I suspect that most arguments are not, at heart, about finding the truth but about being proven “right”. All manner of selfish interests may be at stake.
Author Peter Corning
If there is a take-home lesson from the many different cooperative behaviors in the natural world, it is that cooperation is highly contingent and almost always instrumental to meeting basic survival and reproductive needs. It’s not an end in itself.
For better and worse, our Supreme Court is a political institution and not, despite its trappings, a temple of Olympian detachment — as the Roberts court has amply demonstrated. Sometimes the underling principles of justice are trampled upon.
Capitalism provides a classic example of a double edged sword (Will Hutton, in his book Them and Us calls it a “tightrope”). He argues that fairness is a better ideological objective.
The capitalist, free market doctrine is utopian. Markets are “embedded” in human societies, and the basic needs of a society and its members cannot in the long run be subordinated to market efficiency. Holistic Darwinism adds an evolutionary/biological critique to this empirical reality.
Holistic Darwinism is not an oxymoron. It’s a candidate name for a major paradigm shift that has been going on in evolutionary biology (and related fields) during the past several years.
Synergy is in fact one of the great governing principles of the natural world; it should rank right up there with such heavyweight concepts as gravity, energy, information and entropy as one of the keys to understanding how the world works.
Synergy is the underlying cause of collective violence, in nature and human societies alike. It is various forms of synergy that enable various animals collectively to achieve ends that would not otherwise be possible by acting alone.
Although the debate about human nature has been unabated among social, economic and political theorists for 2,000 years, there is quietly emerging an empirically based science of human nature, And there is good news.
The social contract has become badly frayed over the past 30 years, as the gap between the rich and the poor has widened to Biblical proportions and an estimated one quarter of our population has sunk into more or less extreme poverty.