The socio-ethical aspects of scientific theory with particular reference to biology.
In this dissertation scientific theory is investigated in order to show its socio-ethical aspects. An historical approach shows that prevailing historical conditions influence the development of scientific theory. These conditions are also created by the theories that they influence. Thus there is a continual interaction between theory and practice, pointinig to the socio-ethical aspects of theory. An investigation of scientific theory including biological theory also shows this continual interaction. Efforts to derive moral precepts from biological theory, e.g., Darwinism, sociobiology and genetic theory reveal the influences and prejudices of the particular historical periods in which the theories are developed. These aspects of scientific theory show that the scientific enterprise is not characterised by objectivity and disinteredness. The community aspect of scientific practice also shows that scientists are dependent on one another and that theories are interrelated. These spects of scientific theory show the transcultural and transnational nature of theory and lays a foundation for the basis of ethics and for scientific responsibility.