in Noticed

Two Disciplines in Search of Love

It’s a long read, but there’s really interesting stuff re: criticism from Bill Benzon over at the Language Log:

Evolutionary psychologists and their literary kin rightly insist that we are biological creatures and that we must understand that biological heritage if we are to understand, well, in this case, literature. But, it is one thing to suggest, with E. O. Wilson, that “genes hold culture on a leash” – a formulation that begs for a deconstructive reading (real deconstruction, not hack work) that explicates it as an inversion of Plato’s allegory of the charioteer. My own preferred metaphor is much different. Consider a game, such as chess. Biology provides the board, the pieces, and the basic rules. The strategy and tactics are provided by culture.

Via : http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=7300