Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Moral Authority of Nature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lorraine Daston and Fernando Vidal

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226136806

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226136820.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Ants and the Nature of Nature in Auguste Forel, Erich Wasmann, and William Morton Wheeler

Ants and the Nature of Nature in Auguste Forel, Erich Wasmann, and William Morton Wheeler

Chapter:
(p.282) 11 Ants and the Nature of Nature in Auguste Forel, Erich Wasmann, and William Morton Wheeler
Source:
The Moral Authority of Nature
Author(s):
A. J. Lustig
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226136820.003.0012

Social behavior naturalized in ants conveys complex messages about the naturalness of social behavior in humans, with ramifying implications. If ants divide their labor, communicate, cultivate crops, gather their harvests, raise cattle, wage war on one another, prey on one another, parasitize one another, even support arrays of unrelated, sometimes detrimental species, then how far can similar behaviors be unique products of human nature rather than natural nature in humans who have likewise evolved? How natural, in short, a category is society? And is human freedom within societies a product of nature, or a human attempt to deny it? The biologists Auguste Forel, Erich Wasmann, and William Morton Wheeler each grappled with these problems, finding different tensions and resolutions. The three premier “pure” myrmecologists of their day (as opposed to applied entomologists whose interest in ants lay primarily in devising ways of stamping them out rather than celebrating their marvels), they laid down a foundation of observations, terminology, and theory on the social insects that continue to shape modern biology.

Keywords:   ants, Auguste Forel, Erich Wasmann, William Morton Wheeler, social behavior, human freedom, social insects, modern biology

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.