TSW: "By defining needs as univironments - that is, relations between the microcosm and the macrocosm rather than as properties of either one - ..."
BW: If a Univironment is all things and "needs" are just relations between different sizes, ignoring all other properties, then there isn't anything more to say: one is big, the other small.
TSW: "Arrayed on one side of the muddle were the hereditarians ... environmentalists ... believing that [one] is far more important than [the other]."
BW: Perhaps, but neither side claimed the other was unimportant. The general reader might be better able to identify the views as "Nature v. Nurture", but it's actually an issue of causation: "what motivates human action?"
TSW: "The conservative view can be traced at least as far back as social Darwinist Herbert Spencer ..."
BW: Essentially a Lamarckian (not sure how you can characterize him as a conservative), who believed thoughts and behaviors were inherited by offspring. However, you've taken a big leap from determining what are human "needs" to the political question of how they are satisfied. You've entirely skipped over any analysis of what IS a "need", whether a particular "need" motivates human action, and whether or not it is logically or evidently
"legitimate" to act on that need. Politics is not a good substitute for philosophy.
TSW: "Spencer ... failed to see the attempt to eradicate poverty as part of the evolutionary process."
BW: You're simply assuming that there is a legitimate human "need" to eradicate poverty. You might make the case that every human has a "need" to acquire resources, or that relative wealth is a bad condition, but you haven't
done that: you've simply assumed it.
TSW: "... whenever different races are compared, the investigator’s own race does best of all."
BW: Is race consciousness or preference an illegitimate "need" of humans? Maybe, maybe not. You haven't made the argument, you've simply assumed that it was a "bad" need, entirely jumping over the discussion of whether race is a *fundamental characteristic* of homo sapiens ... because that would require defining your terms, establishing identities, and arguing that racial views are logically inconsistent with the evidence. Apparently, you don't want to talk about human "needs", just means to satisfy what you assert to be legitimate needs.
BW: Racism is the belief that incidental physical attributes are the *fundamental criterion" for deciding whether one human's "needs" are more legitimate than another's. That's ridiculous, but entirely posterior to the question
of what generic human "needs" are, whether they are proper, and how they might be satisfied. Simply saying that it's a "microcosmic" view is superfluous: genomes are small, individual genes are smaller; some are critical and
others are not. An analysis of "needs" has nothing to do with arbitrary divisions based on size.
BW: Moreover, race isn't any more or less "hereditarian" than nose size. One can acknowledge the role of hereditary genetic characteristics without being a racist. Nor is racism "one side of the argument" about whether Nature or
Nurture is more influential: it's just a false claim about what IS the "Nature" of human beings. So, your characterization of the "sides" is almost entirely false.
Next: Heredity-Environment Muddle (Part 2 of 2)