by others, this book provides a model of how empirical knowledge should be examined and understood.”

Peter Machamer, University of Pittsburgh

“Longino presents many insights about different general methods, assumptions, research goals, and the importance of definitions in researching behavior. I know of no other book that covers such diverse approaches.”

Elisabeth Lloyd, Indiana University
“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.”
Contents
Acknowledgments

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

Appendix 
Works Cited 
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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