Lifelines

Biology, Freedom, Determinism

Steven Rose 1997


From the cover:

"Humans are not empty organisms, free spirits constrained only by the limits of our imaginations. Nor are we reducible to "nothing but" machines for the replication of our DNA. We are rather, the product of the constant dialectic between "the biological" and "the social" through which humans have evolved, history has been made and we as individuals have been developed."

In Lifelines, neuroscientist Steven Rose offers a theory of life that insists that we as humans - along with all living creatures - create our own futures, though in circumstances not of our own choosing. Placing the organism at the centre of life, Rose directly confronts the ideology of reductionism and ultra Darwinism, with its headline grabbing insistence that all aspects of human life from sexual preference to infanticide, political orientation to violence, male domination to alcoholism, are in our genes and are the inevitable consequence of natural selection. Rose asserts that such claims are not merely socially na´ve, but fundamentally misunderstand the active and irreducible nature of living processes.


copyright (c) Steven Rose 1997, Lifelines, Biology, Freedom and Determinism, Allen Lane Penguin Press, ISBN 0-713-99157-7