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Lerner's important book is divided into two parts, each of which deals with a significant issue. The first part presents a critique of genetic determinism espoused by contemporary ethology and sociobiology; the second part is a discussion of "developmental contextualism," Lerner's alternative to genetic determinism. Both parts of this book are also controversial: the first because of its treatment of Konrad Lorenz; the second because of the emotional and passionate attachment many still have to genetic determinism. Some have argued that Lerner's characterization of modern ethology and sociobiology is off the mark and outdated; this is, in fact, the case with several of the reviews in this special issue (Kaye, Lamb, Siegel). However, Lerner's characterization still forms the basis of much thinking in modern ethology and sociobiology, particularly in its new guise of "Evolutionary Psychology" (Caporael & Brewer, 1991; DeKay & Buss, 1992).

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