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Unread March 15th, 2006, 08:00 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 271
Default Re: Two Cousins: Francis Galton Site

Fred, Thanks for the links. I'll admit that I have read several of his books and I never thought that he was more political than simply left-leaning and progressive in his politics. Being on the board of the journal Rethinking Marxism and the Brecht Forum says otherwise. However, I found these mitigating quotes:

Quote: - Gould also shared Engels’ enthusiasm for understanding the natural world dialectically--in other words, consisting of complex and dynamic interactive processes. "Dialectical thinking should be taken more seriously by Western scholars, not discarded because some nations of the second world [the former Soviet Bloc] have constructed a cardboard version as an official political doctrine," Gould wrote.
It seems here that while he sees value in applying dialecticism to science - he is certainly not endorsing it for politics. From the same source,

"When presented as guidelines for a philosophy of change, not as dogmatic precepts true by fiat, the…classical laws of dialectics [formulated by Engels] embody a holistic vision that views change as interaction among components of complete systems, and sees the components themselves…as both products and inputs to the system."
This seems quite sensible to me and apolitical. I'd say that this hardly qualifies him as a Marxist. Although he may have said other things that Wikipedia and a few other sources I queried have missed. Stating that he learned his Marx at his father's knee does not mean that he is a Marxist. He also stated flatly once that he did not share his father's (Marxist) politics - whatever that means.

Still, I see now that he was a much more political person than I thought just from reading his books - and I'll modify my pov accordingly. I would say that he was more ideological than I previously thought - and that his (dialectical philosophical) ideology certainly affected his views of science. My statement was
What evidence can you point me to that Gould was a Marxist?
I don't think I've seen proof yet that Gould was a Marxist. However, I have seen evidence that some, like you and JimB perhaps, might interpret that way. But I asked for evidence (in a way that implied it did not exist). I did not ask for proof. I therefore stand corrected. Please pass that bottle of patience.

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