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Determinism and the Antiquated Deontology of the Social Sciences

Ballinger, Clint Determinism and the Antiquated Deontology of the Social Sciences. Working paper.

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Abstract

This article shows how the social sciences, particularly human geography, rejected
hard determinism by the mid-twentieth century partly on the deontological basis that
it is irreconcilable with social justice, yet this rejection came just before a burst of
creative development in consequentialist theories of social justice that problematize a
facile rejection of determinism on moral grounds, a development that has seldom
been recognized in the social sciences. Thus many current social science and human
geography views on determinism and social justice are antiquated, ignoring
numerous common and well-respected arguments within philosophy that hard
determinism can be reconciled with a just society. We support this argument by
briefly tracing the parallel development of stances on determinism in the social
sciences and the deontological-consequentialist debate in philosophy. The purpose of
the article is to resituate social science and human geography debates on
determinism and social justice within a modern ethical framework.


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Item Type: Other
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Ballinger, Clintclintballinger@cantab.net
Keywords: geographic determinism, environmental determinism, biological determinism, sociobiology, ethics, morals, history of the social sciences, philosophy of social science, sociology of science, social justice
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Psychology
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Earth Sciences
General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Science and Society
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Depositing User: Dr. Clint Ballinger
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2012 18:13
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2012 18:13
Item ID: 8493
Journal or Publication Title: Working paper
Publisher: Working paper
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Psychology
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Earth Sciences
General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Science and Society
Specific Sciences > Sociology
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8493

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