2019 Citations

Authors & Works cited in this section (citations below):

Akcay, Erol. “Evolutionary models of mutualism.
Aligica, Paul. Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms
Ambrose, Stanley. Coevolution of Composite-Tool Technology, Constructive Memory,
Anderson, Bruce. “Coevolution in mutualisms.
Andersson, Claes & D. Read. The Evolution of Cultural Complexity: Not by the Treadmill Alone
Anjum, Rani Lill & S. Mumford. Dispositionalism: A Dynamic Theory of Causation
Anton, Susan & Kuzawa. “Early Homo, plasticity and the extended evolutionary synthesis.”
Aoki, Masahiko. 2007. “Endogenizing institutions and institutional changes
Baldwin, Richard. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Ruse, Michael. Darwinism as Religion: What Literature Tells Us About Evolution.
Bapteste, Eric & Anderson. Intersecting Processes Are Necessary Explanantia for Evolutionary
Bascompte, Jordi & Jens Olesen. “Mutualistic networks.”
Baumeister, Roy et al. Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment
Bich, Leonardo & Green. “Is defining life pointless? Operational definitions at the frontiers
Bocquet-Appel, Jean-Pierre. “When the World’s Population Took Off: The Springboard of the
Bronstein, Judith. 2015. “The study of mutualism.”
Caballero, Gonzalo & Soto-Onate. The Diversity and Rapprochement of Theories of Institutional
Cheng, Ken. Cognition Beyond Representation: Varieties of Situated Cognition in Animals
Corning, Peter. Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process
Corning, Peter. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of
Crisp, Richard. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction.
Cronk, Lee & B. Leech. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary
Currie, Thomas et al. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.
Darroch, Simon et al. “Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota.”
Dartnell, Lewis. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History.
De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari. “A Bottom-Up Approach to the Primate Mind.
DiFrisco, James. “Biological Processes: Criteria of Identity and Persistence.
Douglas, Angela. “The special case of symbioses: mutualisms with persistent contact.”
Duguid, Shona et al. “Coordination strategies of chimpanzees and human children in a Stag Hunt
Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.”
Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology
Eldredge, Niles. “Introduction: The Checkered Career of Hierarchical Thinking in Evolutionary
Eldredge, Niles. 2015. Eternal Ephemera.
Ellis, Erle. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction.
Ferguson, Niall. The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die.
Ferguson, Niall. The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons
Flannery, Kent & Marcus. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the
Fuentes, Marcelino. “Biological novelty in the anthropocene.”
Fuerstenberg, Kai. “Evolutionary institutionalism: New perspectives.”
Fujii, Naotaka & A Iriki. “Social Rules and Body Scheme.”
Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter.
Gillespie, Michael. 2013. “On Debt.”
Glowacki, Luke & von Rueden. “Leadership solves collective action problems in small-scale
Goldstone, Robert & Theiner. The multiple, interacting levels of cognitive systems (MILCS)
Gray, Russell & J. Watts. 2017. “Cultural macroevolution matters
Greif, Avner. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade
Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory
Guala, Francesco. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together
Guttinger, Stephan. “A Process Ontology for Macromolecular Biology.
Haff, Peter. “Humans and technology in the Anthropocene: Six rules.”
Haff, Peter. Technology and human purpose: the problem of solids transport on the Earth’s
Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of
Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?”
Harold, Franklin. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks.
Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten. “The Case for a New Discipline: Technosphere Science.
Hodder, Ian. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things.
Hodgson, Geoffrey. “How Veblen Generalized Darwinism.”
Hodgson, Geoffrey. “Darwinism and Institutional Economics.”
Hoeksema, Jason & Bruna. “Context-dependent outcomes of mutualistic interactions
Horowitz, Jordan & England. “Spontaneous fine-tuning to environment in many-species
Johnson, Nancy Collins. “Mutualisms and ecosystem-level processes.
Kaplan, Hillard et al. “The evolutionary and ecological roots of human social organization
Kauffman, Stuart. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life.
Kelly, Robert. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us
King, Mervyn. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy.
Laland, Kevin. “On evolutionary causes and evolutionary processes
Laland, K. et al. “Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited: Is Mayr’s Proximate-Ultimate
Lombard, Marlize & Gaerdenfors. “Tracking the evolution of causal cognition in humans.”
Machery, Edouard. “Why I stopped worrying about the definition of life… and why you should
MacLean, Evan, Brian Hare, Charles Nunn et al. “The evolution of self-control.
Mariscal, Carlos & Doolittle. “Life and life only: a radical alternative to life definitionism
Mariscal Carlos et al. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies
Mascaro, Olivier & Csibra. “Representation of stable social dominance relations by human infants.
Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive
Maxwell, Nicholas. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life.
McInerney, James & Douglas Erwin. “The role of public goods in planetary evolution.”
McShea, Daniel. “Hierarchy: The Source of Teleology in Evolution.
Miller, Noam et al. “Both information and social cohesion determine collective decisions in
Nicholson, Daniel. Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream
Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity.
North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change.
Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.”
Palmer, Todd, Pringle, Stier & Holt. “Mutualism in a community context
Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect
Pickering, Travis. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution.
Powers, Simon et al. “How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to
Ramirez-Vizcaya, Susana & Froese. “The Enactive Approach to Habits: New Concepts for the
Rawls, John. “The human microbiome.”
Raworth, Kate. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist
Read, Dwight. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of
Read, Dwight. 2016. “Is cultural group selection enough?
Roland, Alex. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction.
Rosenberg, Nathan. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan
Sachs, Joel. “The exploitation of mutualisms.
Savory, Allan & Butterfield. Holistic Management: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore our
Scott-Phillips, Thomas et al. Evolutionary Theory and the Ultimate-Proximate Distinction in
Sebe-Pedros, Arnau et al. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.
Seligman, Martin et al. Homo Prospectus.
Shaw-Williams, Kim. The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition
Simons, Peter. 2018. “Processes and Precipitates.”
Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.”
Sterelny, Kim. Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate
Stout, Dietrich et al. “Archaeology and the Origins of Human Cumulative Culture: A Case Study
Suddendorf, Thomas et al. “Prospection and natural selection.”
Sutton, John. “Skill and Collaboration in the Evolution of Human Cognition
Swann, G.M. Peter. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction.
Tanghe, Koen et al. “What’s wrong with the modern evolutionary synthesis? A critical reply to
Taylor, Barbara Brown. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith.
Tooby, John & Cosmides. Human cooperation shows the distinctive signatures of adaptations to
Turchin, Peter et al. “War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies.”
Vasas, Vera, Fernando, Santos, Kauffman & Szathmary. “Evolution before genes
Vromen, Jack. 2017. “Ultimate and proximate explanations of strong reciprocity
Wadley, Lyn et al. “Implications for complex cognition from the hafting of tools with compound
Walker, Sara, N. Packard & G. Cody. “Re-conceptualizing the origins of life
Walsh, Denis. “Objectcy and Agency: Towards a Methodological Vitalism
Weiblen, George & Erin Treiber. “Evolutionary origins and diversification of mutualism
Willems, Erik & van Schaik. “The social organization of Homo ergaster: Inferences from anti-
Williams et al. “The Anthropocene biosphere.”
Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution

Citations collected in 2019 (works listed above):

“The message from Earth system science was clear. Starting in the 1950s, humans began shifting Earth’s functioning as a system into a new and unprecedented state. As stated in their report:

“‘The last 50 years have without doubt seen the most rapid transformation of the human relationship with the natural world in the history of humankind…. The magnitude, spatial scale, and pace of human-induced change are unprecedented in human history and perhaps in the history of the Earth; the Earth System is now operating in a ‘no-analogue state.’

“… From an Earth system perspective, the Anthropocene began in the middle of the 20th century.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 53. Subquote: Steffen, Will, et al. 2004. IGBP report Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet Under Pressure (1st Edition). Springer Verlag. p. 332.

 

“Global estimates of contemporary land use vary, but generally indicate that 40 per cent to 50 per cent of Earth’s ice-free terrestrial surface is now in use for agriculture, forestry, and human settlements. Approximately 11 per cent of Earth’s land is cultivated for crops, 25 per cent is used for pastures and livestock grazing, and 1 to 3 per cent forms urban and other settlements and infrastructures. Woodlands managed or planted to produce timber, fuel, paper, rubber, and other products occupy another 2 to 10 per cent of Earth’s land. Of land remaining without these direct intensive uses, at least half or more is altered by local fuel gathering, hunting, foraging, pollution, and other local human influences. As a result, three-quarters of the terrestrial biosphere has been transformed directly and indirectly by human use of land. Less than one-quarter remains free of direct human impacts, and mostly in the less productive, colder, and drier regions of the terrestrial biosphere, though some also remain in Tropics, where endemic diseases and other obstacles limit human settlement.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 56-7.

 

“Domesticated chickens are now Earth’s most abundant bird and cattle biomass alone exceeds that of all other living vertebrate animals combined–including humans.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 57.

 

“Artificial nitrogen fixation for fertilizer, nitrogen fixing crops, and fossil fuel combustion together now fix significantly more reactive nitrogen than all natural processes in the terrestrial biosphere combined.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 64.

 

“In a 2016 paper in Science, the Anthropocene Working Group endorsed the Great Acceleration as the main scientific narrative explaining Earth’s transition to the Anthropocene.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 73.

 

“Geologists and archaeologists often work together in the same places, with geologists focusing on the natural processes that have shaped a site over time, and archaeologists determining the lower boundaries where humans have established their own layers of anthropogenic material deposits–what Edgeworth has termed the ‘archaeosphere’. In other words, the archaeosphere might be considered a dividing line between the stratigraphic expertise of geologists and archaeologists.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 98. Reference: Edgeworth, Matthew, et al. 2015. “Diachronous Beginnings of the Anthropocene: The Lower Bounding Surface of Anthropogenic Deposits.” The Anthropocene Review. 2/1 (January 8): 33-58.

 

“But the descendants of European settlers in the Americas and Australasia have regularly mistaken dense woodlands for untouched ‘pristine’ habitats when they are in fact still recovering from long-term management by earlier societies.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 107.

 

“The Pristine Myth–that places without humans today represent an ecology without prior human influence–is now recognized as a serious barrier to understanding contemporary ecological patterns and processes.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 108.

 

“Many populations [of specific species] have already become so small that narrowed gene pools and other restrictions on reproduction have made their future extinctions inevitable.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 113.

 

“… ecologists were calling this global mixing of species the start of a new era, the ‘Homogocene.’ In becoming a global species, humans were taking the rest of the biosphere with them.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 114.

 

“The concept of a stable native range also has little meaning outside the Tropics, and maybe not even there. For millions of years, species of the Temperate Zone have migrated up and down the continents to keep up with the glacial/interglacial cycles. With climate changing faster than ever, species must move to survive. In the Temperate Zone at least, definitions of native vs invader are challenged by a climate changing so rapidly that staying in one place is a recipe for extinction.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 115.

 

“Our data showed that in year 2000, more than 75 per cent of the terrestrial biosphere had been transformed into anthromes, including urban areas and other dense settlements (around 1 per cent of Earh’s ice-free land), agricultural villages (6 per cent), croplands (16 per cent), rangelands (32 per cent), and seminatural lands with only minor human populations and land use (20 percent), leaving wildlands without human populations or land use in less than one-quarter of the terrestrial biosphere.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 121.

 

“Decisions made in one place can change ecology on the other side of the planet and even globally; human and natural systems are globally ‘telecoupled.’ As humans continue constructing their niche across the planet, Earth is functioning more and more like a social-ecological system with a social metabolism geared toward sustaining increasingly wealthy and demanding human populations.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 123.

 

“Except for climate change, ozone depletion, and ocean acidification, scientific evidence for tipping points in the Earth system is very limited.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 125-6.

 

“No other species has ever transformed Earth as much as we have (the Great Oxygenation involved dozens if not thousands of cyanobacterial species).” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 132.

 

“The human way of living on Earth, our ecological niche, is shaped far more by our societies than by our biology. And different societies use and transform environments very differently.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 133.

 

“With the Chthulucene, Haraway takes her argument much further by using the mythical, cosmic, multi-tentacled god-like alien of writer H.P. Lovecraft (‘Cthulhu’) to symbolize the impenetrable entanglement and interconnectedness of what only appear to be individual beings.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 140. Reference: Haraway, Donna. 2016. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press.

 

“More than 170,000 ‘synthetic mineral-like substances’, produced only because of human activities, have now been identified, from silicon computer chips to industrial abrasives to ancient ceramics and glass–compared with about 5,000 ‘natural’ minerals. The total volume of Earth now transformed by humans, including the soils altered by agriculture and ocean sediments disturbed by trawling, has also been estimated. The 30 trillion tonne mass of this ‘physical technosphere’ is truly staggering: 100,000 times greater than Earth’s living human biomass (but still only one 200 millionth of Earth’s total mass).” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 148.

 

“Plastic materials alone now far exceed human biomass, growing from 2 million tonnes produced annually in 1950 to 300 million in 2015. Total historical production, now 5 billion tonnes, is enough to wrap Earth’s entire surface in a thin layer of plastic film.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 148.

 

“Already, the diversity of ‘technospecies’ may exceed the diversity of Earth’s 10 million or so living species. Technospecies of electronic gadgets, household goods, and industrial parts is almost certainly in the many millions.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 149.

 

“Microscopic plastic particles from microfibre clothing, microbeads in cosmetics and cleansers, and the degradation of larger plastic items are accumulating alarmingly in aquatic organisms from microscopic plankton to fish. If trends continue, ocean plastics will outweigh fish by 2050.” Ellis, Erle. 2018. Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 155.

 

“Missile weapons work at a distance, helping to keep the hunter/warrior out of harm’s way. Shock weapons–instruments of hitting and stabbing–are more deadly, but they require their wielders to come into contact with their targets.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 9.

 

“… the chariot was the first ground-warfare weapon platform. Nothing on a par with it would appear in land warfare before the tank in the twentieth century. But in its social and military function, it was the forerunner of the naval ship, the military airplane, and the spacecraft. Like those platforms in other realms, the chariot required one part of the crew to operate the vehicle and one part to operate the weapons. It was way ahead of its time.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 20.

 

“The eclipse of the chariot left land warfare in a Combined-Arms Paradigm unrelieved by military innovation. Until late in the Middle Ages, field armies of the civilized states built their military power around a phalanx of foot soldiers, supported by mounted warriors and light infantry auxiliaries….

“Infantry dominated the Combined-Arms Paradigm until the waning days of the Roman Empire. Then a new cavalry cycle began to emerge, lasting until the gunpowder revolution.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 20-1.

 

“The cannon was the first internal combustion engine, powered, like most of its successors, by carbon-based-fuels–wood (or charcoal, one of the ingredients of gunpowder) and fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas).” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 36.

“The scale of death and destruction unleashed by war through the remainder of the second millennium CE (after the gunpowder revolution) still beggars the human imagination. Though prehistoric warfare and warfare within the First Combined-Arms Paradigm killed more people per capita than warfare in the Second Combined-Arms Paradigm, most of those deaths had resulted from disease and famine brought on by war. Chemical energy unleashed on the world a killing power that climaxed in World War II with a ‘storm of steel’ on the battlefields and the firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo in the urban centers of civilization.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 37.

 

“As Don Quixote feared, gunpowder put in the hands of any unwashed, unskilled commoner an instrument that could kill a noble knight. The shift in military power shook not just the warrior class but the whole society, putting commoners on top and the nobility at risk. Cavalry would not disappear until the twentieth century, but it would recede into the supporting role formerly occupied by the irritating but unmanly slingers, bowmen, and skirmishers of old.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 38.

 

“… a Second Combined-Arms Paradigm displaced the model that had dominated field warfare since the Catastrophe of the twelfth century BCE. The new paradigm added field artillery to the infantry and cavalry duo of old. From the seventeenth century until the end of World War II, commanders would juggle variations on three combat arms–infantry, cavalry, and artillery–all of them empowered by chemical energy and saturating the battlefield with firepower.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 39.

 

“… the ammunition to find this firepower imposed on armies a logistical burden greater even than the demands of feeding heavy horses on campaign.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 39.

 

“After the gunpowder revolution, barbarians might resist incursions by civilized states. They might even turn gunpowder weapons on their civilized enemies. But absent industrial know-how and infrastructure, they could never produce their own arms and ammunition. And lacking those, they could no longer threaten to conquer civilized states that had built up a gunpowder infrastructure.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 39.

 

“A second wave of carbon combustion would sweep over warfare in the nineteenth century, harnessing the chemical power of carbon compounds to drive machines of war.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 40.

 

“And there is no escaping the simultaneous origins of the scientific and gunpowder revolutions in the West, followed in many quarters by a riot of technological innovation.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 40.

 

“In the late Middle Ages and early modern epoch, individual firearms and artillery were bulky, awkward devices, slow and difficult to reload in the face of the enemy…

“The key to firepower with such machines lay in training the gunners. Reloading small arms in the sixteenth century could require ninety steps or more…

“In the nineteenth century, increasing rates of fire flowed from the guns, not the gunners. Two hallmarks of modern technology–mechanization and automation–combined to saturate the battlefield with bullets. The soldiers actually were deskilled by the evolving technology. They needed only to aim and shoot, and volume of fire mattered more than accuracy. The Achilles heel limiting this torrent of projectiles was the logistics of providing ammunition to feed these shooting machines.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 72-3.

 

“Chemists, mostly Europeans, introduced a variety of new propellants in the nineteenth century–the Americans called them smokeless powder–for both small arms and artillery…. The new propellants reduced smoke and residue and increased the power, range, and reliability of the guns.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 73.

 

“World War II, sometimes viewed as the second phase of a single great-power world war, proved even more titanic and transformative, a watershed in human history. To begin with, both conflicts were humanity’s first and only total wars. Second, they were wars of industrial production, won by the alliances that produced the most stuff. Third, World War II was the first war conducted in all four realms of human warfare: land, sea, air, and space. Fourth, World War II was the first war in human history in which the weapons in play at war’s end differed significantly from those at the outset. Fifth, World War II was the last great-power war. And sixth, World War II ended with the nuclear revolution, a turning point in the technology of warfare and the history of humankind.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 80.

 

“…’total war’ is best thought of as a culmination of three great historic revolutions. The French Revolution had introduced the levée en masse, the nation in arms. The industrial revolution had shown how to produce enough war materials to arm, equip, and move those mass armies; Fordism and mass production of the twentieth century had only improved upon the speed and efficiency of industrialization. And the Prussian general staff had introduced a managerial revolution equal to the task of marshaling those forces in time and space. Only when these capabilities were in place would five thousand years of evolving military technology climax in the carnage and destruction of the world wars.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 80.

 

“Quantity had been the major determinant of victory in the world wars, but quality could determine the outcome of the next war.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 85-6.

 

“In short, the competition for new and winning military technologies drove the great powers to institutionalize military innovation. At times this entailed beginning work on a next-generation weapons system as soon as the new generation went operational.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 89.

 

“One inexorable trend in warfare has been the growth in number and significance of non-weapons military technologies. The earliest warfare no doubt began with the simplest of instruments–spears, knives, clubs, stones, and bows and arrows–all weapons. Very little support was needed. Over time, however, communities found that warriors were more successful when supported with armor, logistics, intelligence, communication, medical treatment, transportation, and the like. As these services and supplies multiplied, warriors came to be seen as the ‘tip of the spear.’ In time the shaft came to outweigh the point until, in the twenty-first century, support personnel and material can account for 90 percent or more of a military force. In modern parlance, this is called the tooth-to-tail ratio–the balance between fighters and enablers.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 90-1.

 

“On the horizon … are true drones (not remotely piloted), robotic (preprogrammed) weapon systems, further microminiaturization, nanotechnologies of warfare, and, perhaps most alarming of all, autonomous weapon systems (capable of some degree of independent response to environmental and situational inputs). These will enter a world that is paradoxically more dangerous and less lethal than at any time in human history. That is, the technologies of warfare are more effective than ever before, but there is less warfare in the world, based on casualties as a percentage of population, than ever before.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 114.

 

“Cyber warfare may well end up in the same category as poison gas and antisatellite weapons, in which the most powerful states will abstain from attacking each other and weaker states will attack to little effect.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 116.

 

“The asymmetry of modern warfare [between state and nonstate actors] seems to be producing a reversal of the classic preferences for missile and shock weapons. Historically, weaker powers have chosen missile weapons to ambush stronger enemies, while powerful states have tried to close with their weaker enemies and crush them. While many weaker combatants continue to use missile weapons to pounce and flee, those embracing suicidal warfare seem to be turning increasingly to shock attack–closing with the enemy to kill all within reach, including themselves.” Roland, Alex. 2016. War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 116-7.

 

“From 1820 to about 1990, the G7’s share of global income soared from about a fifth to almost two-thirds.

“The upward spiral was checked from the mid-1980s and reversed around 1990. For the last couple of decades, the G7 share has been torqueing downward at a mighty pace. Today it is back to the level that it first attained at the very beginning of the nineteen[th] century [but accompanying graph shows current G7 share at about 40% which matches beginning of twentieth century].

“This shocking share shift suggests that the nature of globalization changed radically around 1990….

“Just six developing nations–which I call the Industrializing Six, or I6 for short (China, Korea, India, Poland, Indonesia, and Thailand)–accounted for almost all of the G7’s decline.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. pp. 2-3.

 

“Three costs of distance mattered: the cost of moving goods, the cost of moving ideas, and the cost of moving people. It is useful to think of the three costs as forming three constraints that limit the separation of production and consumption.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 4.

 

“… the possibility of a third unbundling, if face-to-face costs plunge in the way coordination costs have since the 1990s. Two technological developments might provoke such a plunge. Really good substitutes for people crossing borders to share ‘brain services’ is the first. Such technologies, known as ‘telepresence,’ are not science fiction. They exist today but they are expensive. The second would be the development of really good substitutes for people traveling to provide manual services. This is called ‘telerobotics’ and it involves people in one place operating robots that perform tasks in another place. Telerobotics exists, but it is still expensive and the robots are not very flexible.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. pp. 9-10.

 

“Under the Old Globalization, nations could identify their ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’ sectors. No longer. Now we have sunrise and sunset stages and occupations in almost all sectors. As it turns out, one cannot accurately predict which stages and jobs will be affected next in a world where the contours of industrial competitiveness are defined by offshoring firms.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 11.

 

“Many nations have policies aimed at helping declining sectors and disfavored skill groups, but globalization’s finer resolution means that such policies are insufficiently nuanced to distinguish among today’s winners and losers.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 11.

 

“The passage of time on the Old Globalization ‘clock’ was marked in years, since that is how long it took for tariff cuts and transportation improvements to take effect. The New Globalization, by contrast, is more sudden due to the fact that it is driven by the doubling of transmission, storage, and computing capacity every year or two. As we have seen repeatedly in the last couple of decades, exponential ICT improvements can turn implausible things into commonplace things in a matter of months.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. pp. 11-12.

 

“To put it differently, the first unbundling was all about allowing nations to better exploit their comparative advantages. The second unbundling is much more about allowing firms to boost their competitiveness by recombining national sources of comparative advantage.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 12.

 

“For most of the 200 millennia that modern humans have been on the planet …. Food production was left to happenstance, so survival meant finding a food-abundant locale and then finding another once the food was exhausted.

“To put it differently, production and consumption were spatially bundled–thus there was little trade–but since moving people to food made more sense than moving food to people, the bundles of production and consumption were continuously shifting in a way that hindered the development of civilization.

“Globalization in this epoch meant ‘humanizing’ the globe. The rising world population drove humans to inhabit every inhabitable corner of the planet by about 15,000 years ago.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 24.

 

“As the most plentiful metal on earth, iron is much more of a ‘people’s metal.’ Due to its high cost, bronze had mostly been reserved for weapons and trinkets for the elite. Iron’s abundance meant that it was cheap enough to be used in agriculture and everyday tools.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 27.

 

“The human population went through three growth phases in ancient times. The first came as humans mastered agriculture (the jump from 10,000 to 8500 BCE), the second as they mastered bronze (the jump from 5000 to 2000 BCE), and the third as they mastered iron (from about 1000 BCE).” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 29.

 

“Phase Two started when the earth’s climate settled into a more ‘civilized’ pattern about 12,000 years ago.

“Production and consumption were bundled as before, but thanks to the Agricultural Revolution, production came to consumption instead of consumption going to production. Globalization in this phase meant ‘localizing’ the world economy.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 45.

 

“The rise of Asia (10,000 to 200 BCE) came with climate change.

“After the climate warmed and stabilized, production was first localized with consumption in four river valleys that were in the crop-growing sweet zone (about 30 degrees north) and subject to annual flooding that solved the bane of ancient farming–soil exhaustion.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 45.

 

“Eurasian integration (200 BCE to 1350 CE) came with the rise of the Silk Road.

“Regular trade arose among all four clusters even though volumes were severely limited by high transport costs.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 45.

 

“Kevin O’Rourke and Jeff Williamson argue that the best way to define economic globalization is as the integration of markets across space–especially as measured by international price convergence. Based on their statistical findings, they start the clock on modern globalization around the year 1820. They argue that this was when domestic prices–at least in Great Britain–were being set by the interplay of international supply and demand rather than domestic supply and demand.

“This international convergence of prices produced a divergence of national production profiles as local consumption was no longer a slave to local production. Instead, nations started to specialize in what they did best and import the rest.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 53. Reference: O’Rourke, Kevin & J. Williamson. 2002. “When Did Globalization Begin?” European Review of Economic History. 6(1):23-50.

 

“Indeed, as transportation became less of a constraint, trade policy became more of a constraint.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 54.

 

“… there is a very strong association between a nation’s urbanization and its per capita income.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 63.

 

“Economists have estimated that containerization boosted trade far more than all the tariff-cutting [after WW II]….” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 76.

 

“The steam revolution, like the Agricultural Revolution before it, triggered a ‘phase transition’ that eventually launched modern globalization. As the nineteenth century progressed, steam displaced wind and animal power before being displaced itself by internal combustion and electric engines….

“These breakthroughs in transportation technology made it economical to consume goods that had been made far away. Globalization in this phase meant the geographical unbundling of consumption and production on a massive scale.

“Mastery of intercontinental distances opened the door to three interconnected phenomena–trade, agglomeration, and innovation–which conspired to turn the world economic order on its head.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 77.

 

“When the global value chain revolution started picking up steam, many developing nations realized that trade barriers were harming their chances of getting their share of the offshored jobs. The most obvious sign of this was the full-throated unilateral tariff cutting that began around 1990.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 99.

 

“As the rationale for the tariffs was to attract industrial jobs, the rise of North-South offshoring undermined the case for high tariffs in developing nations. Seeing this, most developing nations decided that–in the era of North-South offshoring–protectionism had become destructionism as far as industrialization was concerned.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 102.

 

“… the World Trade Organization (WTO) has gathered data on the content of RTAs [regional trade agreements], categorizing all the provisions into fifty-two different types….

“The most notable, in terms of underpinning the development of global value chains, are the provisions of free movement of capital (getting investment in and out of the country), services (ensuring local availability of world-class ‘connective’ services such as telecoms, shipping, and customs clearance), and intellectual property protection (guarding the know-how the G7 firms bring along with the jobs sent offshore).” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 105.

 

“By the late twentieth century, two-thirds of economic activity was clustered in just seven nations–the G7. Manufacturing was even more concentrated. To keep complex industrial processes working smoothly, manufacturing processes were microclustered inside industrial plants located in the G7 nations.

“Phase Four [after the early 1990s] has seen the economic foundation of this microclustering crumble as the ICT revolution lowered the cost of coordinating complex processes across great distances. Once it was possible to separate manufacturing processes internationally, firms pursued the option with gusto. They started moving labor-intensive stages of production from high-wage nations to low-wage nations.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 109.

 

“[in ancient history]… imports alone motivated trade, never exports. There was never a need to export as such, only the necessity of having the proper goods for the countergift when an import was unavoidable.” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 118. Part of a quote from Finley, Moses. The World of Odysseus.

 

“… the early European mental model for making sense of trade was the Doctrine of Universal Economy: ‘The doctrine held that Providence deliberately scattered resources and goods around the world unequally to promote commerce between different regions.’” Baldwin, Richard. 2016. The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. Harvard UP. p. 119. Subquote is from: Irwin, Doug. Against the Tide: An Intellectual History of Free Trade.

 

“Above all, what made possible speculation about natural origins was the new philosophy of Progress, the idea that somehow and for some reason or reasons things are and can continue to improve, and that this can come about through human (rather than divine) effort.” Ruse, Michael. 2017. Darwinism as Religion: What Literature Tells Us About Evolution. Oxford UP. p. 1.

 

“Evolution arrived on the back of the social doctrine of Progress. It was therefore at once plunged into the battle against religion. Progress, with good reason, was seen as opposed to the societal status quo, and in both Britain and France a major support of the societal status quo was organized religion.” Ruse, Michael. 2017. Darwinism as Religion: What Literature Tells Us About Evolution. Oxford UP. p. 18.

 

“He [Darwin in Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex] made it clear that he regarded tribes as inter-related families, and the family he took to be one individual, a kind of super organism. In other words, with respect to morality, humans are parts of a whole rather than individuals in their own right.” Ruse, Michael. 2017. Darwinism as Religion: What Literature Tells Us About Evolution. Oxford UP. p. 50.

 

“Charles Darwin was faced with evolution as a pseudoscience. He wanted to upgrade it, I very much suspect, to the status of a professional science like physics and chemistry. He did not succeed in doing this, at least not a universally practiced, professional evolutionary science in the Darwinian mode, meaning one that made natural selection central. But if Huxley is anything to go on, he did make for a Darwinian evolutionary popular science–one of the public domain. Do note, though, unlike pre-Origin evolutionary thinking, it was not rejected and despised and found threatening by the scientific elite. They may not have wanted to use selection as a tool, but they certainly accepted it for what they thought it was. Do note also that as something in the public domain, although evolutionary thinking was no longer simply the epiphenomenon of a particular philosophy or world view (Progress), it was still perfectly legitimate to introduce social and other values and link them to the discussion.” Ruse, Michael. 2017. Darwinism as Religion: What Literature Tells Us About Evolution. Oxford UP. p. 58.

 

“Many of the continuing problems in the world economy relate directly to the four concepts that run right through the book: disequilibrium, radical uncertainty, the prisoner’s dilemma and trust. The existence of radical uncertainty (the unknowable unknowns) means that people will inevitably make economic decisions which, with the benefit of hindsight, appear to be mistakes. Such mistakes can be large, and when they are, as I believe happened before the financial crisis of 2007-9, lead to a position of serious disequilibrium in the economy. Once in that position, neither businesses, households, banks nor even governments, can find a way out of the disequilibrium on their own – the prisoner’s dilemma. Implicit cooperation with other players is the only way to return to a path of prosperity. But without trust among the players such a path may be difficult to find.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. xvii-xviii.

 

“Booms and slumps in our economies occur when prices fail to coordinate decisions to spend and to save.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. xviii.

 

“Businesses and households are investing and saving for an unknowable future, and the markets in which their individual decisions might be coordinated simply do not exist.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. xix.

 

“Central banks can no longer provide further support to the economy because further monetary stimulus cannot bring about the permanent change in the pattern of spending that is needed.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. xxi.

 

“… our economy today is facing not a temporary headwind but a permanent fall in spending by households and businesses as they have come to realise that their spending before the crisis was on an unsustainable path. Only a new source of demand, such as exports, can fill the gap. Trying to fill the gap by cutting interest rates works for a while by encouraging businesses and households to bring spending forward. But by the same token it weakens future spending, which in turn reduces the incentive to invest.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. xxiii-xxiv.

 

“The idea that paper money could replace intrinsically valuable gold and precious metals, and that banks could take secure short-term deposits and transform them into long-term risky investments, came into its own with the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century. It was both revolutionary and immensely seductive. It was in fact financial alchemy – the creation of extraordinary financial powers that defy reality and common sense.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 5.

 

“Before the Great Depression of the early 1930s, central banks and governments saw their role as stabilising the financial system and balancing the budget. After the Great Depression, attention turned to policies aimed at maintaining full employment. But post-war confidence that Keynesian ideas – the use of public spending to expand total demand in the economy – would prevent us from repeating the errors of the past was to prove touchingly naive. The use of expansionary policies during the 1960s, exacerbated by the Vietnam War, led to the Great Inflation of the 1970s, accompanied by slow growth and rising unemployment – the combination known as ‘stagflation’. The direct consequence was that central banks were reborn as independent institutions committed to price stability. So successful was this that in the 1990s not only did inflation fall to levels unseen for a generation, but central banks and their governors were hailed for inaugurating an era of economic growth with low inflation – the Great Stability or Great Moderation…. Then came the fall….” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 5-6.

 

“It seems that our market economy today is not providing an effective link between the present and the future.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 11.

 

“From the 1970s onwards, the western world then embarked on what we can now see were three bold experiments to manage money, exchange rates and the banking system better. The first was to give central banks much greater independence in order to bring down and stabilise inflation, subsequently enshrined in the policy of inflation targeting – the goal of national price stability. The second was to allow capital to move freely between countries and encourage a shift to fixed exchange rates both within Europe, culminating in the creation of a monetary union, and in a substantial proportion of the most rapidly growing part of the world economy, particularly China, which fixed its exchange rates against the US dollar – the goal of exchange rate stability. And the third experiment was to remove regulations limiting the activities of the banking and financial system to promote competition and allow banks both to diversify into new products and regions and to expand in size, with the aim of bringing stability to a banking system often threatened in the past by risks that were concentrated either geographically or by line of business – the goal of financial stability.

“These three simultaneous experiments might now be best described as having three consequences – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The Good was a period between about 1990 and 2007 of unprecedented stability of both output and inflation – the Great Stability….

“The Bad was the rise in debt levels. Eliminating exchange rate flexibility in Europe and the emerging markets led to growing trade surpluses and deficits. Some countries saved a great deal while others had to borrow to finance their external deficit. The willingness of the former to save outweighed the willingness of the latter to spend, and so long-term interest rates in the integrated world capital market began to fall…. So as long-term interest rates in the world fell, the value of assets – especially of houses – rose. And as the values of assets increased, so did the amounts that had to be borrowed to enable people to buy them. Between 1986 and 2006, household debt rose from just under 70 per cent of total household income to almost 120 per cent in the United States and from 90 per cent to around 140 per cent in the United Kingdom.

“The Ugly was the development of an extremely fragile banking system. In the USA, Federal banking regulators’ increasingly lax interpretation of the provisions to separate commercial and investment banking introduced in the 1933 Banking Act (often known as Glass-Steagall, the senator and representative, respectively, who led the passage of the legislation) reached its inevitable conclusion with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, which swept away any remaining restrictions on the activities of banks…. Trading of new and highly complex financial products among banks meant that they became so closely interconnected that a problem in one would spread rapidly to others, magnifying rather than spreading risk. Banks relied less and less on their own resources to finance lending and became more and more dependent on borrowing. The equity capital of banks – the funds provided by the shareholders of the bank – accounted for a declining proportion of overall funding. Leverage – the ratio of total assets (or liabilities) to the equity capital of a bank – rose to extraordinary levels.

“By 2008, the Ugly led the Bad to overwhelm the Good.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 22-24.

 

“After the demise of the socialist model of a planned economy, China, countries of the former Soviet Union and India embraced the international trading system, adding millions of workers each year to the pool of labour around the world producing tradeable, especially manufactured, goods. In China alone, over 70 million manufacturing jobs were created during the twenty-first century, far exceeding the 42 million working in manufacturing in 2012 in the United States and Europe combined. The pool of labour supplying the world trading system more than trebled in size.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 27.

 

“Another important distinction is between ‘money’ and ‘real’ interest rates. Money interest rates are the usual quoted rate – if you lend $100 and after one year receive $105, the money interest rate is 5 per cent. If over the course of that year the price of the things that you like to buy is expected to rise by 5 per cent, then the ‘real’ rate of interest you earn is the money rate less the anticipated rate of inflation (in the example the real rate is zero). In recent years, short-term real interest rates have actually been negative because official interest rates have been less than the rate of inflation. And the savings glut pushed down long-term real interest rates to unprecedentedly low levels.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 29.

 

“As the Asian economies grew and grew, the volume of saving placed in the world capital market by their savers, including the Chinese government, rose and rose. So not only did those countries add millions of people to the pool of labour producing goods to be sold around the world, depressing real wages in other countries, they added billions of dollars to the pool of saving seeking an outlet, depressing real rates of interest in the global capital market.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 29.

 

“A strange feature of the savings glut was that because emerging economies were saving more than they were investing at home, they were actually exporting capital to advanced economies where investment opportunities were more limited. In effect, advanced economies were borrowing large sums from the less developed world. The natural direction of capital flows was reversed – capital was being pushed ‘uphill’.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 30-1.

“There was, however, a second and less benign reason behind the expansion of bank balance sheets. With interest rates so low, financial institutions and investors started to take on more and more risk, in an increasingly desperate hunt for higher returns without adequate compensation.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 32.

 

“Regulators took an unduly benign view of the expansion of the banking sector because while real interest rates continued to fall, asset prices rose and investors, including banks, made substantial profits.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 33.

 

“Low interest rates cannot correct the disequilibrium in the pattern of demand.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 49.

 

“… the share of bank deposits in total money [in the US over the past century] has also been roughly constant at around 90 per cent. Gold and silver, which a hundred years ago amounted to around 10 per cent of total money and were of equal importance to notes and coin, are no longer counted as money. The share of bank deposits in total money is even higher in other major countries, at 91 per cent in the euro area, 93 per cent in Japan and no less than 97 per cent in the United Kingdom. What is striking about these figures is that the production of money has become an enterprise of the private sector. The amount of money in the economy is determined less by the need to buy ‘stuff’ and more by the supply of credit created by private sector banks responding to the demand from borrowers.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 62-3.

 

“Credit booms are less the result of irresponsible lending by banks and more the outcome of optimism on the part of borrowers, aided and abetted by low interest rates and competition between banks to meet customers’ demands.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 63.

 

“A crisis could, in fact, be defined as a set of circumstances in which the demand for liquidity suddenly jumps.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 66.

 

“Trust obviates the need for money, and money without trust has no value.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 83.

“The size of the US banking industry measured in terms of total assets has grown from around 20 per cent of annual GDP one hundred years ago to around 100 per cent today. In the UK, a medium-sized economy with a large international banking centre, the expansion is even more marked, from around 50 per cent of GDP to over 500 per cent. Most of this expansion has taken place over the past thirty years, and has been accompanied by increasing concentration: the largest institutions have expanded the most. Today, the assets of the top ten banks in the US amount to over 60 per cent of GDP, six times larger than the top ten fifty years ago. In the UK, the asset holdings of the top ten banks amount to over 450 per cent of GDP, with Barclays and HSBC both having assets in excess of UK GDP.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 95.

 

“So highly risky banking institutions enjoy implicit public sector support. In turn, the implicit subsidy incentivises banks to take on yet more risk…. Greater risk begets greater size, greater importance to the functioning of the economy, higher implicit public subsidies, and yet larger incentives to take risk – described by Martin Wolf of the Financial Times as the ‘financial doomsday machine’.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 96.

 

“Although the implicit subsidy [from governments because banks were too big to fail] was not new, banks were able to exploit its existence to borrow more, and resorted to the use of ever more short-term finance from institutions (known as wholesale funding) in addition to deposits from individual or business customers. The average maturity – the length of life of a loan – of wholesale funding issued by banks declined by two-thirds in the UK and by around three-quarters in the US over the thirty years prior to the crisis – at the same time as reliance on such funding increased. As a result, banks ran a higher degree of mismatch than in the past between the long-dated maturities of their assets, such as loans to companies and households, and the short-term maturities of the funding to finance their lending, often from hedge funds….

“In less that fifty years, the share of highly liquid assets held by UK banks declined from around a third of their assets to less than 2 per cent. In the US the share had fallen to below 1 per cent just before the crisis.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 96-7.

 

“Lending to companies is limited by the amount they wish to borrow. But there is no corresponding limit on the size of transactions in derivative financial instruments, and most buying and selling of derivatives is carried out by large banks and hedge funds.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 98.

 

“Economists, who love being clever, applauded the application of mathematics to finance and the resulting explosion of transactions in derivatives. Sadly, the growth of trading led also to an erosion of ethical standards. There was a view that being very clever was a justification for making money out of people who were less clever. This attitude encouraged the arrogance of the traders who rigged and fixed prices in what were thought to be competitive markets. Almost all the major banks have been dragged into one or more misconduct scandals.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 99-100.

 

“The distinguishing feature of a bank is that its assets are mostly long-term, illiquid and risky, whereas its liabilities are short-term, liquid and perceived as safe. Returns on risky long-term assets are normally much higher than the returns which the bank has to offer on its safe short-term liabilities. So banking is highly profitable. Unfortunately, the notion that a bank can offer safe returns on deposits that can be withdrawn at a moment’s notice by using them to finance long-term illiquid risky investments is, as common sense would suggest, generally false. The transformation of short-term liabilities into long-term assets – borrowing short to lend long – is known as maturity transformation. And the creation of deposits, which are regarded by the depositors as safe, into loans which, by their nature, are inherently risky constitutes risk transformation. Banks combine maturity and risk transformation.

“The transmutation of bank deposits – money – with a safe value into illiquid risky investments is the alchemy of money and banking….. The idea that risk transformation might be possible is based on the view that regional or national banks can diversify their lending across a large number of loans on which the risks are uncorrelated – that is, if a particular loan goes sour, it does not do so in circumstances when other loans also perform poorly. By making a large number of such loans, the bank supposedly avoids any real risk to the loan portfolio as a whole.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 104-5.

 

“The basic problem with the alchemy of the banking system is that it is irrational for one person to place trust in a bank if others do not.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 106.

 

“The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the phrase ‘creative destruction’ for the way a capitalist economy promotes investment in new ideas and ventures, undermining investments in earlier undertakings.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 152.

 

“Prices and wages do not adjust instantaneously to clear markets whenever demand and supply are out of balance. Firms change prices only irregularly in response to changes in demand; wages adjust only slowly as labour market conditions alter; and expectations are updated only slowly as new information is received. Such ‘frictions’ or ‘rigidities’ introduce time lags into the process by which changes in money lead to changes in prices.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 167.

 

“The big central banks now all have an inflation target of 2 per cent,… Delegating monetary policy to an independent central bank with an inflation target is a coping strategy. Its clarity and simplicity mean that the target provides a natural heuristic for central banks and the private sector alike. The heuristic for the former is to set policy such that expected inflation is equal to the target rate, and for the latter it is to expect inflation equal to the target rate. Since expectations of inflation have a major influence on the setting of wages and prices, and hence on inflation itself, anchoring expectations on the target is a key element of any credible monetary policy.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 170.

 

“Confronted with radical uncertainty, it is natural that households and businesses make occasional ‘mistakes’, for example about their future incomes, and realise their errors only after a considerable time lag. Such mistakes can accumulate into substantial deviations of spending and output from a sustainable path, even though they may have little impact on inflation in the short run. This is not the outcome of short-run rigidities but of misjudgements about the nature of the future.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 171.

 

“The method used to create money was to buy government bonds from the private sector in return for money. Those bond purchases were described by many commentators as ‘unconventional’ monetary policies and became known as ‘quantitative easing’, or QE.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 182.

 

“Bagehot’s doctrine was that in a crisis central banks should lend freely against the security of good collateral, at an interest rate above normal levels to ensure that the central bank was the lender of last resort not the lender of first resort….

“The expressions ‘lender of last resort’ and ‘bailout’ have become synonymous…. Bagehot’s argument was very different. In essence, the problem was that the banking system was an intermediary financing illiquid assets by promising instant liquidity to depositors. For the economy as a whole, the promise cannot be met. When enough depositors want their money back, the banking system cannot provide it. If this additional demand for liquidity is temporary, then the provision of emergency money by the central bank can tide the system over until the panic subsides. But if the assets have genuinely lost value, then the central bank must be careful not to subsidise insolvent undertakings.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 190-1. Reference is to Walter Bagehot, English banker and writer for the Economist who published in 1873 a book, Lombard Street, a classic on banking and bank crises.

 

“Aware of the importance of ‘lending freely’ in a crisis, and the problems caused by the need to lend against good collateral and at a penalty rate, central banks and governments have relaxed the conditions of a traditional Bagehotian lender of last resort and turned to bailouts. This creates risks to taxpayers and incentives for banks to expand the alchemy of the system. The solution is to convert the crisis function of the lender of last resort into a regime that determines the amount a bank can borrow in both good times and bad, and ensures that a bank will have posted sufficient collateral in good times that it will have access to liquidity in bad times adequate to meet the demands of short-term creditors.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 207.

 

“‘Optimal’ currency areas comprise counties or regions that experience similar shocks and have a single labour market. They also share similar attitudes to inflation.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 213.

 

“The European experience over the past fifteen years or so suggests three main lessons for the relationship between nations and monetary unions. First, it is sensible to ensure that all partners in a monetary union have fully converged on the same underlying rates of wage and price inflation before they are permitted to join. Although this was the intention of the monetary union in Europe, political pressures led to the admission of countries where inflation rates had not fully converged. Second, once a union has been created, it is important to monitor and prevent the emergence of divergences in wage and price inflation before they lead to losses of competitiveness, which can be reversed only by long periods of mass unemployment. To its credit, the European Central Bank issued many warnings about this, but they were ignored. Third, future economic shocks are inherently unpredictable and monetary union will come under great strain unless there is a high degree of mutual trust and willingness to make transfers to countries that have suffered major shocks. That requires a degree of political integration that is absent in Europe today. Substantial powers have been transferred to European institutions, but democratic legitimacy remains in the hands of national governments.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 236-7.

 

“… the key role of governments is to supply the right amount of money in good times in order to avoid the extremes of hyperinflation on the one hand, and depression on the other, and to create emergency money in bad times. In both cases that involves political judgements in the face of radical uncertainty. In good times, monetary policy combines an inflation target, whether implicit or explicit, with a policy for how quickly to react to temporary disturbances to inflation and growth. Judgements about the desirable long-term inflation rate, and the trade-offs between inflation and output in the short term, are inherently political. In bad times, decisions about how much emergency money to create and to whom it should be distributed are highly political, as the popular anger following the financial bailout of banks in the crisis revealed. Institutions, whether national or supranational, are important ways of embodying these political judgements so that monetary management, in good times and bad, can be effective. Moreover, trust in government is a crucial component of successful monetary arrangements.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 247.

 

“Regulation has become extraordinarily complex, and in ways that do not go to the heart of the problem of alchemy.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 259.

 

“By encouraging a culture in which compliance with detailed regulations is a defence against a charge of wrong-doing, bankers and regulators have colluded in a self-defeating spiral of complexity. No capitalist economy can prosper without sufficient certainty about the way that rights and obligations will be interpreted and enforced. Arbitrary regulatory judgements impose what is effectively a high tax on all investments and savings.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 260.

 

“The Chicago Plan [a 1933 plan to eliminate fractional reserve banking] breaks the link between the creation of money and the creation of credit. Lending to the real economy would be made by wide banks and financed by equity or long-term debt, not through the creation of money. Money would once again become a true public good with its supply determined by the government or central bank.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 263.

 

“The aim of the PFAS [central bank as pawnbroker for all seasons] is threefold. First, to ensure that all deposits are backed by either actual cash or a guaranteed contingent claim on reserves at the central bank. Second, to ensure that the provision of liquidity insurance is mandatory and paid for upfront. Third, to design a system which in effect imposes a tax on the degree of alchemy in our financial system – private financial intermediaries should bear the social costs of alchemy.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 271.

 

“Each bank would decide how much of its assets it would position in advance at the central bank – that is, how much of the relevant assets the central bank would be allowed to examine and which would then be available for use as collateral. For each type of asset the central bank would calculate the haircut it would apply when deciding how much cash it would lend against that asset. Adding up all assets that had been pre-positioned, it would then be clear how much central bank money the bank would be entitled to borrow at any instant…. The amount which a bank was entitled to borrow against pre-positioned collateral, added to its existing central bank reserves, is a measure of the ‘effective liquid assets’ of a bank.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 271-2.

 

“The second step is to look at the liabilities side of a bank’s balance sheet – its total demand deposits and short-term unsecured debt (up to, say, one year) – which could run at short notice. That total is a measure of the bank’s ‘effective liquid liabilities’. The regulatory requirement on banks and other financial intermediaries would be that their effective liquid assets should exceed their effective liquid liabilities. Almost all existing prudential capital and liquidity regulation, other than a limit on leverage, could be replaced by this one simple rule.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 272.

 

“Whatever happens to money as a way of buying ‘stuff’, it will always have a future as the only true form of liquidity. There will always be a demand for the liabilities of the central bank and for a stable unit of account.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 287.

 

“In the absence of markets for many of the goods and services that businesses are planning to produce and consumers to purchase in the future, there is no mechanism to guarantee that spending plans for the future will be coordinated among all economic agents.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 295.

 

“The coordination problem is replicated right across the economy. So if families and businesses for some reason become cautious today, and reduce their spending, there are no market signals to tell producers whether this reduction corresponds to a plan to increase spending in the future and, if so, on what goods and services. The inability of households and businesses to coordinate their future spending plans through markets means that aggregate demand may fall below its full-employment potential……. The existence of coordination problems tells us little about whether we should expect a boom or a depression, and under what conditions one might lead to the other.

“If one household saves more today with a view to spending more tomorrow, its income is unaffected. But if many households try to save more today, total spending falls and so do total incomes and actual saving – the so-called ‘paradox of thrift’. Only if households’ intention to save today and spend tomorrow can be communicated to producers might investment rise to offset the fall in consumption. But in the absence of a complete set of markets, no producer will receive a signal that the demand for her production in the future has increased. The coordination problem is an instance of the prisoner’s dilemma. Collective action is needed to stabilise the economy – for example, by expanding government spending in a downturn or reining in private spending in a boom.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 296-7.

“When we view the problem facing households and businesses in the light of coping strategies, we can see that there is an alternative reason for episodes of weak aggregate demand. There can be lengthy periods during which the information used to construct estimates of lifetime income (here, the stability of the path of total spending) is providing no signal to households that their own current spending is unsustainable. At some point a new signal arrives [e.g. market collapse or bank run] that leads all households to make corrections in their spending. When the narrative for lifetime income changes, then a major adjustment to spending plans occurs. That new level of demand is not a temporary deficiency of aggregate demand in a Keynesian sense, but a rational response to the realisation that past spending was based on a misperception of lifetime income.

“Both explanations of a downturn derive from radical uncertainty, and they are by no means incompatible. But the crucial difference between the two stories lies in the appropriate policy response to weak demand. In a Keynesian downturn, policies to boost aggregate demand in the short term, by monetary or fiscal stimulus, can help to dispel fear and restore both confidence and spending to their previous paths. In a narrative revision downturn, however, it is a mistake to try to return to the earlier path of spending.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 316.

 

“The danger with the ‘economics of stuff’ [which is contrasted with an ‘economics of stuff happens’], whether Keynesian or neoclassical, is that it leads to the complacent view that a chronic deficiency in demand is always of a Keynesian type and is the sole explanation of slow growth in the world today. Once we recognise that demand is divided between consumption today and consumption tomorrow, and also between consumption of goods made exclusively at home and goods that can be traded overseas (either exports or imports), and that total spending can be either consumption or investment, then it is clear that ‘aggregate demand’ is an incomplete concept for understanding the current situation.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 325.

 

“Long periods during which people are liable to misperceive their wealth and future income – supported by the stability heuristic – can lead to a disequilibrium that distorts the balance between spending and saving and the level of asset prices. When the narrative changes, the correction in both spending and asset prices can be violent – the economics of ‘stuff happens’ rather than the economics of ‘stuff’. Both before and during the correction, financial markets are only the messenger and not the cause of these misperceptions.

“The failure to allow for such ‘mistakes’ can, and in the context of the crisis did, lead to a misdiagnosis of the state of the economy and hence of the appropriate policy response. Relying solely on traditional Keynesian monetary and fiscal stimulus risks recreating the disequilibrium of the previous spending path when a move to a new equilibrium is what is required. Such stimulus may smooth the adjustment for the move to a new equilibrium, but is not a substitute for it. At some pont, the ‘paradox of policy’ must be confronted.

“The problems of diagnosing the disequilibrium in the build-up to the crisis were compounded by the fact that no country on its own could easily have found a way to a new equilibrium in the absence of similar adjustments by other countries. All the major economies faced a prisoner’s dilemma.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 332-3.

 

“Much of the euro area has either created or gone along with the illusion that creditor countries will always be repaid. When a debtor country has difficulties in repaying, the answer is to ‘extend and pretend’ by lengthening the repayment period and valuing the assets represented by the loans at face value. It is a familiar tactic of banks unwilling to face up to losses on bad loans, and it has crept into sovereign lending.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 343.

 

“The underlying challenge is to move to a new equilibrium in which new debts are no longer being created on the same scale as before.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 347.

 

“Many countries can now see that they have taken monetary policy as far as it can go. The weakness of demand across the world means that many, if not most, countries can credibly say that if only the rest of the world were growing normally then they would be in reasonable shape. But since it isn’t, they aren’t. So with interest rates close to zero, and fiscal policy constrained by high government debt, the objective of economic policy in a growing number of countries is to lower the exchange rate. In countries as far apart as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, France and Italy, central banks and governments are becoming more and more strident in their determination to talk the exchange rate down. Competitive depreciation is a zero-sum game as countries try to ‘steal’ demand from each other.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 347-8.

 

“… a wider problem in the world economy … the ‘political trilemma of the global economy’. It is the mutual incompatibility of democracy, national sovereignty and economic integration.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 348.

 

“But when the world becomes stuck in a disequilibrium, the prisoner’s dilemma bites. Cooperation then becomes essential. Placing obligations on surplus countries has not and will not work. There is no credible means of enforcing any such obligation. Enlightened self-interest to find a way back to the path of strong growth is the only hope. The aim should be fourfold: to reinvigorate the IMF and reinforce its legitimacy by reforms to its voting system, including an end to a veto by any one country; to put in place a permanent system of swap agreements among central banks, under which they can quickly lend to each other in whichever currencies are needed to meet short-term shortages of liquidity; to accept floating exchange rates; and to agree on a timetable for rebalancing of major economies, and a return to normal real interest rates, with the IMF as the custodian of the process. The leadership of the IMF must raise its game.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. pp. 352-3.

 

“The two main threats to the world economy today are the continuing disequilibrium between spending and saving, both within and between major economies, and a return to a multi-polar world with similarities to the unstable position before the First World War.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 353.

 

“Plotting a route to a new equilibrium is the challenge we now face.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 357.

 

“In a capitalist economy, money and banks play a critical role because they are the link between the present and the future.” King, Mervyn. 2016. The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. W.W. Norton. p. 367.

 

“This concept of creative destruction is one of the most important in the economics of innovation. The innovator creates something – competitive advantage probably and possibly wealth – but in doing so destroys something else, often the competitive position of a rival firm. So innovation creates and destroys at the same time, but with luck the value of creation will exceed the value of destruction.

“Schumpeter also emphasised a very important point which contrasts with the conventional view within neoclassical economics. He insisted that this creative destruction was a much more important force for competition tha[n] the traditional concept of price competition.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 12.

 

“Lewis Mumford made a most memorable observation about technology and the industrial revolution: ‘The clock, not the steam-engine, is the key-machine of the modern industrial age.’ Not all historians would agree with this assertion by any means, and some would insist that the steam-engine is the more important. But it is an interesting argument, because it is part of Mumford’s persistent thesis that the most interesting innovations have been social rather than technological as such.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 12.

“Galbraith: ‘As a society becomes increasingly affluent, wants are increasingly created by the process by which they are satisfied.’

“The implication of this, as Galbraith stressed in some detail, is that innovations may not really increase wealth in a true sense if the demands satisfied by an innovation were demands created by the innovator and marketer.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 13. Subquote: Galbraith, J.K. 1958. The Affluent Society. Houghton Mifflin. pp. 152-3.

 

“Innovation cannot be demand-pull or technology-push alone. We must have both working together before an innovation will take off.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 15.

 

“We describe a product in terms of a list of features or characteristics. We can then compare different varieties of the same product in terms of their different scores on all these characteristics. This is useful because it allows us to make a distinction between product innovations that affect only one characteristic, product innovations that affect several characteristics, product innovations that introduce just one new characteristic and product innovations that introduce so many new characteristics that we may wish to call the innovation a completely new product.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 28.

 

“One influential tradition of economic analysis has argued that technological change does indeed tend on average to increase economies of scale and hence lead to increases in industrial concentration…. Writers in this concentrating tradition argue that process innovation very frequently leads to greater economies of scale, while some product innovations open up niche markets in which smaller firms may be more competitive.

“Another tradition, however, concludes that while technological change until about 1950 was mostly concentrating, change since then has frequently reduced economies of scale, and has hence been deconcentrating. Examples of this contrary trend include: the substitution of individual electric motors for centralised motors; the appearance of easily fabricated plastics and light metals; the replacement of specialised machines by computer-controlled general purpose machines; and the gradual displacement of water and rail transport by road transport.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. pp. 45-6.

 

“Another complication, in practice, is that the dimensions of product space tend to expand over time.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 48.

 

“… one of the implications of network effects for the consumer is that there are incentives for those who live and/or work together to standardise on a common product or service. And we saw that when network effects are important in the demand for a particular product, the supplier of that product faces a ‘standards race’ to try to achieve market success for his/her product….

“The most important distinction is between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ standards.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 91.

 

“To a first approximation, the larger the network of people from who we can learn, the greater the prospects for invention.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 119.

 

“But the key insight was that by Adam Smith: he attributed much of the invention he observed to prior division of labour…

“The process of the division of labour creates an incentive for specialised labour to seek to modify their tools and invent new ones.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. pp. 119-20.

 

“The creativity literature sees combination and reorganisation as fundamental to the process of creative thought. People create new knowledge or ideas by combining and reorganising existing concepts or categories.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 122.

 

“Austrian Economics (Hayek, Kirzner): From this perspective the entrepreneur is a force for equilibrium. The entrepreneur sees profit opportunities when a market is out of equilibrium. For example, where there is excess demand, the entrepreneur can make a profit by supplying that excess demand. In doing so, the entrepreneur brings the market back towards equilibrium.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 131.

 

“Whereas the Austrian economists saw the entrepreneur as a force that brought about equilibrium, Schumpeter saw the entrepreneur having – in a sense – the precise opposite effect. The entrepreneur is a destroyer of equilibrium situations, and thinks up ways of putting scarce resources to new uses by introducing new goods or a new quality of goods, by introducing new ways of producing goods, by opening up new markets, by discovering new sources of supply of raw materials or partly manufactured goods, and by reorganising the structure of an industry (e.g. by creating a monopoly or breaking up a monopoly situation).” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 132.

“Profit opportunities are not things that lie around waiting to be found; the entrepreneur has to construct them actively. Entrepreneurs ‘imagine what is deemed to be possible’ and this imagination involves the entrepreneur in recognising interesting connections between hitherto unconnected elements.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 133. Subquote: Shackle, G. but quoted in Earl, PE. 2003. “The Entrepreneur as a Constructor of Connections.” From R. Koppl (ed). Advances in Austrian Economics. 6:117-134. Elsevier.

 

“… we encountered two very different perspectives on creativity and innovation. In the first, innovation follows from specialisation and the division of labour… In the second, innovation follows from the combination and reorganisation of existing but previously distinct knowledge and competencies….

“We shall assert here that the first approach to innovation (through specialisation and division of labour) tends to produce a steady stream of incremental innovations while the second process (combination and bisociation) is often required for radical innovations.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 135.

 

“The advantage of this network structure [in business firm organisation] are that structures can be changed frequently and rapidly. This means that these structures are well adapted to cope with radical innovation. In addition, network firms [are] well placed to concentrate on core competencies in house, and outsource the rest.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. pp. 137-8.

 

“A further step [up in chart of facets making clusters of firms more richly inter-connected] would be that these firms in the cluster are explicitly inter-related in a value chain….

“… firms in the clusters have an explicit strategy as ‘network firms’ and exploit the existence of all the other network firms in the cluster. Network firms are firms that specialise in a very narrow part of the vertical chain, and outsource most other activities….

“The next step up is that firms in the cluster enjoy the sorts of mutual benefits from each other’s company that are usually called ‘Marshallian externalities’ (e.g. sharing a common infrastructure, access to a pool of skilled labour, and so on). A further step up would be that there is labour mobility around this network, and this is important because mobile labour is one of the most effective ways of transferring technology around all the firms in a cluster.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. pp. 150-1.

 

“… the concepts of network and cluster overlap, but are not identical. Some ‘rich’ clusters contain active commercial networks, and some networks have geographical proximity: both of these are illustrated by the intersection of these two sets. But some ‘clusters’ do not enjoy active social networks: these are clusters but are not networks. Equally, some networks are not geographically concentrated: these are networks without being clusters.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 163.

 

“However, the Marshall consumer is not just important as an enthusiastic recipient of innovation. (S)he is, in a sense, an innovator him/herself: an innovative consumer. This is in line with the recent work of von Hippel on democratic innovation, which recognises that some innovations are very much consumer led rather than producer driven.” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 195.

 

“She [Cairncross] argued that this death of distance, meaning declining transport and communication costs, could lead to:

“1) The fate of location

“2) The irrelevance of size

“3) Less need for immigration and emigration

“4) Near frictionless markets

“5) More global reach; more local provision

“6) The loose-knit corporation” Swann, G.M. Peter. 2009. The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction. Edward Elgar Publishers. p. 215. Reference: Cairncross, F. 1997. The Death of Distance. Harvard Business School Press.

 

“Individuals of the bacterium Escherichia coli generally have 4000-5500 genes, but a recent study estimated that only 3188 gene families were ‘core’ (which they defined as being present in 95% of genomes) from a total of approximately 90000 unique gene families found in E. Coli. The majority of the genes form a pool of accessory genes, which individuals may take up depending on environmental conditions.” McInerney, James & Douglas Erwin. 2017. “The role of public goods in planetary evolution.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 375:20160358. P. 1.

 

“We have argued for the inclusion of ‘goods-thinking’ within biology as a distinct conceptual viewpoint from the phylogenetic or tree-based thinking prevalent among evolutionary biologists, and the emphasis on trophic food webs among ecologists. Public goods are widespread in biology, including genes that are widely shared among ‘prokaryotes’, oxygen generated by oxygenic photosynthesis, transposable elements and the provision of ecological services via ecosystem engineering and niche construction. In each case, the relevant aspect of a biological component is not information, vertical inheritance, nor trophic interactions. Rather these components are behaving as biological goods, analogous to economic goods.” McInerney, James & Douglas H. Erwin. 2017. “The role of public goods in planetary evolution.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 13 November. 375:20160358. P. 2.

“The calculus (and knowledge in general) is a classic public good: there is no limit to the number of integrals that can be solved at one time, and one person’s activity does not limit that of any one else. Language, the air traffic control system, oxygen in the air and national defence are all examples of public goods (the term ‘the public good’ is also used for shared societal benefits such as education, but this is not the same as the economic definition). A matrix of excludability versus rivalrousness defines four classes of economic goods. Club goods are also of interest: they are non-rivalrous but excludable. Examples include an encoded GPS signal, tollways or academic societies. In each case, access to the good can be controlled and its benefits are available only to members of the club.” McInerney, James & Douglas H. Erwin. 2017. “The role of public goods in planetary evolution.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 13 November. 375:20160358. P. 3.

 

“We have discussed three ways in which the generation of public goods has influenced evolution: the generation of metabolic by-products, broad utilization of genomic components and modification of the external environment through ecological facilitations.” McInerney, James & Douglas Erwin. 2017. “The role of public goods in planetary evolution.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 375:20160358. P. 7.

 

“The establishment of a redox gradient within marine sediment or a soil, from aerobes through denitrifiers, manganese reducers to sulfate reducers and eventually methanogens, represents a series of coupled biogeochemical cycles where microbes of one class produce the environment necessary for microbes with another metabolism. In such cases, the public goods are metabolic by-products which change the surrounding environment (globally in the case of oxygenic photosynthesis), generating new opportunities for other clades. A related class of public goods represent ecosystem-constructing activities that modify the environment for that population and for other species in the same environment. Often described as niche construction or ecosystem engineering, examples include burrowing (bioturbation) of sediments, beaver dams and the construction of reefs.” McInerney, James & Douglas H. Erwin. 2017. “The role of public goods in planetary evolution.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 13 November. doi.org/10.1098/ rsta.2016.0359.

 

“The merging of two or more protein domains to form a new protein can be considered to be a merging of evolving objects ‘of the same level’. However, empirical evidence says that mergings do not always have to be of the same level. For instance, the horizontal acquisition of genes by organisms is not a merging of objects of the same level. The whole organism is at one level and the transferred gene is at a different level. Similarly, plasmids being integrated into a host cell, or even genes being integrated into a plasmid are also examples of mergings of different levels. Inspired by the ideas of ‘egalitarian’ and ‘fraternal’ major evolutionary transitions, we suggest that we could also classify the mergings of evolutionary objects into ‘fraternal mergers’, where the merging objects are at the same level, and ‘egalitarian mergers’ to denote mergers where the partners are at different levels.” McInerney, James & Douglas H. Erwin. 2017. “The role of public goods in planetary evolution.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 13 November. doi.org/10.1098/ rsta.2016.0359.

 

“At least some degree of exclusivity is necessary for cooperation and mutualism to take place. Cooperators and mutualists must keep a sufficiently large portion of the fruits of their collaboration for themselves or their kin, and away from free riders.” Fuentes, Marcelino. 2018. “Biological novelty in the anthropocene.” Journal of Theoretical Biology. 437:137-140. P. 137.

 

“The key to cooperation among humans and between humans and other biological entities is the exclusivity provided by property rights.” Fuentes, Marcelino. 2018. “Biological novelty in the anthropocene.” Journal of Theoretical Biology. 437:137-140. P. 137.

 

“However, property rules also apply to communal resources, both by excluding outsiders and by delineating use by commoners. Communal property rules can sometimes generate proper incentives and sustain high levels of cooperation.” Fuentes, Marcelino. 2018. “Biological novelty in the anthropocene.” Journal of Theoretical Biology. 437:137-140. P. 137.

 

“Deliberate human planning and execution, as well as unintended effects of human decisions and collective behaviors, are mechanisms of inheritance that produce replicates of ecosystems. Often, the species composition and abundance, soil characteristics, water and nutrient inputs and outputs, and other traits of a human-dominated ecosystem are replicated following an instruction set that is not dispersed throughout the components (the soma) of the ecosystem, but concentrated in humans, either individually or collectively. To some extent this is also true of ecosystem engineering by beavers that build dams or ants that tend fungus gardens, and of niche construction in general. However, it seems that ecosystems engineered or constructed by these organisms have ‘limited heredity’, which allows the specification of a small variety of ecosystem types, while human-dominated ecosystems have ‘unlimited heredity’, in the sense that we can design and specify many more types of ecosystems than we can actually build due to space or other limitations.” Fuentes, Marcelino. 2018. “Biological novelty in the anthropocene.” Journal of Theoretical Biology. 437:137-140. P. 139.

 

“Many human-dominated ecosystems have functional boundaries. They are physically separated among them and from natural ecosystems. Extreme examples are greenhouses, culture chambers, some traditional farms, fish farms, waste water treatment plants, and in vitro ecosystems.” Fuentes, Marcelino. 2018. “Biological novelty in the anthropocene.” Journal of Theoretical Biology. 437:137-140. P. 139.

 

“… economists have long been content to treat science as essentially an exogenous variable, an ongoing activity in which resource allocation has not been discernibly connected to calculations of future benefits and present costs.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 7-8.

 

“As is often pointed out, the earliest industrial research laboratories (say before 1900, or even much later) were not yet performing activities that should be regarded as research. Rather, they were engaged in a variety of routine and elementary tasks such as the grading and testing of materials, assaying, quality control, writing of specifications, and so forth. It is certainly correct that these were the primary uses to which science was first put in an extensive way in the industrial context. Science, when it entered the industrial establishment, came to perform tasks that were elementary from the point of view of the science content.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 13-14.

 

“It is difficult to envision how the emerging industrial technology could have functioned successfully without the vital information that could only be readily supplied by scientifically trained personnel.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 14.

 

“The spectacular growth in steel production that was set in motion by the Bessemer process was not due to some recent increment in scientific knowledge, because there had been no such recent increment. However, after the major technological innovations in steelmaking were installed, they raised immensely the payoff to the use of existing science in this industry, and to the development of new science…

“The very success of the Bessemer process in cheapening the price of steel and in introducing steel to a rapidly expanding array of new uses made it necessary to subject the inputs of the process to quantitative chemical analysis. This was because, as was quickly discovered, the quality of the output was highly sensitive to even minute variations in the composition of the inputs.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 15-16.

 

“The new uses to which cheaper steel was introduced defy brief summarization. It was employed in a wide range of machines in which cast iron or wood had been used before. As a result, the machines could now be made of larger size, greater strength, higher speeds, and improved performance generally. Steel played a major role in agriculture, as a bewildering number of machines were introduced that had the effect of raising the acreage that could be cultivated by a single farmer. It was increasingly employed in mining machinery.

“It was also a vital part of the transportation revolution, as it became a basic material input in the structure of ocean-going vessels and in the rapidly expanding network of railroads. At the outbreak of the Civil War, rails were made of iron which wore out in a couple years and which could support rolling stock of only about eight tons. By 1905, steel rails might last as long as ten years and they could support rolling stock of seventy tons. The railroad network was now able to exploit steel bridges of far greater span and capacity than previous materials would have permitted….

“In cities, the availability of steel as a structural material made possible the construction of skyscrapers (that is, high-rise buildings with no dependence upon masonry) beginning in Chicago and New York in the early 1890s….

“Thus, the manufacturer of steel confronted an increasingly stringent set of requirements for steel imposed upon him by a widening set of customers. Each one was likely to be interested in a different property or, more likely, in different combinations of properties. Steel requirements in the electrical industries might revolve around conductivity, machine tool manufacturers required steel that retained its cutting edge at very high temperatures, manufacturers of steam engine boilers sought corrosion resistance, army ordnance increasing strength and hardness, and so forth.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 16-17.

 

“In effect, therefore, the manufacturer of steel may be said to have had both an internal and external motivation to assert a precise, more scientific control over his manufacturing process. Internally, the manufacture of steel involved elaborate chemical transformations in which such control enabled the manufacturer to minimize the cost of producing any given output mix and to assure quality control. Externally, a critical aspect of the competitive process was to develop new products that optimally achieved the specific combination of performance requirements of a growing number of specialist users of steel. These production requirements brought trained chemists and metallurgists into the industry in increasing numbers.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 17-18.

 

“As steel became cheaper, it not only served as a substitute for iron in many established structural uses; it also provided the possibility for far more audacious construction designs. But, here again, as a material was pushed to new and previously unexplored limits by skyscrapers and large-span bridges, the ability to predict its performance limits with a high degree of accuracy became indispensable.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 18-19.

 

“Like steel, its [concrete] large-scale use came after the introduction of a new European technology–in this case, the rotary kiln, which had been invented in England in 1873. Like the earliest British experience with the Bessemer process, its introduction was beset by difficulties that were ultimately traceable to the failure to exercise sufficient chemical control over the composition of the raw material inputs. As in the case of steel, its eventual performance was extremely sensitive to variations in the processing as well as to variations in the quality and composition of the inputs, since the transformation of a wet plastic into a rigid material involves some complex chemical reactions.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 20.

 

“Indeed, here too [with concrete], as in metallurgy, the actual practices, structural achievements as well as problems and failures of the users of the material provided the intellectual challenge for the deeper scientific understanding that eventually followed practice rather than preceded it.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 21.

 

“There is an important common denominator running through much of the discussion of metallurgy and construction so far: Commercial as well as technological success was coming to be increasingly dependent upon the ability to predict performance of both inputs and outputs with a high degree of accuracy. The growth of mass production metal-using industries and the remarkable new feats of construction all relied upon the ability to push materials to new limits and to predict the performance of these materials with a high degree of confidence.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 23.

 

“Eventually, the needs of the canners, as well as other food processors, were to exercise a great deal of influence upon the work of geneticists and plant breeders. Twentieth-century science was able to move from the passive selection activities of earlier scientists to the active shaping of plant varieties that conformed better to the needs of the food processors, fruit and vegetable varieties that yielded more uniform size, ripened simultaneously, and resisted the bruising effects of mechanical picking.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 25-26.

 

“Although the nearby glue factory indeed antedated the chemical laboratory in the packing industry, the by-products industry was basically an outgrowth of the huge increase in scale of plant that accompanied the introduction of the railroad and refrigeration. These two innovations made much larger markets accessible to the packer (who also absorbed the activities of the slaughter house) and led directly to a high degree of geographic concentration and large scale of operation of individual plants.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 29.

 

“In the early history of petroleum, everything aside from kerosene (which was highly desired as an illuminant) was considered to be a by-product.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 31.

 

“Most R&D even today is not of a knowledge-creating nature, if by knowledge one means new scientific knowledge. Some two-thirds of research and development, in recent years, has been development, and only about one-twelfth has been basic research. Similarly, the work of most scientifically trained people, historically, has been in this sense, knowledge-applying and not knowledge-creating. In addition, economically valuable knowledge has been, to a much greater extent than is generally recognized, old, not new, scientific knowledge.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 32.

 

“Thus, to a much greater degree than we have been aware, science has become the handmaiden of technology in industrializing societies, at least for the kinds of phenomena that are of central importance to economists.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 32-33.

 

“A dominant pattern in both countries [US and UK] went as follows: A firm develops a new technique or process in response to a problem in a particular industry–say firearms manufacture. It later becomes apparent that this technique is applicable to typewriters. The technique is ‘transferred’ to the typewriter industry by the firm which developed the technique actually undertaking the production of typewriters (Remington). In other words, a very common mode of technology transfer between industries took place as a result of firms adding to, or switching, their product lines.

“An alternative way of stating this is to say that, in the area of machine technology, firms became increasingly specialized by process rather than product.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 73-4.

 

“The notion of a production function as a ‘set of blueprints’ comes off very badly if it is taken to mean a body of techniques which is available independently of the human inputs who utilize it….

“If, with Svennilson, we define ‘know-how’ as ‘the capacity to use technical knowledge,’ then it is apparent that such know-how is essential for the successful utilization of the technical information incorporated in the economist’s production function…. A somewhat amusing, yet apposite, instance of the role of know-how has recently been cited by Lucius Ellsworth, who points out that although we possess a complete set of the appropriate craft tools, no one in the United States today knows how to use coopers’ tools for making wooden barrels–a once-honored and widely practiced craft.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 76-7. References: Svennilson, L. 1964. Development with Special Reference to East Asia. Ed. K. Berrill; Ellsworth, Lucius. 1966. “A Directory of Artifact Collections.” Technology in Early America. Ed. Brooke Hindle.

“… industrialization was characterized by the introduction of a relatively small number of broadly similar productive processes to a large number of industries. This follows from the familiar fact that industrialization in the 19th century involved the growing adoption of a metal-using technology employing decentralized sources of power.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 77.

 

“The use of machinery in the cutting of metal into precise shapes involves, to begin with, a relatively small number of operations (and therefore machine types): turning, boring, drilling, milling, planing, grinding, polishing, etc. Moreover, all machines performing such operations confront a similar collection of technical problems, dealing with such matters as power transmission, control devices, feed mechanisms, friction reduction, and a broad array of problems connected with the properties of metals (such as ability to withstand stresses and heat resistance). It is because these processes and problems became common to the production of a wide range of disparate commodities that industries which were apparently unrelated from the point of view of the nature and uses of the final product became very closely related (technologically convergent) on a technological basis–for example, firearms, sewing machines, and bicycles.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 77-8.

 

“The willingness of the public to accept a homogeneous final product was a decisive factor in the transition from a highly labor-intensive handicraft technology to one involving a sequence of highly specialized machines.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 79.

 

“English observers often noted with some astonishment that American products were designed to accommodate, not the consumer, but the machine.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 79.

 

“The result [of engineering standards towards perfection in the UK] was to perpetuate, in Great Britain, a preoccupation with purely technical aspects of the final product rather than with the productive process. This is reflected in the history of the automobile, where, of course, British engineers developed an early reputation for high-priced, high-quality engineering. In 1912, when Henry Ford was preparing to demonstrate to the world the great possibilities of standardized, high-volume production, an influential British trade journal commented: ‘It is highly to the credit of our English makers that they choose rather to maintain their reputation for high grade work than cheapen that reputation by the use of the inferior material and workmanship they would be obliged to employ to compete with American manufacturers of cheap cars.’” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 81.

“There is much authoritative evidence that, by comparison with American practice, a needless proliferation of designs and specifications prevailed in Great Britain throughout a broad range of iron and steel products and engineering works generally.

“This absence of standardization vastly complicated the process of adopting the technology and organization of mass production. It seriously inhibited the growth of specialization by firms which was so characteristic of the American machinery industry in the second half of the 19th century.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 82.

 

“The Japanese, as Strassmann points out, have been highly successful in the ‘inter-firm coordination of schedules and standards in subcontracts.’ On the other hand, the Russians have been singularly unsuccessful in introducing subcontracting arrangements.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 86. Reference: Strassmann, Paul. 1968. Technological Change and Economic Development.

 

“As part of our Schumpeterian heritage, we still look upon the transformation of an ‘invention’ into an ‘innovation’ as the work of entrepreneurs. But from a technological perspective, it is much more the work of the capital goods industry. This is most obviously the case where the invention is a cost-reducing process and does not have to be marketed to final consumers.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 90.

 

“The idea that an invention reaches a stage of commercial profitability first and is then ‘introduced’ is, as a matter of fact, simple-minded. It is during a (frequently protracted) shakedown period in early introduction that it becomes obviously worthwhile to bother making the improvements. Improvements in the production of a new product occur during the commercial introduction.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 90.

 

“But, more important, the technology functions well only when it is maintained and nourished by an environment offering it a range of services which are essential to its continued operation. These would include the ability to diagnose correctly the causes of machine breakdown or other sources of inferior performance, the availability of facilities and personnel to perform repair work and to provide routine maintenance and repairs, and the provision of spare parts.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 91.

 

“Moreover, physical proximity between the producer and user of machinery seems to have been indispensable in the past for reasons which we do not really understand but which seem to be rooted basically in the problem of communications. Successful technological change seems to involve a kind of interaction that can best be provided by direct, personal contact.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 91.

 

“In the American experience, energy intensity (measured as the ratio of total energy consumption to GNP) rose between 1880 and 1920, but declined thereafter. However, throughout the entire 20th century, electricity’s share of total energy consumption has increased.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 137.

 

“Electric power is properly considered as a key element of the so-called ‘Second Industrial Revolution’ of the last quarter or so of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. This revolution, together with the transformation of the chemical industry and the internal combustion engine, redefined the whole set of technological opportunities available to industrializing societies.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 138.

 

“Another critical feature of electricity, closely connected with its distinctive form, is that it has brought with it a progressive liberation from the locational constraints that had characterized earlier forms of energy.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 140.

 

“In fact, the use of electric motors expanded from slightly less than 5 percent of mechanical horsepower in US manufacturing in 1899 to more than 25 percent of the total just ten years later. By 1919 the figure was 55 percent, by 1929 it was over 82 percent, and by 1939 it was very nearly 90 percent.

“But even these figures, by themselves, tell only a part of the story. Throughout industry, electricity also made possible an immense assortment of automatic precision instruments for the monitoring, control and inspection of industrial operations,….” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 142.

 

“The story of improved efficiency in electric power generation has been one of advancing the technological frontiers in order to operate at higher temperatures and pressures, as well as at a larger scale. At the beginning of the century, turbine operating at low pressures (180 lbs psi) and low temperatures (530 degrees F) produced a mere 5 megawatts. By the end of the 1920s, boilers were operating at 1400 lbs psi and 750 degrees F. However, the achievement of higher temperatures, in which pulverization of the coal played an important role, generated certain side effects, such as the accelerated erosion of furnace walls. This was offset, and increasing scale was achieved, by a combination of new cooling methods and the availability of significantly improved alloys. By the end of the 1930s, boilers were being operated at 900 degrees F and, by 1953, maximum operating temperature rose to 1100 degrees F and maximum pressure to 2500 lbs psi.

“Further improvements in metallurgy and engineering design, many of which had originated during the second World War, brought the capacity of the largest fossil fuel plants to over 1000 megawatts in the 1960s, and the average to 600 by 1970. Thermal efficiency of conventional power plants, however, remained stagnant at their 1960s levels. Whereas thermal efficiency had increased, on average, from 21.8 percent in 1948 to 32.7 percent in 1965, by 1980 it was essentially the same –32.8 percent–as it had been fifteen years earlier.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 143-44.

 

“This perspective of chemical engineering as a general purpose technology may be compared with GPTs that have been identified as specific forms of hardware: steam engines, machine tools, dynamos, computers, and so on. It suggests that the concept of a general purpose technology should not be confined to hardware. Indeed, a discipline that provides the concepts and the methodologies to generate new or improved technologies over a wide range of downstream economic activity may be thought of as an even purer, or higher-order, of GPT.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 306.

 

“The concept of unit operations [e.g. pulverizing, mixing, heating, roasting, absorbing, condensing, lixiviating, precipitating, crystallizing, filtering, dissolving, electrolyzing, and so on] put chemical engineering in a position to accumulate a set of methodological tools that provided the basis for a wide range of activities connected with the design of chemical process plants. The awareness that there were a limited number of similar operations common to many industries served to identify research priorities and therefore to point to a disciplinary research agenda.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 177[176].

 

“In 1920 the state of technological knowledge was such that petroleum was not regarded as a significant input into the chemical industry. The chemical industry thought of its inputs in terms of chemicals in a less processed state, on the one hand, and feedstocks drawn from coke-oven by-products, on the other. It was only as the result of extensive research and the slow accumulation of technical knowledge that the oil companies came to realize that their refining operations could produce not just fuel and lubricants but organic chemical intermediates as well… The transformation of the chemical industry into the petrochemical industry that matured in the post-World War II years was in large measure an achievement in which by–products that were formerly treated as waste materials were converted into sources of great commercial value. In a sense it was a replay of an earlier development in nineteenth-century Germany when coal tar, a by-product derived from coke ovens, also provided the raw material basis for a burgeoning synthetic dye industry.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. pp. 317-8.

 

“A critical achievement of the initial concept of unit operations was that it clarified the objectives of research, in this sense, it served as a focusing device. By providing an intellectual platform for science, it eventually altered the nature of the platform itself. Thus chemical engineering did not emerge out of prior science but rather, as it matured, strengthened the opportunities for focusing scientific concepts and methodologies upon the problems with which it dealt. As a result chemical engineering eventually became more scientific.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 326.

 

“The story recounted [of key role of MIT in emergence of chemical engineering as a discipline] here is not reducible to a simple model of human agents driven by maximizing behavior. Interestingly it involves the ways in which an institutional location of one group of actors–university professors–led to a more complex pattern of behavior. It was the setting, and not just maximizing behavior, that brought about the emergence of a new academic discipline.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 327.

 

“To give the argument much larger scope, it may be said that the petro-chemical industry was in fact more the achievement of Du Pont than of Exxon. Exxon ‘merely’ increased the supply and reduced the price of petroleum, whereas du Pont employed the discipline of chemical engineering to introduce and to produce a vastly expanded array of new products that utilized the cheaper petroleum inputs.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 327.

 

“I now propose to examine some of the separate components of Schumpeter’s vision in more detail, still against the backdrop of Marx. First, capitalism has to be understood as an evolutionary system rather than as a system that continually reverts to equilibrium after small departures from it….” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 405.

 

“Moreover, Schumpeter and Marx share a common view of the determinants of science and technology that sets them distinctly apart from the main line of thinking in economics, where these have been treated as exogenous variables. Specifically, they regard the remarkable performance of both science and technology in the western world as having been overwhelmingly due to capitalism and its associated bourgeois culture.” Rosenberg, Nathan. 2010. Studies on Science and the Innovation Process: Selected Works by Nathan Rosenberg. World Scientific Press. p. 406.

 

“… too much speech about God strikes me as disrespectful. In the Upanishads, God is described as ‘Thou Before Whom All Words Recoil.’ This sounds right to me. Anything I say about God will be inadequate. No matter how hard I try to say something true about God, the reality of God will eclipse my best words. The only reality I can describe with any accuracy is my own limited experience of what I think may be God: the More, the Really Real, the Luminous Web That Holds Everything in Place.

“Even then, there is a good chance that my words will serve as an impediment for those who hear them. If ‘the Really Real’ makes no sense to you, then you will have to find some way around that phrase before you can get on with your own description, which means that my speech about God has just done more to block your way than to open it.” Taylor, Barbara Brown. 2010. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith. HarperOne. pp. 7-8.

 

“Anaximander ties debt to the very being of things. Indeed, it would not be too much of an exaggeration to say that for Anaximander to be is to be indebted. Moreover, this debt in his view requires payment, atonement, or penance that is paid by passing away, by ceasing to be. But what does this claim mean? Anaximander is asserting that all beings are as they are only because they have a particular form or limit, because they are bounded. There is no abstract matter apart from concrete things, but there are also no finite or bounded things that do not occupy matter. Furthermore, the total amount of matter is limited. All things thus come to be only by displacing other things and occupying or embodying the matter that hitherto constituted something else. They thus exist only because they displace, consume, or destroy another being. This is the injustice Anaximander refers to, and the injustice that everything must atone for by paying its debt, that is by passing away, being displaced, destroyed, or consumed by other things.” Gillespie, Michael. 2013. “On Debt.” pp. 56-71. From: Debt: Ethics, the Environment, and the Economy. Paik, Peter & Merry Wiesner-Hanks. Indiana University Press. p. 57.

 

“This inference of general low diversity in the latest Ediacaran communities at Swartpunt supports the first prediction of the ‘biotic replacement’ model and is consistent with interpretation as a low richness ecosystem in the process of being marginalized by ecosystem engineers.” Darroch, Simon, Erik A. Sperling, Thomas H. Boag, Rachel A. Racicot, Sara J. Mason, Alex S. Morgan, Sarah Tweedt, Paul Myrow, David T. Johnston, Douglas H. Erwin &Marc Laflamme. 2015. “Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. September 7. doi.org/10.1098/ rspb.2015.1003.

 

“The significant reduction in assemblage diversity between the older and apex-diversity assemblages preserved at Nilpena, and the depauperate Nama-aged assemblages represented at Swartpunt, supports the ‘biotic replacement’ model for the end of the Ediacara biota. This in turn suggests that the extinction was likely a protracted event; beginning sometime in the interval separating the White Sea and Nama Ediacaran assemblages, and which preferentially removed iconic Ediacaran clades such as the Dickinsonimorphs, Triradialomorphs and Bilateralomorphs. We note that this model does not preclude the existence of another (and more sudden) extinction event at the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary; however, our data suggest that Ediacaran communities were depauperate and ‘stressed’ long before 541 Ma.” Darroch, Simon, Erik A. Sperling, Thomas H. Boag, Rachel A. Racicot, Sara J. Mason, Alex S. Morgan, Sarah Tweedt, Paul Myrow, David T. Johnston, Douglas H. Erwin &Marc Laflamme. 2015. “Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. September 7. doi.org/10.1098/ rspb.2015.1003.

 

“Together with the observation that latest Ediacaran to earliest Cambrian fossil localities in southern Namibia also contain evidence for increased diversity of bilaterian infauna and putative ecosystem engineers, these data provide the first quantitative support for the ‘biotic replacement’ model for the end of the Ediacara biota. In this scenario, soft-bodied Ediacara biota were slowly marginalized by newly evolving members of the Cambrian evolutionary fauna, which would have competed for resources, mixed the consistency and redox profile of the sediment and potentially changed the delivery or distribution of organic carbon to the seafloor. This in turn suggests that the end of the Ediacara biota may have begun long before the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary; the depauperate nature of communities preserved in southern Namibia indicates that the influence of ecosystem engineers likely stretches farther back into the Ediacaran. As such, future fossil discoveries that span the critical interval between ‘White Sea’ and ‘Nama’-aged assemblages should provide further evidence for extinction, and reveal earlier evidence for ecosystem engineering. In addition, this suggests that the first mass extinction of complex life may have been largely biologically mediated—ultimately caused by a combination of evolutionary innovation, ecosystem engineering and biological interactions—making this event unique in comparison with the much more heavily studied (and largely abiotically driven) Phanerozoic ‘Big Five’.” Darroch, Simon, Erik A. Sperling, Thomas H. Boag, Rachel A. Racicot, Sara J. Mason, Alex S. Morgan, Sarah Tweedt, Paul Myrow, David T. Johnston, Douglas H. Erwin &Marc Laflamme. 2015. “Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. September 7. doi.org/10.1098/ rspb.2015.1003.

 

“Large-scale technology (or, for short, the ‘technosphere’) is the term used here collectively for power, communication, industrial, governmental, military, and other widely distributed and interconnected technological systems on whose function modern civilization and society is based. Technology, including its human components, is recognized as an Earth-changing phenomenon whose transformation of air, water, and soil has been captured under the rubric of a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene.” Haff, Peter. 2012. “Technology and human purpose: the problem of solids transport on the Earth’s surface.” Earth Syst. Dynam. 3:149-156. pp. 149-150.

 

“The geological record preserves evidence for two fundamental stages in the evolution of Earth’s biosphere, a microbial stage from ~3.5 to 0.65 Ga, and a metazoan stage evident by c. 650 Ma. We suggest that the modern biosphere differs significantly from these previous stages and shows early signs of a new, third stage of biosphere evolution characterised by: (1) global homogenisation of flora and fauna; (2) a single species (Homo sapiens) commandeering 25–40% of net primary production and also mining fossil net primary production (fossil fuels) to break through the photosynthetic energy barrier; (3) human-directed evolution of other species; and (4) increasing interaction of the biosphere with the technosphere (the global emergent system that includes humans, technological artefacts, and associated social and technological networks). These unique features of today’s biosphere may herald a new era in the planet’s history that could persist over geological timescales.” Williams, Mark, Jan Zalasiewicz, Peter Haff, Christian Schwaegerl, Anthony Barnosky & Erle Ellis. 2015. “The Anthropocene biosphere.” The Anthropocene Review. 2(3):196-219. p. 196.

 

“Hooke’s reason for using the word cell was that, under the microscope, the cells in a plant resemble the rows of cells for monks living in a monastery.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 50.

 

“In multicellular organisms a tissue is a group of cells that function together to form the building blocks of organs and systems. Cells of a particular type aggregate to form sheets (hence the name tissue) and blocks of various shapes, just as slime moulds form as aggregates of the individual amoebae. Once again, the interaction between the cells changes their properties. Moreover, the way in which this happens can vary enormously even in the same organism.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 52.

 

“… it will become clear that part of the problem is that the question of purpose or function depends on the level we are considering. It has no meaning below the level at which the relevant function is integrated. As an example, consider the heart in vertebrate bodies like our own. In the context of the organism as a whole it is now obviously true that one purpose of the heart is to pump blood around the body to keep all the cells and tissues supplied with oxygen and energy… But it is equally clear that at the level of the atoms and molecules that form the heart, there seems to be no such purpose…. The purpose is not therefore intrinsic to the molecules. If one insists that all causation in biological systems is molecular, then there is no ‘real’ purpose anywhere in the body.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 54.

 

“The word ‘systems’ has a long history in physiology. The various organs of the body form parts of whole-body physiological systems within which their function is defined and implemented. The new generation of ‘systems biologists’ has tended to ignore this use of the term ‘system’, and to focus on the biochemical networks inside cells.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 56.

“The idea of ‘junk’ DNA has now itself been junked as we have found that the great majority of the sequences are transcribed into RNAs. Many RNAs have function within the organism, for example in controlling the genome, and some of them are also inherited independently of DNA.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 89.

 

“It begins to look as though the nucleus and the DNA are required more as an inner storehouse that can be raided when more proteins are required, and which must therefore be passed on to later generations to enable them to do the same.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 98.

 

“Bacteria have no fewer than three ways in which they can acquire new DNA sequences. The first is simply to take in DNA from their environment. The second is transfer of DNA via viruses called bacteriophages. The third is a little more like ‘real sex’: transfer of DNA directly from cell to cell by conjugation. The mechanism by which they incorporate DNA from their environment, which is called transformation, seems to be an adaptation to facilitate this process since it depends on a large number of proteins in the cell, and it also seems to be an adaptation to stressful environments.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 104.

 

“The earliest eukaryotic fossils date from 1.7 billion years ago.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 107.

 

“The language of Neo-Darwinism and twentieth-century biology reflects highly reductionist philosophical and scientific viewpoints, the concepts of which are not required by the scientific discoveries themselves. In fact, it can be shown that, in the case of some of the central concepts of Neo-Darwinism, such as ‘selfish genes’ or ‘genetic programme’, no biological experiment could possibly distinguish even between completely opposite conceptual interpretations of the same experimental findings. The concepts therefore form a biased interpretive veneer that can hide those discoveries in a web of interpretation.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 139.

 

“As we have seen, Neo-Darwinism is a gene-centred theory of evolution. Yet its central notion, the ‘gene’, is an unstable concept. Surprising as it may seem, there is no single agreed definition of ‘gene’. Even more seriously, the different definitions have incompatible consequences for the theory.

“Johannsen’s original definition, GeneJ – the necessary cause of a trait….

“The modern molecular biological definition of a gene, GeneM – a sequence of DNA that is transcribed to produce a functional product….

“The important point here is that geneJ and geneM are not the same thing and their causal relationships to the phenotype are fundamentally different. They could only be the same thing if all phenotype characteristics were attributable entirely to DNA sequences. As we have seen in Chapter 4, this is not case. DNA does not act outside the context of a complete cell. The complete cell is also necessary.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 140-1.

 

“No experiment could disprove a ‘catch-all’ concept since any new discovery as a cause of the phenotype to be included would be welcomed as a geneJ. The idea becomes completely unfalsifiable. It cannot be tested.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 141.

 

“Of course, different questions of an empirical nature could be asked about genesJ, such as whether they follow Mendel’s laws. Some do; some don’t. By contrast it makes perfect sense to ask whether a specific DNA sequence, geneM, is involved in determining the phenotype. That question is open to experimental investigation, GeneJ could only be the same as geneM if DNA alone determined the phenotype.

“This difference between geneJ (which refers to indeterminate entities that are necessarily the cause) and geneM (whose causation is open to experimentation) is central and I will use it several times in this book. The difference is in fact large since most changes in DNA do not necessarily cause a change in phenotype.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 142.

 

Why does the definition of a gene matter? A central feature of gene-centred evolutionary theory is that genes are not only the determinants of the organism and the object of selection, they are also isolated from influences of the environment. Genes are seen as unique in being transmitted as ‘immortal’ elements from one generation to the next via the process of replication. As the replicator they are distinct from the rest of the organism which, from the genes-eye view, is merely the carrier, the vehicle’, by which they are transmitted.

“The reason that the original and the molecular biological definitions of a gene have incompatible consequences for Neo-Darwinism is that only the molecular biological definition, geneM, could be compatible with such a strict separation between the ‘replicator’ and the ‘vehicle’.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 142-3.

 

“The more neutral word ‘template’ would be better. Templates are used only when required (activated); they are not themselves active causes. The active causes lie within the cells themselves since they determine the expression patterns for the different cell types and states.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 145.

 

“… the language of Neo-Darwinism is itself a powerful barrier to the development of a more inclusive theory.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 152.

 

“The principle of Biological Relativity is simply that there is no privileged level of causation in biology: living organisms are multi-level open stochastic systems in which the behaviour at any level depends on higher and lower levels and cannot be fully understood in isolation.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 160.

 

“Just as Special Relativity and General Relativity can be succinctly phrased by saying that there is no global (privileged) frame of reference, Biological Relativity can be phrased as saying that there is no global frame of causality in organisms.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 160.

 

“Spinoza was opposed to the dualism of mind and body espoused by Descartes. This was necessary in Descartes’ view of animals as automata since he wished to exclude humans from this view and so attributed their freewill to a separate substance, the soul, which could interact with the body.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 167.

 

“Scale is a matter only of extension, i.e. how large a part of nature is considered. Level is a matter of organisation, which could be a cell, an organ, an organism, a population and so on.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 176.

 

“The theory of Biological Relativity requires all three of these necessary conditions: constraint of components by the whole, stochasticity and emergent goal-directed properties. Together they satisfy the requirements for conditioned arising, the processes by which each development creates the conditions for further development, with stochasticity guaranteeing that the processes cannot be completely determinate.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 176.

 

“The mistake in the reductionist account is to assume that there is necessarily and always a prime mover. We need therefore to add the principle of relativity since it is necessary to recognise that in many systems of interactions involving circular causality there will be no ‘prime mover’.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 178.

 

“The problem for some scientists [with the concept of final cause] has perhaps arisen from the word ‘final’. From a mechanistic viewpoint, such causation is of course relative. The word ‘final’ does not entail that there is some overall purpose, an intelligent designer or other theological assumptions. It simply means ‘purpose’. Those purposes arise from the inter-scale interactions. Processes at higher scales give purpose to processes at lower scales.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 178-9.

 

“… the principle of Biological Relativity is best stated as the theory that all levels in organisms have causal efficacy. There is no privileged level from which all the others may be derived. The principle does not, however, mean that all levels are equivalent. The nature of the causal influence of each level on the others may differ.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 181.

 

“… we found that Neo-Darwinism is incomplete as a theory of evolution. It also suffers from deep conceptual confusions, and is not compatible with the wider range of experimental evidence we now have.

“To summarise the conceptual confusions:

“First, it is seriously confused about the central entity of the theory, the gene. Different definitions of a gene and of genetics have incompatible consequences for the theory since the definition of a gene has shifted all the way from referring to a necessary cause of a particular phenotype to referring to a DNA sequence, where the issue of causality is an empirical question.

“Second, it is confused about the different forms, natures and direction of causality, which in turn is why it prefers to avoid or ‘reduce’ the role of teleology and purpose. This is also why it represents genes (DNA sequences) as active causes rather than as passive templates. Significantly, the teleological language (‘selfish’ etc.) has not been eliminated; it has simply been wrongly attributed to the gene instead of to the organism. Of course it is true that most active scientists who think in Neo-Darwinist terms would deny that the anthropomorphic language is intended; they would say it is simply a way of speaking. But that is not entirely true. Representing DNA sequences as active causes ‘determining’ the organism is central to the language of Neo-Darwinism. The active nature of this representation is clearly intended….

“Yet, as we will see in this chapter and the next one, teleology is alive and well because there is what we may call natural purposiveness, but it belongs to the organism not its DNA. Representing DNA sequences as passive templates would avoid the misleadingly anthropomorphic language of the gene-centric popularisations.

“Finally, Neo-Darwinism uses an outdated concept of programming to defend the concept of a genetic programme. There are no complete ‘programmes’ within the genome. All the logic of life necessarily includes other components of organisms.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 189-90.

 

“The essential points can be summarised as follows:

“1. Recognise that the Weismann Barrier is a relative barrier rather than an absolute one.

“2. Recognise that genetic variation is not always random with respect to function.

“3. Recognise the existence of other forms of inheritance in addition to strict Mendelian inheritance.

“4. Recognise that the Central Dogma of molecular biology is better represented as an important chemical fact about coding, rather than an absolute statement about control by and primacy of the genome.

“5. Recognise the full significance of mobile genetic elements and the reorganisation of genomes.

“6. Recognise the inheritance of epigenetic and similar Lamarckian forms.

“7. Recognise the significance of symbiogenesis and many other forms of co-operation.

“8. Recognise the significance of niche construction and the active role of organisms in evolution.

“9. Recognise that evolution is a multi-mechanism process, that the Neo-Darwinian mechanism is just one of them, and that we really do not yet know the relative contribution of each process to each stage of evolution. This would be a return to Darwin’s more nuanced view that other processes may also exist.

“10. Respect the principle of Biological Relativity. The relativity principle applied to evolution is that nature may use mechanisms and selection at any scale, not just molecular. There is no privileged mechanism or scale for the transformation of species.”

Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 190-1.

 

“As Weismann’s tail-amputating experiments showed, he was also determined to oppose what he regarded as occult, even mystical ideas, including the weirder forms of Lamarckism.

“This motivation carried right through to the formulation of the Modern Synthesis, and to the dogmatic forms of Neo-Darwinism that we have seen today in its popularisation. The revolution in physics passed by unnoticed. An important message of this book is that it should not have done so. Applying the relativity principle to biology produces a complete change in viewpoint…. Weismann was not wrong to identify the barrier. The mistake was to treat it as absolute.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 194.

 

“The best way to sidestep these deeper problems is to ask an easier and more specific question: ‘random with respect to what?’. In evolutionary theory that makes the problem much simpler. Both Neo-Darwinists and their opponents can then agree that what is really meant is ‘random with respect to physiological (phenotypic) function’. That is so because one of the central tenets of Neo-Darwinism is the exclusion of any form of Lamarckism. By contrast, a Lamarckian must maintain that at least some changes are not completely random with respect to function.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 194-5.

 

“A well-known functionally driven form of genome change is the response to starvation in bacteria. Starvation can increase the targeted reorganisation of the genome by five orders of magnitude, i.e. by a factor of over 100,000. This is one of the mechanisms by which bacteria can evolve very rapidly and in a functional way in response to environmental stress.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 196.

 

“He [Popper] proposed a completely radical interpretation of Neo-Darwinism, essentially rejecting the Modern Synthesis by proposing that organisms themselves are the source of the creative processes in evolution, not random mutations in DNA. He said that Darwinism (but I am sure he meant Neo-Darwinsim) was not so much wrong as seriously incomplete. He saw that reverse transcription, which is the process that allows DNA segments to be transported from one region of the genome to another via an RNA intermediate, greatly weakens the Central Dogma.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 199. Reference: Popper, Karl. Lecture to the Royal Society in 1986. “A new interpretation of Darwinism.”

 

“Before that evolutionary threshold [emergence of eukaryotes with nuclei] was passed, it was impossible for organisms with separate germ cell lines to exist. The Weismann Barrier and the original basis of Neo-Darwinist theory would have been irrelevant.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 204.

 

“Does symbiogenesis still happen, or was it just an early stage in evolutionary history? That depends on what precisely we include in symbiogenesis. It doesn’t need to involve the fusion of whole genomes. By this criterion, we humans and all multicellular organisms are symbionts. We co-operate with a vast number of bacteria that serve necessary functions for us, as we do for them.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 206.

 

“Neo-Darwism is not so much wrong as incomplete. So was mechanics when quantum mechanics appeared.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 219.

 

“Inheritance is inheritance, whether it is genetic, epigenetic, RNA-based, culturally based or whatever. All the inheritance processes end up doing the same thing, which is to modify the organism. They are intricately interconnected so that selection would not be able to distinguish between them. They also interact so much that disentangling the genetic and epigenetic processes may be the wrong way to look at the situation.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 221.

 

“Popper’s lecture also contained a second major criticism of Neo-Darwinism.

“This was based on his clear understanding of a phenomenon usually known as the ‘Baldwin effect’ or ‘adaptability driver’. Organisms can choose new niches for themselves and their descendants. Moving to a new niche can change the course of evolution even with no mutations whatsoever.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 222.

 

“As Popper also saw, it is the insistence on the gene-centred approach that is the problem. By contrast, it is combinations of genes, or rather combinatorial interactions between large numbers of their products, RNAs and proteins, that are important functionally. What may appear to be a random distribution of components at a molecular level may in fact represent the particular pattern that has functional significance at a higher level….

“Interactions at a high level, which can be clearly seen as functional, may not appear to be functional at a low level. This is one of the reasons why Neo-Darwinists can use a gene-centric view to claim that all variation is random with respect to function. The non-randomness may only be evident if one takes a high-level perspective.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 223.

 

“It is important to emphasise that the assumption that genetic variations responsible for the origin of species are independent of the organism and its environment is just that: an assumption. It has not been proven experimentally to produce new species. By contrast, hybridisation in plants readily generates new species, and the process of symbiogenesis must also have done so, particularly when eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 225-6.

 

“Evidence for evolutionary change and for speciation is now so extensive as to be virtually incontrovertible. It is often taken to be evidence for Neo-Darwinism as a specific theory of how it all happened. But that evidence is perfectly consistent with other mechanisms outside the standard framework of Neo-Darwinism.

“Given the extent to which genomic reorganisation has occurred during evolution, which was the subject of Chapter 7, and the extent to which the genome is controlled by epigenetic mechanisms, which can in turn be assimilated into the genome, it makes much more sense to see the biological network processes as the driver.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 228.

 

“While there can be considerable uncertainty about the relative contributions of the different mechanisms to evolutionary change, two conclusions seem clear. The first is that, with a variety of mechanisms open to the evolutionary process, it should occur faster. The second is that it is probable that the relative contributions varied at different stages in evolution, and must often have interacted with each other.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 232.

 

“It has been recognised for many years that the original formulation of Neo-Darwinism needed extending. As we saw in Chapter 5, it was already extended as early as 1931 by the addition of random genetic drift and later in 1968 with Motoo Kimura’s Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution, which can be seen as a development of random genetic drift. These extensions recognised the need to take account of processes that could produce variation and evolutionary change based on random selection within the existing gene pool in a population, which can occur even without new mutations. In this respect, they partly resemble both the adaptability driver and Waddington’s genetic assimilation process described earlier in this chapter. Both of those also depend on change of combinations within the existing gene pool without requiring new mutations.

“The difference is that both the adaptability driver and Waddington’s genetic assimilation describe processes that are not really consistent with the spirit of Neo-Darwinism. The adaptability driver gives to organisms the creative initiative to choose and even help to create new niches. The driver, then, is clearly the active phenotype, not the passive genotype. Genetic assimilation is even more incompatible since it is a form of inheritance of acquired characteristics. That is the reason why Waddington did not accept the Neo-Darwinist view of evolution. The inheritance of acquired characteristics is more than an extension. It is a complete break.

“Further extensions were introduced more recently with the realisation that strict separation between evolution and development was incorrect.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 232-3.

 

“The inner circle of Darwinism includes variation, inheritance and natural selection. Neo-Darwinism adds the processes of gene mutation, Mendelian inheritance, population genetics, contingency and speciation.

“The extended evolutionary synthesis is then viewed as adding evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo theory), genetic assimilation (plasticity and accommodation), the adaptability driver and related effects (such as niche construction), which we have already described in this chapter. To these are added five more. Three of these, epigenetic inheritance, genomic evolution (which includes natural genetic engineering …) and multi-level selection (which naturally respects the principle of Biological Relativity), we have already discussed. The remaining ones are replicator theory and evolvability.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 233.

 

“The shift to a new synthesis in evolutionary biology can also be seen to be part of a more general shift of viewpoint within biology towards systems approaches. The reductionist approach (which inspired the Modern Synthesis as a gene-centred theory of evolution) has been very productive, but it needs, and has always needed, to be complemented by an integrative approach that recognises causality at multiple levels.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 235-6.

 

“From a scientific perspective I see spirituality, as I think Waddington did, as purposive creativity….” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 247.

 

“Can it be correct to defend reductionism, including Neo-Darwinism in particular, as necessary in order to counter the claims of creationist religions or supernatural intelligent design? Isn’t this the wrong way to defend reductionism in science? We need the reductionist approach, provided that it is complemented by its natural and necessary companion, integration. We should not let this necessity be hidden behind fears of misinterpretation by creationists.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 251.

 

“Life itself is also a process, as we have seen in previous chapters. Life processes are spiritual in the relevant sense that they are not purely material.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 255.

 

“The obvious interpretation using the conclusions of this book is that vital force simply consists in the processes of life.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 255.

 

“This openness [of organisms] and the interactions with other organisms is the condition for creativity.

“My reading of Lamarck’s great work, Philosophie Zoologique, also suggests this interpretation of ‘le pouvoir de la vie,’ usually translated into English as ‘life force’ and so often mistaken for a form of vitalism. On the contrary, Lamarck was firmly a materialist.” Noble, Denis. 2017. Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity. Cambridge University Press. p. 256.

 

“By ‘hierarchy,’ I simply mean that biological entities, be they molecules or species, are seen as parts of larger wholes–for example, populations are parts of species–and that this structural organization of biological entities is in itself germane to understanding the evolutionary process.” Eldredge, Niles. 2016. “Introduction: The Checkered Career of Hierarchical Thinking in Evolutionary Biology.” pp. 1-16. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 1.

 

“The sloshing bucket model [scale of economic or ecological effects as compared to genealogical effects] relating the magnitude of environmental impact to the extent of evolutionary response. According to the model, the higher the level of external perturbation, the higher the level in the economic hierarchy at which its effects are expressed and, consequently, the higher the level of the genealogical hierarchy at which the evolutionary consequences are manifested.” Eldredge, Niles. 2016. “Introduction: The Checkered Career of Hierarchical Thinking in Evolutionary Biology.” pp. 1-16. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 3.

 

“…’punctuated equilibria’ started the revolution that blew gradualism out of the water. Gradualism, empirically, is pretty much a fantasy. As in Darwin’s day, there is little or no real empirical support for the concept. Stasis–the essential stability of species with little or no evolutionary change, often for millions of years–is the empirical norm. And in this case, we [author and Steven Gould] knew that our elders from Darwin’s day were aware of that, hence Steve Gould’s remark that stasis is ‘paleontology’s trade secret.’

“So, as Darwin concluded in 1839, it really is an either/or situation. Gradualism versus stasis/allopatric speciation. Contrary to Darwin’s passage from Notebook E quoted above, stasis is the empirical truth of the matter, not gradualism–which he favored with no supporting data but out of a sense that it would be difficult to achieve isolation over vast reaches of terrestrial environments, such as the Argentinian pampas and Patagonian wilds.” Eldredge, Niles. 2016. “Introduction: The Checkered Career of Hierarchical Thinking in Evolutionary Biology.” pp. 1-16. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. pp. 12-14.

 

“We have come to see that biological nature is complexly organized into economic and genealogical hierarchies, and have come to ask how those twin hierarchies interact to produce evolutionary history.” Eldredge, Niles. 2016. “Introduction: The Checkered Career of Hierarchical Thinking in Evolutionary Biology.” pp. 1-16. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 14.

 

“Simple organismal tropisms, physiological homeostasis, the movement and patterning of cells in development, and even the behavior of human-made, goal-directed devices–all of these seemingly teleological systems are structured hierarchically. They are nested physically. They consist of a small thing that moves or changes inside a stable big thing, inside a field of some kind. In all of these systems, the apparent seeking behavior of the small thing is guided hierarchically, from the top down…. Likewise for evolving species. The species lineage leading to modern zebras is a small thing relative to its environment–in other words, relative to the environment within which it changes.” McShea, Daniel. 2016. “Hierarchy: The Source of Teleology in Evolution.” pp. 86-102. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 87.

 

“One signature of all seemingly teleological systems is their persistence….

“A related signature property of teleology is plasticity, the ability to find a given trajectory from a wide range of alternative starting points….

“Any theory of teleological behavior must account for these two properties. In an earlier paper, I developed a hierarchical view of teleology, arguing that persistence and plasticity in a biological entity are the result of what I call upper direction–that is, direction by a higher-level field within which the entity is immersed….

“Fields are physical structures. Their action on the entities they contain is direct and local, but fields can be present over a wide area.” McShea, Daniel. 2016. “Hierarchy: The Source of Teleology in Evolution.” pp. 86-102. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. pp. 88-9.

 

“This notion of a field as directing lower-level behavior is a fairly commonplace one, although the language used varies enormously. In some cases, such as the bacterium pursuing food, we ordinarily call the field providing upper-level direction a gradient. In other cases, such as the rat in a maze, the field is a boundary, establishing limits on change or movement. In both cases, they might be described as upper-level ‘constraints’ on the entities contained within them. Fields can also be thought of in some cases as contexts, which guide or channel their contained entities. In still other cases, such as the effect of interest rates, fields might be biases on the direction of change occurring within them. Here I use all these words as near synonyms. Fields can be gradients, biases, boundaries, constraints, or contexts, depending on the situation.” McShea, Daniel. 2016. “Hierarchy: The Source of Teleology in Evolution.” pp. 86-102. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 90.

 

“Two Perhaps Obvious Further Requirements for Teleological Behavior

“The first is stability. The upper-level field must be stable, or more precisely, it must be roughly constant on a timescale that is long relative to change or movement in the teleological entity. And it must be constant on a spatial scale that is large relative to the movements of the entity….

“The second requirement is freedom. The teleological entity must be at least somewhat free to change or move independently of the upper-level field. Persistence is error and correction, and an entity that has no freedom will make no errors and therefore will not appear to persist.” McShea, Daniel. 2016. “Hierarchy: The Source of Teleology in Evolution.” pp. 86-102. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 91.

 

“Even human goal directedness is entirely governed by present motivations and ideas.” McShea, Daniel. 2016. “Hierarchy: The Source of Teleology in Evolution.” pp. 86-102. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 92.

 

“The secret, the hierarchical view reveals, is that the end-state does not direct the teleological entity at all. What directs the entity is the field within which the entity moves, a field that is large and present for the entity at each moment, right now, as the entity is moving or changing.” McShea, Daniel. 2016. “Hierarchy: The Source of Teleology in Evolution.” pp. 86-102. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 98.

 

“In any case, what the hierarchical viewpoint reveals is that the heart of the process that creates the organism-environment fit, the factor that gives the process its teleological ‘feel,’ is the hierarchical relationship between the ecological field and the evolving species and not the particular mechanism by which the species is made malleable.” McShea, Daniel. 2016. “Hierarchy: The Source of Teleology in Evolution.” pp. 86-102. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 99.

 

“In order to even think about selection in biological entities, we must first suppose them to be nested within ecologies and those ecologies to have causal powers. In other words, hierarchy is conceptually and ontologically prior to selection. It is more fundamental.” McShea, Daniel. 2016. “Hierarchy: The Source of Teleology in Evolution.” pp. 86-102. Eldredge, Niles, T Pievani, E Serrelli & I Temkin (eds). Evolutionary Theory: A Hierarchical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. p. 100.

 

“Our experiments intimate that by at least 70 ka people were competent chemists, alchemists, and pyrotechnologists.” Wadley, Lyn, T. Hodgskiss & M. Grant. 2009. “Implications for complex cognition from the hafting of tools with compound adhesives in the Middle Stone Age, South Africa.” PNAS. June 16. 106:24:9590-9594. P. 9593.

 

“Some birds and wasps also create compound adhesives, but they do so instinctively with simply coded operational sequences, ‘cognigrams,’ in which the distance between problem and solution is far smaller than that demonstrated by the human action of making a composite hunting weapon. One obvious difference in human manufacture of compound glue is the use of pyrotechnology. Temperature control depends on understanding wood types, their moisture contents, and their propensity to form lasting coals. Vigilance is essential because our adhesives burned, or boiled to form air bubbles, when they were too close to the fire. Overdehydration caused loss of cohesiveness, whereas boiling adhesive created weakness.” Wadley, Lyn, T. Hodgskiss & M. Grant. 2009. “Implications for complex cognition from the hafting of tools with compound adhesives in the Middle Stone Age, South Africa.” PNAS. June 16. 106:24:9590-9594. P. 9593.

 

“A system is dynamic if it does something, or equivalently, if it consumes energy. A dynamic system of many parts is organized if the system function can be described succinctly. Organization means that many parts work together.” Haff, Peter. 2014. “Humans and technology in the Anthropocene: Six rules.” The Anthropocene Review. 1(2):126-136. P. 128.

 

“The rule of inaccessibility does not mean that we cannot affect a specific system or part that resides in our Stratum I, but only that we cannot do so directly in terms of variables defined in Stratum II [focal level and below Stratum III].” Haff, Peter. 2014. “Humans and technology in the Anthropocene: Six rules.” The Anthropocene Review. 1(2):126-136. P. 130.

 

“Stratum II systems are generally unresponsive to the behavior of most of their Stratum I parts by virtue of constraints applied to enforce organization of the parts. This is the rule of impotence.” Haff, Peter. 2014. “Humans and technology in the Anthropocene: Six rules.” The Anthropocene Review. 1(2):126-136. P. 131.

 

“…the fact that two Stratum II systems may affect one another directly imply a single rule of reciprocity that limits direct mutual interactions between two systems to those and only those that have reciprocal membership in each other’s Stratum II layer.” Haff, Peter. 2014. “Humans and technology in the Anthropocene: Six rules.” The Anthropocene Review. 1(2):126-136. P. 133.

 

“According to the rule of performance, at least some of the actions of most system parts must support the function of the system to which they belong.” Haff, Peter. 2014. “Humans and technology in the Anthropocene: Six rules.” The Anthropocene Review. 1(2):126-136. P. 133.

 

“It is necessary that the parts of a system experience an environment that makes it possible for them to perform their support function. The host system contributes to maintenance of a suitable environment for its parts according to the rule of provision.” Haff, Peter. 2014. “Humans and technology in the Anthropocene: Six rules.” The Anthropocene Review. 1(2):126-136. P. 134.

“The economy is the domain where functions of the technosphere are realized via human action. The economy is not seen as being subordinate to human design and human needs and wants, but is the evolved medium which ties up the biosphere and technology.” Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten. 2018 “The Case for a New Discipline: Technosphere Science.” Ecological Economics. 149:212-225. pp. 221-2.

 

“Buss once wrote that ‘The synthetic theory [Modern synthesis of evolution] cannot be incorrect; it can only be incomplete.’ It was a reiteration with a vengeance of Eldredge’s claim that ‘the synthesis is not so much incorrect as incomplete.’ We believe that it was, and indeed remains, not merely incomplete, however. It may not be fundamentally wrong but it was–and still is–more imperfect than the term ‘incomplete’ would have us believe.” Tanghe, Koen, A. De Tiege, L. Pauwels, S. Blancke & J. Braeckman. 2018. “What’s wrong with the modern evolutionary synthesis? A critical reply to Welch (2017).” Biol Philos. 33:23. p. 3. Subquotes: Buss, LW. 1987. The Evolution of Individuality. Princeton UP. p. 25; Eldredge, Niles. 1985. Unfinished Synthesis: Biological Hierarchies and Modern Evolutionary Thought. p. 6.

 

“It [the Modern Synthesis] is, in our opinion, not as flawless as its advocates uncritically assume but at the same time also not as fundamentally flawed as its most ambitious critics claim.” Tanghe, Koen, A. De Tiege, L. Pauwels, S. Blancke & J. Braeckman. 2018. “What’s wrong with the modern evolutionary synthesis? A critical reply to Welch (2017).” Biol Philos. 33:23. p. 3.

 

“The fact that both pre-paradigmatic approaches of evolving nature [organism-focused naturalists and gene-focused Mendelian experimentalists (saltationists)] were not completely reconciled through the construction of the MS explains why, as Kutschera and Niklas point out, these two major camps of biologists ‘persist to the present day.’ In his Reinventing Darwin, Eldredge speaks, in this respect, even of ‘the great evolutionary debate’. He doubts whether naturalists or organismic biologists and genecentric ‘ultra-darwinians’ will ever reach a general agreement. One thing is certain: the clash between proponents of the MS and the EES [extended evolutionary synthesis] can, as will become clear below, to a certain extent, be interpreted as a new episode in that great debate.” Tanghe, Koen, A. De Tiege, L. Pauwels, S. Blancke & J. Braeckman. 2018. “What’s wrong with the modern evolutionary synthesis? A critical reply to Welch (2017).” Biol Philos. 33:23. pp. 12-13. References: Kutschera, U & KN Niklas. 2004. “The modern theory of biological evolution; an expanded synthesis.” Naturwissenschaften. 91:255-276; Eldredge, Niles. 1995. Reinventing Darwin: the Great Evolutionary Debate. Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

 

“The MS has not been, and should not be, replaced with a heterogeneous and amorphous explanatory toolkit, nor with an EES, but rather with an improved version of itself…. The main idea behind such an amended MS is that it should reflect the paradoxical nature of evolution, rather than the multidisciplinary nature of evolutionary biology. What is now a somewhat ‘pockmarked’ and patchy reflection of that fragmented academic reality could thus become a paradigm that is more akin to that of a ‘normal’ or less pluralistic (i.e., multidisciplinary) science.” Tanghe, Koen, A. De Tiege, L. Pauwels, S. Blancke & J. Braeckman. 2018. “What’s wrong with the modern evolutionary synthesis? A critical reply to Welch (2017).” Biol Philos. 33:23. p. 16.

 

“Multicellular forms are present in several eukaryotic lineages. Some lineages, such as animals (Metazoa) and plants (Embryophyta), are entirely multicellular (that is, all species are multicellular), whereas other lineages have only a few multicellular species, with the majority being unicellular. From this widespread distribution, it can be inferred that multicellularity has evolved independently multiple times, although only in four lineages is this multicellularity linked to embryonic development and complex body plans.” Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Bernard Degnan & I. Ruiz-Trillo. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.” Nature. August. 18:498-512. p. 500.

 

“Although there was gene innovation at the onset of Metazoa, the unicellular ancestor of animals already had a rich repertoire of genes that are required for cell adhesion, cell signalling and transcriptional regulation in modern animals.

“The first example is that of genes encoding cell adhesion proteins, which are necessary for cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in the formation of cell layers, tissues and the extracellular matrix (ECM) in animals….

“Signal transduction is another key requirement for metazoan multicellularity… Thus, it seems that although some metazoan intracellular signalling components were present in the unicellular ancestor of animals, in most cases their upstream receptors and ligands evolved after metazoans diverged from unicellular holozoans.

“Finally, comparative genomics studies have also shown that a considerable proportion of the transcription factor (TF) repertoire of animals was already present in the holozoan unicellular ancestor.” Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Bernard Degnan & I. Ruiz-Trillo. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.” Nature. August. 18:498-512. pp. 501, 503.

 

“The finding that many key genes involved in animal multicellularity and development were already present in the unicellular ancestor of animals suggests that the co-option of ancestral genes into new functions was an important mechanism in the evolution of animal multicellularity.” Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Bernard Degnan & I. Ruiz-Trillo. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.” Nature. August. 18:498-512. p. 503.

 

“Overall, the diversity of morphologies and cell behaviours in extant unicellular holozoans suggests that the unicellular ancestor of metazoans was a bacterivore that displayed sexual reproduction and multiple temporally differentiated cell types. Most likely, these transitions between the different cell states were tightly regulated by the differential expression of conserved TFs, such as Brachyury, and were triggered by environmental conditions such as nutrient starvation and the presence of bacterial prey.” Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Bernard Degnan & I. Ruiz-Trillo. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.” Nature. August. 18:498-512. p. 504.

 

“In summary, a major innovation in the transition to animal multicellularity was the emergence of mechanisms (inductive signals and genome regulation) that allowed for the spatiotemporal deployment of effector gene batteries, many of which already existed in the unicellular ancestor. The specific nature of these mechanisms remains to be fully resolved, but likely candidates include the decoupling of cell differentiation from environmental cues, the expansion of TF regulatory capabilities, the emergence of a combinatorial regulatory lexicon mediated by distal enhancer elements, the evolution of repressive chromatin states and the evolution of a hierarchically organized chromosomal architecture.” Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Bernard Degnan & I. Ruiz-Trillo. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.” Nature. August. 18:498-512. p. 508.

 

“Haeckel proposed that the first step in the evolution of animal multicellularity was a hollow ball of identical flagellated cells, which he called a blastea. With some modern adaptations, such as the ‘choanoblastea’ theory (which emphasizes the resemblance of Haeckel’s blastea to a choanoflagellate colony), Haeckel’s model is still the most widely accepted explanation of the emergence of animal multicellularity. An important assumption of the Gastrea [sic] model is that cell differentiation appeared after the origin of multicellularity and, therefore, that there was a single founding cell type in animals.” Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Bernard Degnan & I. Ruiz-Trillo. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.” Nature. August. 18:498-512. p. 508.

 

“The recent discoveries reviewed here provide evidence for a potential alternative scenario [to Haeckel’s proposal]. First, many genes that are essential to animal multicellularity originated in a unicellular context. Second, several close unicellular animal relatives have complex life cycles that include different cell types and temporally regulated multicellular behaviours. Moreover, the temporally regulated cell type differentiation of animal relatives is associated with specific transcriptional profiles that are supported by changing chromatin states and extensive remodelling of signalling states such as phospho-signalling networks. All of these findings indicate that the cell states of premetazoans are the result of bona fide differentiation processes that involve changes in morphology, motility and so on, rather than simply being examples of temporary phenotypic plasticity or changing metabolic states.” Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Bernard Degnan & I. Ruiz-Trillo. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.” Nature. August. 18:498-512. p. 508.

 

“Based on the evidence obtained in recent years, we can propose a hypothesis to explain the origin of Metazoa that is rooted in the Synzoospore hypothesis that was originally proposed by Zakhvatkin in 1949 and was later further developed by Mikhailov et al. In this scenario, Metazoa arose from an ancestral protist with a complex life cycle that involved multiple temporally regulated cell states. This life cycle was dependent on environmental stimuli, and probably comprised one or more multicellular life stages (clonal and/or aggregative) and sexual reproduction, as observed in some extant unicellular holozoans. These temporally regulated cell types would become spatially integrated into the first metazoans, concomitant with the evolution of additional mechanisms for complex gene regulation….

“The initial coexistence of diverse cell types in the Urmetazoa was associated with limited morphogenetic programmes (for example, simple layering by differential expression of adhesion molecules or the creation of internal spaces for nutrient diffusion) and, probably, labile cell fates, such multicellular organization is observed in extant sponges, in which high rates of cell transdifferentiation exist. Also, these cells were probably maintained together within an ECM that was produced by one or more of these cell types. In this initial proto-ontogeny, cell type differentiation polarities were probably similar to those in the unicellular ancestor (that is, not all cell types would be proliferative and not all cell type transitions would be possible), and limited cellular memory existed….

“Progressively, cell differentiation would become independent of environmental stimuli, and cell identity could instead be established and maintained by developmental regulatory programmes that were initiated by cell-cell communication pathways that evolved in the animal stem lineages. These closed ontogenetic cell trajectories would proceed through undifferentiated cell states, and epigenomic mechanisms of cellular memory would be essential to maintain differentiated cell fates, while some cell types might retain broad cellular potential. It is likely that the coupling of these ontogenetic differentiation trajectories with morphogenesis (for example, during gastrulation and mesoderm specification in some bilaterians) led to the emergence of the first animal body plans and developmental programmes.” Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Bernard Degnan & I. Ruiz-Trillo. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.” Nature. August. 18:498-512. pp. 508-9. References: Zakhvatkin, A. 1949. The Comparative Embryology of the Low Invertebrates: Sources and Method of the Origin of Metazoan Development. Soviet Science; Mikhailov, K et al. 2009. “The origin of Metazoa: a transition from temporal to spatial cell differentiation.” Bioessays. 31:758-768.

 

“In summary, we posit that recent results from unicellular holozoans are consistent with regulated cell differentiation existing before the advent of animal multicellularity. Therefore, the first animals probably evolved from a unicellular ancestor that had a complex life cycle, through a transition from temporally regulated to spatiotemporally regulated cell type differentiation.” Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Bernard Degnan & I. Ruiz-Trillo. 2017. “The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective.” Nature. August. 18:498-512. p. 510.

 

“The archeological record represents materialized aspects of behavior.” Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of causal cognition.” Frontiers in Psychology. December 17. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01472. P. 1.

“Causal reasoning as the ability to identify the relationship between causes (in tool behavior: tools as agents/agens) and effects (the change of the status of an object on which the tool is applied) is fundamental to conceptualize tool use.” Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of causal cognition.” Frontiers in Psychology. December 17. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01472. P. 2.

 

“The use of a tool incorporates a moment of inhibition of the impulse to satisfy a need as quickly as possible; the distance between a problem and its solution is increased.” Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of causal cognition.” Frontiers in Psychology. December 17. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01472. P. 3.

 

“In cognigrams, the different elements of a behavior are broken down by active and passive attention foci (subject, tools, objects, locations), by perceptions of need opening the attention foci, by actions within or directed to an attention focus, by effects of attention foci on other attention foci, and by phases-clusters of actions that have to be executed as a group or, if interrupted, started again with the first action of the phase.” Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of causal cognition.” Frontiers in Psychology. December 17. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01472. P. 3.

 

“An extension of the problem-solution distance beyond the application of a set of several simple tools on one target becomes evident with secondary tool use, the use of tools to produce other tools to solve a problem. Not only intermediate targets in direct connection to the satisfaction of the basic need have to be perceived, but also tools have to be prepared in advance to change the status of an object to become the tool to solve the problem. Such a chaining of agent-effect relations is the foundation for the manufacture of stone tool by hominins reaching back at least 2.6 million years: a hammerstone and adequate stone nodules as raw material have to be organized in order to produce cutting tools to process e.g., animal carcasses. So far, the chaining of different agent-effect relations has not been observed in animals in the wild.” Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of causal cognition.” Frontiers in Psychology. December 17. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01472. Pp. 7-8.

 

“A hammerstone can not only be perceived as a means to solve a basic problem like the exploitation of hard food resources, but can also be used to solve secondary problems such as manufacturing of tools. In human evolution, tool behavior becomes increasingly decoupled from basic needs.” Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of causal cognition.” Frontiers in Psychology. December 17. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01472. P. 8.

 

“Finally, with notional concepts causal reasoning beyond purely physical effects of exclusively physical agents/agens has been introduced. As notional concepts ‘objects’ are defined, which can be manipulated only in the mind or through imagination, but can be combined with and may have effects on physical or other notional modules. Notional concepts can be represented in (a) the signification of objects/signs (e.g., the meaning of the cross, a crescent, and the Star of David as symbols of religions), (b) systems of ideas (e.g., myths, religious beliefs, philosophical question, constitutions of states), (c) normative definitions (e.g., metric and value systems), or (d) virtual beings (e.g., angels), and characters (e.g., protecting capacities of an amulet). A notional concept as attention focus can be combined with a physical object to form a composite with new functional qualities emerging out of the basic physical qualities and a certain meaning.” Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of causal cognition.” Frontiers in Psychology. December 17. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01472. P. 9.

 

“The different tool behaviors in hominins, and with it the handling of agents/agens and effects to satisfy individual needs, can generally be taken as different cultural performances with interrelated biological, individual and historical-social aspects of development embedded within a specific environment/resource space. The biological dimension refers to the biological potential and constraints for behavior given in genes, gene expressions, anatomical blueprints and physiological standards of a group of organisms and is expressed, for example, in the structure of the nervous system and the brain, in sensory perception, in motor and articulation skills, in the form of sociality, and in the principle abilities to communicate. The individual dimension of behavior reflects individuals’ preferences, aversions, skills, and disabilities. The individual dimension incorporates the potential and constraints of an individual, or of a group of individuals, set by individual talents or poor aptitudes, by the personal social setting and by individual life histories of physical, mental, and emotional experiences. The historical-social dimension represents historical and social potentials and constraints. The set of historically acquired knowledge and skills, customs, views and opinions, and the social access to it, makes up a part of the individual’s environment that can be acted on, and used as a basis for further innovation. The forms and extent of storage, transmission, permutation, and transformation of the knowledge and skills, customs, views, and opinions support or hamper the unfolding of cultural performances. The three dimensions are multifactorial and interdependent with each other and the embedding environment.” Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of causal cognition.” Frontiers in Psychology. December 17. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01472. P. 11.

 

Simple tool behavior in general requires at least minimal forms of inhibition, allowing a shift of the focus from the desired goal to a means to reach the target. The means are not chosen completely arbitrarily, but selected for a set of (necessary and random) features providing an approach to achieve the aim…. Modular tool behavior based on secondary tool use requires an understanding and application of causal chains. While 15-month-old children are able to understand causal chains, capuchin monkeys e.g., understand only spatial relationships between two, but not three items…. Composite tool behavior also requires the combination of different tools with different qualities. Instead of being applied in a causal sequence, however, the tools with different qualities joint in a composite tool unfold their effects together and interdependently to reach the target.” Haidle, Miriam. 2014. “Building a bridge–an archeologists’s perspective on the evolution of causal cognition.” Frontiers in Psychology. December 17. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01472. P. 13.

 

“The Doughnut: a twenty-first-century compass. Between its social foundation of human well-being and ecological ceiling of planetary pressure lies the safe and just space for humanity.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. P. 44.

 

“To avoid dangerous climate change, for example, keep the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere below 350 parts per million. In terms of limiting land conversion, ensure that at least 75% of once-forested land remains forested. And when it comes to using chemical fertilisers, add at most 62 million tonnes of nitrogen and 6 million tonnes of phosphorus to Earth’s soils each year… But in essence, the nine planetary boundaries create the best picture we have yet seen of what it will take to hang on to the home-sweet-home of the Holocene, but to do so in the human-dominated age of the Anthropocene.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. P. 49.

 

“When Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in 1776, there were fewer than one billion people alive and, in dollar terms, the size of the global economy was 300 times smaller than it is today.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. P. 74.

 

“… it [the economy] is typically made up of four realms of provisioning: the household, the market, the commons and the state…. All four are means of production and distribution, but they go about it in very different ways. Households produce ‘core’ goods for their own members; the market produces private goods for those willing and able to pay; the commons produce co-created goods for the communities involved; and the state produces public goods for all the populace.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. Pp. 77-8.

 

“Once the solar panels, computer networks and 3D printers are in place, the cost of producing one extra joule of energy, one extra download, one extra 3D printed component, is close to nothing, leading Rifkin to dub it ‘the zero-marginal-cost revolution.’” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. Pp. 83-4. Reference: Rifkin, J. 2014. The Zero Marginal Cost Society. Palgrave Macmillan.

 

“That [whether a state is an empowering economic partner] crucially depends, argue the economist Daron Acemoglu and political scientist James Robinson, on whether, in each country, the state’s economic and political institutions are inclusive or extractive.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. P. 86; Reference: Acemoglu, D. & J. Robinson. 2013. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty. Profile Books.

 

“This [the economics model of rational man] matters, argues economist Robert Frank, because ‘our beliefs about human nature help shape human nature itself’. Research by Frank and others has revealed, first, that the discipline of economics tends to attract self-interested people. Experimental research in Germany, for example, found that economics students were more likely than other students to be corruptible – willing to give a biased answer – if it led to a personal payout. Research in the US likewise found that economics majors were more approving of their own and others’ self-serving behaviour, while economics professors gave significantly less money to charity than their worse-paid colleagues in many other disciplines.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. P. 100. Reference: Frank, B. & G. Schulze. 2000. “Does economics make citizens corrupt?” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. 43:101-113.

 

“Another experimental survey found that university students who were invited to take part in a ‘Consumer Reaction Study’ identified more strongly with notions of wealth, status and success than did their fellow students who were merely told instead that they were participating in a ‘Citizen Reaction Study’.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. P. 102.

 

“The preliminary sketches for this updated self-portrait [future model of economic human] are under way, revealing five broad shifts in how we can best depict our economic selves. First, rather than narrowly self-interested we are social and reciprocating. Second, in place of fixed preferences, we have fluid values. Third, instead of isolated we are interdependent. Fourth, rather than calculate, we usually approximate. And fifth, far from having dominion over nature, we are deeply embedded in the web of life.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. P. 102.

 

“The most interesting results, however, emerge from the contrasting ways that different societies play the game [Ultimatum Game]. Among North American university students – the archetypal WEIRD community – proposers tend to offer the other player a 45% share, and offers below 20% tend to be rejected. Meanwhile, among the Machiguenga living in the Peruvian Amazon, proposers tend to offer far less – around just 25% – and responders almost always accept their share, no matter how small it is. By contrast, among the villagers of Lamelara, Indonesia, proposers offer to give away almost 60% of the money, and rejections are rare.

“What explains these wide variations in cultural norms of reciprocity? In large part, their diverse societies and economies in which we live. North Americans live in a highly interdependent market-based economy that relies upon a culture of reciprocity to make it work. In contrast the hunter-gatherer Machiguenga live in small family groups and meet most of their needs within their own households, with little trade between: as a result their dependence on community reciprocity is relatively low. The Lamelara, in turn, depend upon communal whale hunting for their livelihoods, heading out to sea in large canoes carrying a dozen or more men who must then share each day’s catch: strong norms of sharing are essential to their collective success, and are reflected in their high offers in the game.

“Across diverse cultures, social norms of reciprocity clearly vary according to the structure of the economy, particularly the relative importance of the household, market, commons or state in provisioning for society’s needs. People’s sense of reciprocity appears to co-evolve with their economy’s structure….” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. Pp. 105-6.

 

“Since the 1980s the social psychologist Shalom Schwartz and colleagues have surveyed people of all ages and backgrounds in over 80 countries, identifying ten clusters of basic personal values that are recognised across cultures: self-direction, stimulation, hedonism, achievement, power, security, conformity, tradition, benevolence and universalism. When it comes to nurturing human nature, three things stand out in their findings.

“First, all ten basic values are present in us all, and each one of us is motivated by their full array, but to widely differing degrees that vary between cultures and individuals. Power and hedonism, for example, may predominate for some people, while in others benevolence and tradition prevail. Second, each of the values can be ‘engaged’ in us if it is triggered: when reminded of security, for example, we are likely to take fewer risks; when power and achievement are brought to mind, we are less likely to take care of others’ needs. Third, and most interestingly, the relative strength of these different values changes in us not just over the course of a lifetime, but in fact many times in a day, as we switch between social roles and contexts, whether moving from the workplace to the social space, the kitchen table to the conference table, from the commons to the market to the home. And – just like muscles – the more often any one value is engaged, the stronger it becomes.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. Pp. 107-8. Reference: Schwartz, S. 1994. “Are there universal aspects in the structure and content of human values?” Journal of Social Issues. 50:4:19-45.

 

“What if, instead [of quantitative easing or QE by buying back government bonds], central banks tackled such deep recessions by issuing new money directly to every household as windfall cash to be used specifically for paying down debts – an idea that has come to be know as ‘People’s QE’. Rather than inflating the price of bonds, which tends to benefit wealthy asset owners, this approach – which resembles a one-off tax rebate for all – would benefit indebted households. Additionally, suggests the tax expert Richard Murphy, central banks could channel new money into national investment banks for ‘green’ and social infrastructural projects, such as community-based renewable energy systems, as part of the long-term infrastructural transformation that is urgently needed – an idea now known as ‘Green QE’.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. Pp. 184-5. Reference: Murphy, Richard & C. Hines. 2010. “Green quantitative easing: paying for the economy we need.” http://www.financeforthefuture.com/GreenQuEasing.pdf.

 

“Lietaer’s first move was to ask the residents of Rabot [a district in Ghent, Belgium] what they actually wanted. The resounding answer: little plots of land for growing food. So a five-hectare derelict factory site was soon converted into allotments available for rent, which was payable only in a new currency, Torekes, meaning ‘little towers’, named after the district’s ubiquitous tower blocks. And they can be earned by volunteering to collect litter, replant public gardens, and repair public buildings, or by using the car pool and switching to green electricity. Along with paying the allotment rent, Torekes can be spent on bus travel and cinema tickets, or used in local shops to buy fresh produce and energy-efficient light bulbs, so boosting their uptake. But their social value has reached even further. ‘When people see that immigrants, who tend to be blamed as polluters themselves, are helping to clean up the neighbourhood, then that is a positive signal to anyone,’ notes Guy Reynebeau, head of Health and Welfare in the district, ‘Such actions can’t be priced, not in Euros or Torekes.’” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. Pp. 236-7. Reference: Herman, G. 2011. “Alternative currency has great success: Rabot loves Torokes.” Nieuwsblad. April 30. Http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/f839i9vt.

 

“This is why Fullerton and his colleague Tim MacDonald started thinking about ways for regenerative enterprises to escape the constant pressure to grow from shareholders. They came up with the concept of Evergreen Direct Investing (EDI), which delivers acceptable and resilient financial returns from mature low- or no-growth enterprises. Instead of paying profit-based dividends to shareholders, the enterprise pays out a share of its income stream to investors in perpetuity. This set-up enables a profitable but non-growing business to attract stable investment from wealth stewards with a long-term view, such as pension funds. ‘EDI allows an enterprise to behave like a tree,’ Fullerton explained to me. ‘Once it is mature, it stops growing and bears fruit – and the fruit are just as valuable as the growth was.’” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. P. 273. Reference: Personal communication with author to J. Fullerton, 2014.

 

“… the New Economics Foundation has distilled the findings [of what really matters to people] down to five simple acts that are proven to promote well-being: connecting to the people around us, being active in our bodies, taking notice of the world, learning new skills, and giving to others.” Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business Books. P. 283.

 

“Take E. coli, that workhorse of biochemistry and molecular biology, and of all living creatures the one best understood. A single cell takes the form of a short rod, a cylinder some 2 micrometers long and 0.8 wide, with rounded caps. Under optimal conditions, 20 minutes suffice for each cell to elongate, divide, and produce 2 where there had been 1 before. But what a prodigious task this is! In that brief span of time the original cell will have produced some 2 million protein molecules, potentially of 4,000 different kinds, some 2.2 million lipid molecules, composing 60 varieties, 200,000 molecules of various RNAs; and nearly 1,000 species of small organic substances, some 50 million molecules in all. It will also have duplicated two unique giant molecules. One is the circular, double-stranded DNA helix, consisting of about 4.6 million nucleotide pairs, were it uncoiled, it would stretch for 1,600 micrometers. The other is the peptidoglycan layer of the cell wall, composed of some 2 million repeating units cross-linked into a huge bag-shaped molecule that encases the whole cell.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 8.

 

“At the risk of some exaggeration, one can argue that all the genes in the prokaryotic pool make up a single common market, and organisms represent nothing more than the samples that proved successful.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 11.

 

“Structural heredity is not an alternative mechanism for the transmission of specific characters; that’s what genes are for. Rather, cell heredity is a consequence of the continuity of cell architecture, and complementary to the work of the genes. At the risk of some oversimplification, I argue that all instructions that can be expressed in linear, digital form end up in genes. Those concerned with three-dimensional order, such as topology and polarity, are carried by cell heredity….

“Membranes, it appears, are never constructed de novo but arise by the growth of a preexisting membrane. Like DNA, they have been passed continuously down the generations, ever since the dawn of cellular life….” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 14.

 

“Not all genes are equally likely to undergo lateral transfer. Those whose product is part of some intricate and integrated machine, such as a ribosome or an ion-translocating ATPase, will have been honed for precise fit to other members of the complex; they are far more likely to be inherited vertically, and will seldom be displaced by an adventitious substitute (though they may on occasion be trafficked as a unit)….

“The emerging consensus is that the core of genes that are always transmitted vertically, and seldom or never laterally, cannot be large–perhaps one or two hundred out of the three thousand to five thousand that make up a standard prokaryotic genome.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 26-7.

“And lateral gene transfer, in the special form of endosymbiosis, played a major role in the genesis of the eukaryotic cell itself.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 27.

 

“Besides, prokaryotes often form intimate associations that allow the consortium to exploit niches unavailable to the partners individually; such ‘syntrophic’ companies between cells (or protocells) might serve as precursors to outright fusion that generates a novel kind of cell.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 66.

 

“The cyanobacteria, and they alone, possess both photosystems arranged in tandem; and only the cyanobacteria possess the molecular machinery to extract electrons from water and generate molecular oxygen.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 83.

 

“Just as every cell comes from a cell, so does every membrane come from a membrane.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 94.

 

“Two universal constituents of cells never form de novo, chromosomes and membranes …. Just as DNA replication requires information from a pre-existing DNA template, membrane growth requires information from pre-existing membranes….” Quote from Cavalier-Smith, Thomas. 2000. “Membrane heredity and early chloroplast evolution.” Trends in Plant Science. 5:174-182. P. 175; Cited in Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 95.

 

“Genes, the replicators, are in principle linear structures; cells, the reproducers, must be organized in three-dimensional space.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 95.

 

“By hypothesis, stem-group cells acquired not only primordial versions of information processing but also the requisite precursors of metabolism, membranes, and energy transduction; they supplied vehicles for an era of intense bio-chemical experimentation and invention during which the operation and organization of cellular life took shape. Rough beasts lumbering toward greater autonomy, individuality, and complexity, stem-group cells evolved and refined transcription, translation, replication, and also metabolism and bioenergetics. They also gave rise to the true cells that populate the three domains of life. This astonishingly creative phase spans the period from the origin of protocells, perhaps 4 billion years ago, to the first appearance of prokaryotic cells 3.5 billion years ago….” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 100.

 

“The radiation of eukaryotic organisms as displayed in the fossil record began about a billion years ago; the age of the eukaryotic lineage is uncertain but may be far greater. Fossils generally accepted as eukaryotic go back to about 1.7 billion years ago; molecular biomarkers may be older, and phylogenomics puts the origin of the nuclear lineage at least as far back as 2 billion years ago… The plant lineage subsequently gained plastids, an event variously dated between 1.2 billion and 700 million years ago.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 113.

 

“Current discussions [for origin of eukaryotes] revolve around three themes, with substantial overlap among them. One school of thought–probably the most popular at present–holds that some kind of a merger between cells of Archaea and Bacteria put evolution onto a novel track, which culminated in the emergence of the eukaryotic pattern of order. The idea comes in multiple versions, which differ with respect to the identity and number of the prokaryotic partners and the importance of mitochondria in generating complex organization. Their opponents defend the traditional view that eukaryotic cells arose autogenously from a prokaryotic line, so that mitochondria came late into a host cell that already possessed the basic eukaryotic capacities. The third proposition grows out of the premise that the nuclear lineage of eukaryotes represents one of the three basic domains of life, whose origin traces to an early stage in cell evolution, possibly as far back as do the prokaryotes.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 114.

 

“The central function of eukaryotic endomembranes is not bioenergetics but transport: they mediate both secretion and the uptake of particulate matter, and communicate (usually) by means of cargo-carrying vesicles that bud off one compartment and fuse with another.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 120.

 

“The origin of plastids is better defined than that of mitochondria, because the events are more recent and the metamorphosis of bacteria into organelles has not progressed as far. The historical narrative … begins with a population of heterotrophic protists, early eukaryotes complete with mitochondria and probably biflagellate, that preyed upon cyanobacteria, which they gobbled up by phagocytosis and then digested. From time to time the prey would have escaped from the phagocytic vacuole to take up residence in the host’s cytoplasm. In some instances, what began as an infection prospered and matured into a relationship that was mutually beneficial. This scenario must have played out on many occasions, but the evidence suggests that only once did it progress to the point where the endosymbiont lost its identity and turned into a photosynthetic organelle. This was an earth-shaking event, second only to the domestication of mitochondria hundreds of millions of years earlier….

“Secondary endosymbiosis, the engulfment of a whole photosynthetic algal cell by a heterotrophic protist gave rise to many tribes of photosynthetic protists, some based on a green alga and others on a red. And tertiary endosymbiosis, the replacement of one established secondary plastid by another, added further layers of complexity.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 132-3.

 

“The preferred view today has the RNA World evolving within compartmentalized entities of some kind (lipid vesicles, mineral cavities, or on a surface), and supported by a significant metabolic base.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 184-5.

 

“Here [the emergence of the translation system of DNA to proteins], more than anywhere else on the journey through the murky realm of cell evolution, one can scarcely help wondering whether it will be necessary to step clear outside the box of conventional evolutionary mechanisms.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 185.

 

“At the conclusion of a century of science, whose great glory is the discovery of how living things work, there is something downright disgraceful about this confession, an intimation that despite our vast knowledge and clever technology there may be questions that exceed our grasp. But its truth is indisputable. A survey of the literature devoted to the beginnings of life leaves one in no doubt that all the critical questions remain open.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 187.

 

“The assertion that life did, long ago, germinate from the inanimate world forces us to confront the contradiction between life as part of the fabric of physics and chemistry, and life set apart. No wonder, then, that the origin of life has emerged as a deeply discomfiting issue, a black hole at the very heart of our science.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 188.

 

“For the past three decades, scholars of evolution have felt pinched by the modern synthesis and have called for its expansion. [Note]: Cell evolution demands a still more radical transformation of the framework.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 191.

 

“… growing cells construct the architectural framework of the daughter upon that of the mother, by extension of elements including the plasma membrane, cell wall, and cytoskeleton (in eukaryotic cells the list includes the endoplasmic reticulum, centrioles, and chromosomes). A byproduct of architectural continuity is the phenomenon commonly known as structural heredity, the transmission of information that specifies location or orientation in cell space without the participation of genes.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 202-3.

 

“My own inclination is to take the pattern [of temporally punctuated abrupt changes in evolutionary design] at face value and attribute such episodes to the opening of new niches or ways of making a living, which encouraged the quick proliferation of a successful design. The case seems especially convincing for the divergence of eukaryotic supergroups, which followed hard upon the emergence of the eukaryotic common ancestor. The origin of viruses, protein folds, and perhaps cellular life itself seem to display such a pattern, interpreted by Eugene Koonin as transitions between evolutionary phases: complex novelties emerge in the ‘inflationary’ episodes, and diversify in the calmer periods that follow.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 209. Reference: Koonin, Eugene. 2012. The logic of chance: the nature and origin of biological evolution. Upper Saddle River.

 

“One can argue that viruses, being obligatory parasites, are not ‘alive’ and do not belong on the tree at all. Yet they clearly are part of the universe of living things, and not a peripheral part either. The fact that we still do not know where to put them points up a large lacuna in our view of life.” Harold, Franklin. 2014. In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life’s Building Blocks. University of Chicago Press. P. 220.

 

“The mathematical biologist Martin Nowak has identified five different ‘pathways’ to cooperation, as he calls them: Kin selection, direct reciprocity, indirect reciprocity, network reciprocity, and group selection….

“In contrast, network reciprocity envisions a structured population that might allow cooperators, cheaters, and defectors to coexist but where cooperators will dominate.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 34.

 

“Animals are often capable of sophisticated cost-benefit calculations, sometimes involving several variables, such as the perceived risks, energetic costs, time expenditures, nutrient quality, resource alternatives, relative abundance, and more. Animals are constantly required to make decisions about habitats, foraging, food options, travel routes, nest sites, even mates.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 77.

 

“Going forward [in discussion about potential extended synthesis], what is needed, it seems, is a more ecumenical paradigm, one that would provide more of a work plan than a finished product. Perhaps it could be characterized as an Inclusive Synthesis.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 83.

 

“It seems that a symbiotic union between primitive green algae and fungi was the key to how the earliest rootless plants were able to invade and ‘conquer’ the land, perhaps 500 million years ago. Needless to say, this was a major turning point in the history of life on Earth. In fact, some 80 percent of all living plant species even today depend on such ‘mycorrhizal partnerships.’” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 92.

 

“Life exists only when it acquires control information – when it gains the cybernetic capacity to respond to inputs from the environment – the ability to adjust its behavior in response to internal or external changes, in order to achieve or sustain a consistent outcome….. Evolutionary biologists refer to this property as ‘teleonomy’ – evolved internal purposiveness.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 95.

 

“In the truest sense, the evolution of humankind involved an entrepreneurial process – a pattern of invention, trial-and-error learning, selective retention, and cultural transmission, which in turn shaped the subsequent evolution of supportive anatomical changes. Functional synergy played a key role in this transformation. It resulted in a variety of bioeconomic benefits – synergies of scale, threshold effects, new combinations of labor, functional complementarities, cost- and risk-sharing, and more – all of which were highly advantageous for survival and reproduction.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. Pp. 126-7.

 

“A gradually shifting resource base may have changed the ‘payoff matrix’ – the relative abundance and the costs and benefits of exploiting various alternative food sources, as well as the intensity of competition for these resources. Likewise, a mosaic of forested and open areas may have created many new ecological opportunities.

“But exploitation of this new environment required initiative and a ‘learning curve,’ along with mobility. The ability to safely traverse open areas and (most likely) to defend resource patches against competitors was critically important.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 128.

 

“It should be stressed that the group-defense scenario assumes only that the synergies derived from acting collectively – foraging and reproducing as a group – were both immediate and mutually beneficial. The odds of survival were greatly enhanced. There may well have been group selection for this social activity, but it was not based on altruism. It involved ‘collective goods,’ or ‘public goods.’ Because these groups were formed around a nucleus of closely-related males, individual selection, kin selection, and group selection would have been aligned and mutually reinforcing….” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. Pp. 132-3.

 

“The group represented a ‘common good’ that provided collective synergies. And this would also have created an incentive for measures to contain conflict and enhance cooperation. For instance, a larger group was more likely – all other things being equal – to benefit from synergies of scale in confrontations with other groups of predators and competitors (not to mention potential prey).” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 138.

 

“… the australopithecines. These early hominins had relatively dexterous hands compared to other primates and the great apes. Their thumbs were shortened and their fingers were flattened, although the thumbs were still not fully opposable. The modern precision grip was certainly not perfected in australopiths, so it is unlikely that their tool-making was very advanced.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 140.

 

“A benchmark that is sometimes used to denote the transition between australopithicines and the Homo line is the appearance in the fossil record of the first flaked stone tools that were struck from larger quartzite or lava stone ‘cores.’ (Other commonly-used criteria are differences in brain size, dentition, and the like.)” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 148.

 

“The more sophisticated tools of the later Acheulean tradition (dating back 1.8 million years or perhaps a bit earlier) required some 25 steps, while the more highly diversified and stylized Aurignacian tools of the Upper Paleolithic (within the past 50,000 years) required six separate stages and about 245 steps.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 149.

 

“This shift [to Homo line] involved four key innovations that were synergistic and mutually supportive, I would suggest.

“First, in the half million years after stone tools became a standard part of their tool-kit, our hominin ancestors made the transition from a small forager that only opportunistically hunted and scavenged meat to a systematic (cooperative) hunter and confrontational/power scavenger that relied on meat to provide a more abundant, high-quality, cost-effective food supply. Homo erectus had joined the ranks of top carnivores and could hold their own in confrontations with other carnivore competitors – not to mention potential predators….

“However, there is a second, related behavioral change that was also critically important, it would seem. Secure home bases or encampments, even if temporary, became a functional imperative under the big game hunting/scavenging scenario. If the males shifted from a joint foraging strategy to a strategy based on much longer, free-ranging searches, along with the pursuit and killing of larger, fast-moving animals, the females and infants could no longer tag along and the males could no longer serve as full-time guardians for the group. The obvious solution was to sequester the females and children, and to provision them with meat from their kills….

“Various theorists have noted that the ability to carry things over a long distance is an underrated technological achievement, perhaps because it involves a soft technology that does not fossilize. yet it was a key innovation….

“A third major innovation, the acquisition of fire by our ancestors, trends to be underrated these days, perhaps because it is a veritable cliche about human evolution. Yet the adoption and controlled use of fire was a truly revolutionary change… The so-called Karari sites analyzed by anthropologist Randy Bellomo suggested that hearths were used, most likely by Homo erectus, at least 1.6 million years ago….

“The fourth major innovation, one that helped fuel the evolution of Homo erectus, was the adoption of food processing and cooking….” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. Pp. 151, 153-5.

 

“Anthropologists William Leonard and Maile Robertson have estimated that, compared to the australopiths, H. erectus needed 40-45% more energy to support their increased size, and that larger day ranges would have further increased their total energy needs by as much as 85% (judging by contemporary human foragers)….

“Anthropologists Leslie Aiello and Catherine Key have calculated that Homo erectus females may have needed some 60% more calories for reproduction than did their australopithecine predecessors. Aiello and Key point out that this would have necessitated a nutritional revolution.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 152. References: Leonard, W & M Robertson. 1997. “Comparative Primate Energetics and Hominid Evolution.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 102(2):265-281; Aiello, L. & C. Key. 2002. “The Energetic Consequences of Being a Homo erectus Female.” American Journal of Human Biology. 14(5):551-565.

 

“Thus, it seems unlikely that australopithecines and (even more certainly) Homo erectus could have developed a highly-organized pattern of cooperation and group adaptation – including a division/combination of labor, increased mobility and, ultimately, long distance migrations – without communications skills that, at the very least, greatly exceeded the repertoire of chimpanzees (some 30 calls, along with a repertoire of gestures and body language).” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 161.

 

“The traditional view among the students of animal behavior has been that the political systems in social mammals – say baboons – normally involve an authoritarian dominance hierarchy maintained by physical threats and coercion. However, more recent research and theoretical work on the subject paints a much more complex picture. Leadership is at once more common than we thought in other socially organized mammals and is more varied and complex, with numerous examples of a more consensual, cooperative pattern.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 164.

 

“The incessant daily demand for group decisions and actions related to foraging, nesting sites, water holes, opportunistic hunting and scavenging, dealing with threats, and, not least, migrations to new locations, all involved political processes. Competent leadership was vitally important, and there is much evidence that cohesive groups often make better collective decisions than individuals alone. The synergies derived from good decisions and effective social action may even have served as a potent selecting agency among different hominin groups….” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 165.

 

“One theory, the so-called multi-regional model, is most closely associated with Milford Wolpoff and his colleagues, although other versions of it have also been proposed. In Wolpoff’s view, the array of evolutionary trends that were evident throughout the Pleistocene continued uninterrupted into the late Pleistocene/Upper Paleolithic without any sharp transition. The essential unity of the process, he believes, was assured through a pattern of both gene flow and cultural exchanges between regional populations….

“Although this theory is controversial, it has also been widely misunderstood. Wolpoff and his co-workers did not propose that there was an independent invention of H. sapiens in different places, and that fully modern humans arose more than once…. Rather, their claim is that humankind did not arise in Africa but emerged from a broadly diversified geographic area and that the regional differences found in humans today represent an amalgamation of a deep heritage rather than a more recent divergence from a single ‘invading’ stock.

“Recent DNA testing suggests that there was in fact some interbreeding between modern humans and their antecedents and close relatives in various places.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. Pp. 167-8. Reference: Wolpoff, Milford, J., H. Hawks & R. Caspari. 2000. “Multiregional, Not Multiple Origins.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 112:129-136.

 

“An increasingly compelling body of genetic evidence – mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome data in particular – indicate that all modern humans trace their lineages back to a common ancestor (perhaps a very small ‘bottleneck’ population) in Africa about 100,000 years ago, or perhaps even more recently. The data indicate that this founding population grew larger over time and began to migrate out of Africa, beginning about 60,000 years ago.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 168.

 

“It is not coincidental – many theorists believe – that the timing of the African exodus coincided with the flowering and spread of a cluster of technological and social innovations. These included more diversified and specialized tools made from various materials, more skillful manufacturing techniques, better cooking skills, more elaborate shelters, better food storage capabilities, greater use of marine resources, longer occupation of different camp sites, greater mobility, and, especially important, larger numbers (approximating the population densities of modern hunter-gatherer societies).” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 171.

 

“This synergistic ‘package’ included efficient bipedalism, highly manipulative hands, larger and more sophisticated brains, numerous tools and technologies, elaborate patterns of social cooperation, organized collective activities, and a unique capacity to accumulate, use, and communicate cultural information. How do we know it was a synergistic package? Just apply the synergy-minus-one test. Take away bipedalism, or our dexterous forelimbs, or language, or even such important cultural attainments as fire. There is not a single one of these distinctive traits that we could do without.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. Pp. 176-7.

 

“The emergence of larger, more complex human societies during the Holocene Epoch, beginning around 12,000 years ago, was a multifaceted process involving a suite of major changes, the elements of which can perhaps be distilled into four categories – Settlements, Surpluses, Specialization, and Size.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. P. 187.

 

“In fact, there has been recent selection (with the past 40,000 years) across about 20 percent of our genes. These biological changes include such obvious things as regional differences in skin pigmentation, thicker subcutaneous fat layers among cold climate populations, respiratory adaptations in high altitude peoples, adult lactose tolerance in places where cattle and milk-drinking are common, as well as an evolving resistance to various diseases (tuberculosis, small pox, malaria, etc.).

“Geneticists also suspect that evolutionary influences are still at work affecting changes in our body stature, our teeth, and perhaps even personality traits like mood, tolerance for stress, and reactions to various social conditions.” Corning, Peter. 2018. Synergistic Selection: How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind. World Scientific. Pp. 207-8.

 

“Our microbiomes include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and multicellular organisms such as worms and mites. A wild guess for the number of species inhabiting you at this moment is 10,000, but they have never been counted and most of them have never been cultured outside the human body. In addition, the whole concept of a species breaks down for bacteria because of all the gene swapping that takes place. When we bypass the species level and count all the different genes in our microbiomes, they outnumber our own genes by a factor of about 200 to 1.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 59.

 

“Notice that not all species belong on the farm. There are foxes, mice, weeds, and insect pests that need to be gotten rid of. Work is required to maintain the right species composition on the farm, and some of the species, such as your dog and cats, help with the work. Your microbiome is like a farm that needs to be well managed, and smart policy requires something in between ‘get rid of everything’ and ‘do nothing.’” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 60.

 

“The list of ailments that can result from a compromised immune system is long and includes anxiety disorders, asthma, autism, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, eczema, hay fever, inflammatory bowel diseases, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 61.

 

“In the first place, for within-group morality to evolve, between-group selection pressures must be stronger than within-group selection pressures.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 78.

 

“An estimated 500 billion cell divisions take place in our bodies every day!” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 80.

 

“Still other mutations cause the cell to grow inappropriately at the expense of neighboring cells and to evade programmed cell death. The tissues that form from these cells are called neoplasms….

“Neoplasms are much more common than malignant cancers….

“One key adaptation of a malignant cancer is to increase the rate of mutations. A fast-growing tumor isn’t just one type of cancer cell that is rapidly proliferating. It is a boiling cauldron of hyper-mutating cell lines that compete against each other. Another adaptive strategy for a cancer cell is to disperse so that it can compete against normal cells rather than against other cancer cells–metastasis.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. Pp. 80, 81, 82.

 

“Take the current practice of aggressive chemotherapy, which has the goal of entirely eliminating a tumor. This might make sense if all of the tumor cells are alike, but if they are a rapidly mutating and evolving population of cells, then aggressive chemotherapy becomes an extremely strong selection pressure for tumor cells that are resistant to chemotherapy…. A more promising approach, informed by evolution and ecology, is to keep the ecosystem intact and enlist the aid of other species to help control the pest or disease species. A similar approach for cancer, led by the few researchers who are employing an evolutionary and ecological perspective, is called adaptive therapy.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 83.

 

“Almost everything that sets us apart from other primate species can be explained as forms of cooperation that evolved by between-group selection, thanks largely to our ability to suppress disruptive within-group selection.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 90.

 

“Genetic evolution often results in adaptations that are good for me but not you, or us but not them, or good over the short term but not the long term. The behaviors that we adopt by open-ended learning have all the same limitations. If anything, behavioral adaptations are even more shortsighted than genetic evolution because the immediate costs and benefits of our behaviors are more perceptible to us than the long-term consequences.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 101.

 

“The cultures we have inherited can be described in functional terms as meaning systems, which receive environmental information as input and process it in ways that result in action as output. If we exist within a well-adapted meaning system, then we arise each morning brimming with purpose and what we feel driven to do is in fact what is required to prosper. Notice that a meaning system can fail in at least two different ways. It can fail to inspire us, or it can inspire us to do the wrong things.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 109.

 

“Lin’s great achievement was to derive eight core design principles (CDPs) that made the difference between success and failure. These were what all of the groups needed but only some of them had figured out for themselves.

“Without further ado, here are the eight CDPs….

“CDP 1. STRONG GROUP IDENTITY AND UNDERSTANDING OF PURPOSE. The most successful groups knew the boundaries of their resource, who was entitled to use it, and the rights and obligations of being a group member….

“CDP 2. PROPORTIONAL EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN BENEFITS AND COSTS…

“CDP3. FAIR AND INCLUSIVE DECISION-MAKING….

“CDP4. MONITORING AGREED-UPON BEHAVIORS…

“CDP5. GRADUATED SANCTIONS….

“CDP6. FAST AND FAIR CONFLICT RESOLUTION….

“CDP7. LOCAL AUTONOMY. When a group is nested within a larger society, then it must be given enough authority to create its own social organization and make its own decisions as outlined by CDPs 1 – 6….

“CDP 8. POLYCENTRIC GOVERNANCE. In large societies that consist of many groups, relationships among groups must embody the same principles as the relationships among individuals within groups. This means that the core design principles are scale-independent,….” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. Pp. 117-119. Reference: “Lin” or Ostrom, Elinor. Nobel prize in economics in 2009.

 

“Living in small groups has been baked into our psyches by thousands of generations of genetic evolution, and small groups need to remain ‘cells’ in the cultural evolution of larger-scale societies.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 136.

 

“In his 2013 book Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School professor Adam Grant identifies three broad social strategies–giving, matching, and taking. Givers freely help others, matchers give only when they expect to get, and takers try to get without giving whenever possible. The ‘greed is good’ mentality suggests that givers can’t possibly survive in the business world. Grant blends authoritative studies with entertaining biographies to show that givers do the best and the worst. They are spectacularly successful when they manage to combine forces with other givers, but they become chumps and doormats when surrounded by takers–exactly as expected from multilevel selection theory.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 141.

 

“The fact is that our behaviors are shaped by their consequences to a large degree–and the environments that select our behaviors are in large part our social environments. As we have seen, we lived in small and highly cooperative groups for most of our evolutionary history. We received a lot of nurturance and were expected to give in return. If we tried to boss others around or do less than our share, we quickly received social feedback to mend our ways. The more we contributed to common goals, the more social approval and material benefits we received. This made succeeding at the expense of others a dangerous game and succeeding by working with others the surest way to survive and reproduce as an individual. We are genetically adapted to crave social acceptance and will do almost anything to achieve it.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. Pp. 154-5.

 

“A third conclusion follows directly from multilevel selection theory. Adaptation at any level of a multi-tier hierarchy requires a process of selection at that level. The whole cannot be optimized by separately optimizing the parts. That’s why the concept of the invisible hand in orthodox economic theory, which pretends that the pursuit of lower-level self-interest robustly benefits the common good, is so deeply flawed.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 194.

 

“It is useful to make a distinction between ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ cultural group selection, similar to the distinction between natural and artificial selection in the biological sciences. The shape and coloration of a moth that exactly resembles a leaf is a product of natural selection, based on the removal of more conspicuous moths by predators. The shape and coloration of the flowers in your garden are a product of artificial selection, based on the removal of plants with less showy flowers by humans.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 195.

 

“The most important conclusion for our purposes is that cultural group selection must become more intentional and deliberative than ever before. We can’t wait decades and centuries for our inadvertently successful social experiments to spread.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 196.

 

“An evolutionary process such as the immune system, individual learning, and transgenerational cultural change is itself a product of genetic evolution. Actually, genetic evolution by itself illustrates the same concept, since the current mechanisms of genetic inheritance are far more sophisticated than their ancient precursors. The mechanisms of human cultural evolution have also changed over the centuries, especially with the advent of new technologies such as writing, the printing press, and computers, which enable vastly more information to be transmitted across generations than before.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. Pp. 201-1.

“When we turn to individual learning and cultural transmission as evolutionary processes, there is obviously a strong directed component. Thus, the dogma that evolution is undirected is largely an artifact of gene-centric evolutionary biology. Also, learning and cultural transmission can radically alter the course of genetic evolution….

“The bottom line for our purposes is that there is nothing wrong with the concept of conscious evolution. Consider the process of conscious decision-making. There is a clear objective for evaluating alternative options, which is the target of selection in evolutionary terms. The variation part of the evolutionary process includes both a directed and undirected component.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. Pp. 219-220.

 

“In this book, I have used the phrase ‘evolutionary worldview’ more often than ‘evolutionary theory.’ The difference is that a theory can only tell us what is, while a worldview can tell us how to act.” Wilson, David Sloan. 2019. This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Pantheon Books. P. 222.

 

“Science, it is believed, will increasingly replace philosophy by making such [general background assumptions] questions answerable. This attitude has always bothered me. It creates a kind of intellectual monoculture that focuses only on the lowest-hanging fruit: the motto of science as the art of the feasible, taken to an unhealthy extreme.” Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). 2018. “Foreword.” Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. xiii.

 

“The Greek dictum panta rhei (‘everything flows’) encapsulates the Heraclitean doctrine of universal flux. Heraclitus not only emphasized the pervasiveness of change, but also signalled the importance of change in explaining stability over time. The antithesis of this view is the atomism of Leucippus and Democritus. The indivisible and unchanging material atoms of the ancient tradition provided paradigms for the various notions of substance articulated in subsequent centuries.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 5.

 

“All things considered, we are more inclined to risk reinventing the wheel than to look for the concepts and theses we want in Whitehead’s metaphysical system.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 7.

 

“An organism, whatever else it may be, is an event–something happening. It is temporally as well as spatially extended. It has temporal as well as spatial parts. Your pet dog to-day and your pet dog yesterday are two different temporal parts of the same dog, just as his head and his tail are two different spatial parts of the same dog. It is in virtue of the particular kind of continuity of the dog yesterday and the dog to-day that we call it the ‘same’, and this seems to be the proper sense of the term. But it can no more be taken for granted that to-day’s temporal part is the same as yesterday’s than it can be taken for granted that one spatial part, e.g. the head, is the same as another, e.g. the tail. We know, in fact, that they are not the same. Organisms are temporally as well as spatially differentiated.” Woodger, JH. 1929. Biological Principles: A Critical Study. Routledge & Kegan. From: Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 9.

 

“Overall, the ontology of organicism [school of early twentieth century biologists that included John Scott Haldane (father of JBS Haldane), Edward Stuart Russell, Joseph Woodger, Conrad Waddington, Ludwig von Bertalanffy and Paul Weiss] was distinctly processual, and this is in no small part a reflection of the influence exerted by Whitehead, both in terms of his timely diagnosis of the collapse of mechanicism in physics, with its exciting implications for biology, and in terms of his insightful examination of time, dynamics, and wholeness in the books he wrote prior to Process and Reality. We think it is quite significant that the organicists were able to develop a comprehensive processual perspective in biology without availing themselves of the grand metaphysical system Whitehead presented in that book, widely regarded today as his masterpiece. In this respect, it is perhaps more appropriate to describe organicism as a philosophy of biology that was inspired by Whitehead than as a genuinely Whiteheadian philosophy of biology. Be that as it may, what is relevant for our present purposes is that the organicists showed the way in which one might articulate a processual account of the living world that is naturalistically grounded and empirically informed.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. Pp. 10-11.

 

“Traditionally, change has been construed as something that happens to things, or substances, typically conceived of as durable, integrated entities that are not dependent on external relations for their existence. Things, in this view, are the subjects of change, and processes merely track modifications in the properties of things over time, or describe means by which things interact with one another….

“One problem with this view is that many processes do not in fact belong to particular subjects. Rain, wind, electricity, and light are all commonplace examples of subjectless or ‘unowned’ processes–processes that are not the actions of individual things. There are numerous subjectless processes in the living world as well: osmosis, fermentation, adaptive radiation, and so on….

“A more fundamental problem is that even entities that appear to be the subjects of activities can themselves be construed as specific temporal stages of stable processes; they do not have to be understood as things.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 12.

 

“Instead of thinking of processes as belonging to things, we should think of things as being derived from processes.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 13.

 

“The transition we are urging from a substance ontology to a process ontology has one very important epistemological implication. In any scientific enquiry it is necessary to distinguish what requires explanation from what is background, taken for granted. The orthodox substantialist position of modern science typically takes this background to involve stability: if nothing changes, then nothing requires explanation. This is because the default mode of existence of a thing is stasis and consequently the need for explanation only arises when changes happen to it. For a process, however, change is the norm, and it is the relative stability that takes priority in the explanatory order. If the living realm is indeed processual, then we should consider the central explanandum of biology to be not change but stability–or, more precisely, stability achieved by activity, that is, by change.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 14.

 

“As we indicated at the start of this essay, an organism is not organized as a hierarchy of structures (as a machine is), but as a hierarchy of processes. The lower we go down the biological hierarchy, the faster the rate of material exchange.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 16.

 

“Strictly speaking, it is incorrect to speak of an egg developing into a frog, as the egg is really a temporal part of the developmental trajectory that is the frog.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 19.

 

“The fact that most biological entities (not just organisms) exist as temporally extended and temporally differentiated life cycles provides strong grounds for endorsing a processual view of the living world.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 20.

“Biological interdependence, then, is one of the most characteristic aspects of the living world, and it poses major problems for an ontology of things or substances….

“Ecological communities or consortia, such as biofilms, holobionts, and superorganisms, are not collections of relatively autonomous things but deeply entangled meshes of interdependent processes.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 21.

 

“In actual scientific practice, different theoretical interests (e.g. ecological role, phylogenetic history) dictate different and multiply overlapping ways of dividing biological entities into kinds. A classificatory pluralism that follows from this observation has become quite widely accepted among philosophers of biology. And the failure of essentialism with regards to classification is one of the factors that make the process perspective so attractive… Promiscuous realism, as one of us has denominated this pluralism of classifications, thus finds a metaphysical justification in process ontology.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 23.

 

“… the ubiquity of symbiosis can severely complicate the task of defining the boundaries of a biological entity, as well as that of ascertaining whether particular entities are distinct individuals or parts of another entity. Take, for instance, the trillions of microbes that make up the human microbiome, and without which the human host would rapidly become sick and die. Are these parts of the human organism, or rather just a large consortium of cooperating others? For some practical purposes, for example when describing the conditions for a healthy human life, it will be natural to treat the object of study as one whole system; for others, for example when tracing the various evolutionary lineages to which the various collaborating cells belong, it may be more natural to treat the same object as many. Why should we suppose that there is a single unequivocal answer to this question, rather than many different ones, depending on the issues we are interested in addressing?

“By analogy to the promiscuous realism one of us has long advocated, the thesis that there are multiple ways of carving biological entities into distinct individuals can be described as ‘promiscuous individualism.’” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 24.

 

“The problem for substance ontology has always been that it is extraordinarily difficult to specify any such change-exempt descriptive properties that permanently characterize the essence of things. Indeed, all of the empirical facts that we marshalled in support of the process cause in the previous section cast serious doubts on the existence of essential properties. First, as a consequence of constant metabolic turnover, a biological individual is never materially identical from one moment to the next. Second, because of its life cycle, it undergoes massive morphological changes as it progresses through its various ontogenic phases. And, third, as a result of its ecological interrelations, the symbiotic associations that compose and maintain it change considerably over its lifetime.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 24.

 

“The processes that make up the biological hierarchy not only compose one another but also provide many of the enabling conditions for the persistence of other processes in the hierarchy, at both higher and lower levels. In other words, the visible and tangible entities at each level are not simply given (as they are in a structural hierarchy of things), but are rather dynamically maintained by continuous activity taking place at higher and lower levels in the same hierarchy.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 27.

 

“One of the most significant consequences of the processual hierarchy of the living world, then, is that it makes the physicalist dream of absolute reductionism impossible. The complex web of causal dependencies between the various levels means that we cannot fully specify the nature of an entity merely by listing the properties of its constituents and their spatial relations. It also means that we cannot pick out any level in the hierarchy as ontologically or causally primary. Whereas a substance ontology that presupposes a structural hierarchy of things only allows bottom-up causal influences, a process ontology has no trouble in recognizing that causal influences can flow in different directions. Once we transition from an ontology of substances to an ontology of processes, it is no longer incoherent or mysterious to assert that the properties of the parts are partially determined by the properties of the whole–a claim, by the way, that biologists (especially physiologists and embryologists) have been making for centuries on the basis of their empirical investigations.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 27.

 

“It is not surprising, then, that mechanicism is perfectly consistent with both essentialism and reductionism; a machine is taken to belong to a particular kind because it exhibits certain unchanging properties, and its organization and operation can be completely accounted for in terms of its component parts and their interactions.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 28.

 

“It is therefore incorrect to assume that structures are prior to functions, or that functions are determined by structures. The processual nature of organisms means that changes in their functional demands will tend to result in changes in how they maintain and regenerate their respective structures. In biology the relation between structure and function is not linear and unidirectional, as is often supposed, but circular and symmetrical.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 31.

 

“In the last analysis, it makes no sense to separate structure and function, as the two represent different yet complementary ‘ways of seeing’ the processual reality of living systems, one emphasizing stability and the other emphasizing dynamicity.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 31.

 

“Although humans evolve, no particular human ever evolves. What evolves is populations. Even the concept of population is not quite appropriate, as it lacks temporal extension. Populations are temporal cross sections of lineages, so it really is the lineages that undergo evolutionary change. To say that humans evolve is to say that humans existing at one stage of the human lineage differ in some systematic way from those existing at an earlier stage.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 34.

 

“The history of medical thought reveals that the understanding of disease has oscillated back and forth between two opposing conceptions. According to the so-called physiological conception, diseases result from disturbances in the functional equilibrium of the body, and their cure reflects the harmonious restoration of this equilibrium. In contrast, the so-called ontological conception views diseases as foreign entities that enter the body, and their cure implies the expulsion of the intruders. The ontological conception is aligned with substance ontology, as it regards diseases as particular things that are discrete and exist independently of the body they infect….

“With the rise of medical microbiology in the late nineteenth century the ontological conception became the dominant theory of disease, and so it has remained, more or less, to the present day.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. Pp. 36-7.

 

“Virulence itself, which refers to the degree of damage a pathogen is capable of inflicting on its host, is not a permanent property of the pathogen; it is arguably not even a property of the pathogen, but rather the outcome of a specific kind of interaction between the pathogen and its host.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 37.

 

“… we surmise that the widespread prevalence of substance ontology also reflects the fact that in many circumstances it does the job sufficiently well. The relation between substance and process ontology is not completely unlike the relation between classical and modern physics. Just as classical physics provides a convenient approximation of middle-sized physical entities moving at relatively slow speeds but does not constitute an accurate description of physical reality, so substance ontology provides a serviceable characterization of biological entities, especially when considered over short temporal intervals, despite being a fundamentally inappropriate description of the living world.” Dupré, John & Daniel Nicholson. 2018. “A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.” Pp. 3-45. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 39.

 

“Some things are in time in such a way that they grow through the accumulation of parts–temporal parts–as time goes by. These are events, processes, and states. The other sort of things are those traditionally called substances: people and other animals and organisms, houses, cars and other artefacts, mountains, rivers, planets, and stars, and other natural objects. Unlike the other basic sort, they do not add temporal parts but are said to remain identical or the same at different times. It is the same person, cat, car, or river it was yesterday, notwithstanding changes to it in the meantime. I propose in this chapter to use the terminology invented by W. E. Johnson a century ago and call the second group continuants and the first group occurrents. Simons, Peter. 2018. “Processes and Precipitates.” Pp. 49-60. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. Pp. 49-50.

 

“Continuants are typically designated by nouns, while occurrents are typically indicated by verbs.” Simons, Peter. 2018. “Processes and Precipitates.” Pp. 49-60. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 50.

 

“If processes are prior to continuants, in what does their priority and the derivativeness of continuants consist, and how are they related? There is a story to be told, and since the categories of continuant and process are extremely general, it has to be extremely general too. Continuants, according to my view, are to be understood as invariant precipitates of a species of causal relatedness known, after Lewin, as genidentity. Genidentity pertains to the vital processes of a continuant–those in virtue of which it exits and continues to do so (this has a causal component). These processes have phases that succeed one another and, when things are going standardly, do so in an orderly way.” Simons, Peter. 2018. “Processes and Precipitates.” Pp. 49-60. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 55. Reference: Lewin, Kurt. 1922. Der Begriff der Genese in Physik, Biologie und Entwicklungsechicte…. From: Graumann, C.F. (Ed). 1983. Kurt-Lewin-Werkausgabe. Vol 2. Huber/Klett-Cotta.

“If it is correct that there are no continuants without genidentity among certain process phases, then that explains the priority of processes. Continuants supervene on processes, though not all processes constitute or precipitate continuants. A dissipative process such as an explosion does not, since it lacks the relative stability required for a continuant.” Simons, Peter. 2018. “Processes and Precipitates.” Pp. 49-60. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. P. 55.

 

“There is clear archaeological evidence for an overall trend in human evolution toward greater dependence on and entanglement with things.” Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. Yale UP. p. x.

 

“The trouble with social evolutionary theories is that they are teleological. The trouble with Darwinian theories is that they do not explain the archaeological evidence for overall directional change. This book argues that it is possible to find a third way; it is possible to build a theory of directional change without returning to the dangerous teleologies of nineteenth century thought. We could call this approach ‘evolutionary,’ but I have largely avoided using that term in the text of this book because it has come to be closely associated with biological evolution.” Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. Yale UP. p. xi.

 

“… Morris suggests four ways of measuring social development. The first is energy capture: the amount of energy a society can extract from the environment in order to further its aims…. The second measure is organizational complexity, and here Morris uses the proxy of urbanism. The size of a society’s biggest city gives an indication of how resources are organized to support and manage large concentrations of people. The third and fourth measures are information technology and the capacity for war making.” Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. Yale UP. pp. 3,4. Reference: Morris, Ian. 2013. The Measure of Civilization: How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations. Princeton UP.

 

“… I describe human evolution in terms of increases in the amount of humanly modified materials per head of population, increases in the rate of change of this measure, and increases in human-thing entanglement…. The average US household today has three hundred thousand things, from paper clips to ironing boards, and most US homes have more TV sets than people.” Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. Yale UP. p. 16.

 

“Two trends in the development of ideas of progress had clear political ends. The first is the celebration of the ideas of freedom and individual liberty…. But it was Herbert Spencer who was the most influential proponent of a link between individual liberty and progress. He saw a movement from homogeneity to heterogeneity as monolithic, repressive, and static forms of social organization were replaced by diversified, individualistic forms…

“The second trend in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century ideas of progress was a more critical and utopian idea of the role of power and the state in producing progress. For Rousseau, progress meant movement toward a society in which all inequalities were erased in favor of the common good. Inequality had started with agriculture and metallurgy, which led to property and servitude. Private property created social interdependencies from which humans could not liberate themselves, and the state arose from the resulting conflicts of class, nation, and territory. All this was a diversion from true human progress toward equality.” Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. Yale UP. pp. 21-2.

 

“Wrangham concludes that ‘cooking increased the value of our food. It changed our bodies, our brains, our use of time, and our social lives but also made us ‘dependent on fuel.’” Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. Yale UP. p. 69. Subquote: Wrangham, Richard. 2009. Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. Basic Books. p. 2.

 

“Harvesting and sowing seeds tended to result in the selection of plants with a tough rachis, the central stem that holds the kernels. This selection for a tough rachis meant that the seed heads did not automatically shatter and disperse as they do in the wild state. Greater work was now required by humans in order to obtain the seed from the non-shattering plant. … this extra work involved threshing and winnowing. From then on, humans were bound into a web of dependencies between humans and things. They depended on harvesting tools and cereals in order to extract sufficient resources from a given unit of land. Things also depended on other things: For example, to function as a sickle, the flint depended on the wood, antler, or horn hafts and on bitumen. These things also depended on humans, as humans repaired and resharpened the sickles, and sourced the flint and obsidian. The domesticated plants, with their nonshattering heads, also now depended on humans since they were less able to reproduce themselves. And humans depended on other humans when they obtained obsidian through networks of exchange, or in the sowing and harvesting of fields and the sharing of the products. Thus the webs of dependency or entanglements spread in all directions: human dependent on human, human dependent on thing, thing dependent on human, and thing dependent on thing–relationships that can be abbreviated as HH, HT, TH, and TT.” Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. Yale UP. pp. 79-80.

 

“Another way to define entanglement is to say that it describes the relationship between dependence (often productive and enabling) and dependency (often constraining and limiting). Humans and things, humans and humans, things and things depend on each other, rely on each other, produce each other. But that dependence is in continual tension with boundaries and constraints, as things and humans reach various limits (of resources, of material and social possibility) that are overcome by—that demand–yet further dependence and investment. Entanglement can thus be defined as the dialectic of dependence and dependency between humans and things.” Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. Yale UP. pp. 90-1.

“… since the eighteenth century in Europe and the United States, the rise of consumerism has led us to focus on objects in isolation from their chains of entanglements. We see things as solving problems or bringing happiness and fulfillment, and do not see so readily the suffering, poverty, and environmental damage that complex entangled strands may cause. We are encouraged not to see the filaments and tentacles that emanate from, through, and around the flows we call things.” Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. Yale UP. p. 134.

 

“The calculus of causation consists of two languages: causal diagrams, to express what we know, and a symbolic language, resembling algebra, to express what we want to know.” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. p. 7.

 

“Mathematically, we write the observed frequency of Lifespan L among patients who voluntarily take the drug as P(L|D), which is the standard conditional probability used in statistical textbooks. This expression stands for the probability (P) of Lifespan L conditional on seeing the patient take Drug D. Note that P(L|D) may be totally different from P(L|do(D)). This difference between seeing and doing is fundamental and explains why we do not regard the falling barometer to be a cause of the coming storm. Seeing the barometer fall increases the probability of the storm, while forcing it to fall does not affect this probability.” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. Pp. 8-9.

 

“In fact, my research on machine learning has taught me that a causal learner must master at least three distinct levels of cognitive ability: seeing, doing, and imagining.

“The first, seeing or observing, entails detection of regularities in our environment and is shared by many animals as well as early humans before the Cognitive Revolution. The second, doing, entails predicting the effect(s) of deliberate alterations of the environment and choosing among these alterations to produce a desired outcome…. Use of tools, provided it is intentional and not just accidental or copied from ancestors, could be taken as a sign of reaching this second level. yet even tool users do not necessarily possess a ‘theory’ of their tool that tells them why it works and what to do when it doesn’t. For that, you need to have achieved a level of understanding that permits imagining. It was primarily this third level that prepared us for further revolutions in agriculture and science and led to a sudden and drastic change in our species’ impact on the planet.” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. p. 27.

 

“The main point is this: while probabilities encode our beliefs about a static world, causality tells us whether and how probabilities change when the world changes, be it by intervention or by act of imagination.” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. p. 51.

 

“Unlike correlation and most of the other tools of mainstream statistics, causal analysis requires the user to make a subjective commitment. She must draw a causal diagram that reflects her qualitative belief–or, better yet, the consensus belief of researchers in her field of expertise–about the topology of the causal processes at work. She must abandon the centuries-old dogma of objectivity for objectivity’s sake. Where causation is concerned, a grain of wise subjectivity tells us more about the real world than any amount of objectivity.” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. p. 89.

 

“The prototype of Bayesian analysis goes like this: Prior Belief + New Evidence -> Revised Belief.” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. p. 89.

 

“P(S|T) P(T) = P(T|S) P(S)

“This innocent-looking equation came to be known as ‘Bayes’s rule.’ If we look carefully at what it says, we find that it offers a general solution to the inverse-probability problem. It tells us that if we know the probability of S given T, P(S|T), we ought to be able to figure out the probability of T given S, P(T|S), assuming of course that we know P(T) and P(S). This is perhaps the most important role of Bayes’ rule in statistics: we can estimate the conditional probability directly in one direction, for which our judgment is more reliable, and use mathematics to derive the conditional probability in the other direction, for which our judgment is rather hazy….

“However, you happen to remember that half of those who order tea also order scones, and two-thirds of the customers order tea and five twelfths order scones. Unexpectedly, your boss asks you, ‘but what proportion of scone eaters order tea?’ There’s no need to panic, because you can work it out from the other probabilities. Bayes’s rule says that P(T|S)(5/12) = (1/2)(2/3), so your answer is P(T|S) = 4/5….” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. p. 101.

 

“Suppose a forty-year old woman gets a mammogram to check for breast cancer, and it comes back positive. The hypothesis, D (for ‘disease’), is that she has cancer. The evidence, T (for ‘test’), is the result of the mammogram. How strongly should she believe the hypothesis? Should she have surgery?

“We can answer these questions by rewriting Bayes’s rule as follows:

“(Updated probability of D) = P(D|T) =

(likelihood ratio) X (prior probability of D) (3.2)where the new term ‘likelihood ratio’ is given by P(T|D)/P(T). It measures how much more likely the positive test is in people with the disease than in the general population. Equation 3.2 therefore tells us that the new evidence T augments the probability of D by a fixed ratio, no matter what the prior probability was.” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. p. 105.

 

“Unlike the causal diagrams we will deal with throughout the book, a Bayesian network carries no assumption that the arrow has any causal meaning. The arrow merely signifies that we know the ‘forward’ probability, P(scones|tea) or P(test|disease). Bayes’s rule tells us how to reverse the procedure, specifically by multiplying the prior probability by a likelihood ratio.

“There are three basic types of junctions, with the help of which we can characterize any pattern of arrows in the network.

“1. A -> B -> C. This junction is the simplest example of a ‘chain,’ or of mediation. In science, one often thinks of B as the mechanism, or ‘mediator,’ that transmits the effect of A to C. A familiar example is Fire -> Smoke -> Alarm….

“… the mediator B ‘screens off’ information from A from C, and vice versa… For example, once we know the value of Smoke, learning about Fire does not give us any reason to raise or lower our belief in Alarm….

“2. A <- B -> C. This kind of junction is called a ‘fork,’ and B is often called a common cause or confounder of A and C. a confounder will make A and C statistically correlated even though there is no direct causal link between them. A good example is Shoe Size <- Age of Child -> Reading Ability….

“3. A -> B <- C. This is the most fascinating junction, called a ‘collider.’ Felix Elwert and Chris Winship have illustrated this junction using three features of Hollywood actors. Talent -> Celebrity <- Beauty. Here we are asserting that both talent and beauty contribute to an actor’s success, but beauty and talent are completely unrelated to one another in the general population.

“We will now see that this collider pattern works in exactly the opposite way from chains or forks when we condition on the variable in the middle. If A and C are independent to begin with, conditioning on B will make them dependent. For example, if we look only at famous actors, we will see a negative correlation between talent and beauty: finding out that a celebrity is unattractive increases our belief that he or she is talented….

“These three junctions–chains, forks, and colliders–are like keyholes through the door that separates the first and second levels of the Ladder of Causation.” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. pp. 112-116.

 

“Without the ability to envision alternate realities and contrast them with the currently existing reality, a machine cannot pass the mini-Turing test; it cannot answer the most basic question that makes us human: ‘Why?’ I took this as an anomaly because I did not anticipate such natural and intuitive questions to reside beyond the reach of the most advanced reasoning systems of the time.” Pearl, Judea & D. Mackenzie. 2018. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Basic Books. p. 349.

 

“Dobzhansky concludes that species are natural, discrete entities. He says they have that very ontological ‘significance’ he poses at the outset, which comes from his viewpoint as a geneticist, as well as his earlier experience dealing with organisms and species in the natural world. He tackles the problem empirically by discussing portions of continuous and discontinuous variation. If biological systems were continuously variable, classification would, perforce, be entirely arbitrary if nonetheless still pragmatically valuable. And, he says, there are indeed examples of continuous variation in nature such as among the bacteria that bacteriologists still find useful to classify into distinct ‘species.’” Eldredge, Niles. 2015. Eternal Ephemera. Columbia University Press. p. 207.

 

“… all members of the ecological hierarchy are matter-energy transfer systems composed of next-lower-level entitites that are themselves matter-energy transfer systems. Unlike reproduction (at least in higher organisms), matter-energy transfer goes on constantly on a moment-by-moment basis. Somatic cellular processes, dependent on somatic genes, comprise the organismic soma–a matter-energy machine par excellence. Organisms are members of local interactive economic systems. They are local populations (‘avatars’) integrated into local ecosystems. It is at this level that we felt the term ‘niche’ makes the most sense. Local ecosystems are linked laterally as matter-energy flows between usefully distinguished local systems, such as at the margins of ponds, forming contiguous networks of increasingly larger ecosystems, and eventually forming the entire global biosphere.” Eldredge, Niles. 2015. Eternal Ephemera. Columbia University Press. pp. 304-5.

 

“Likewise, genealogical systems are all packages of genetic information that are composed of next-lower-level entities that ‘reproduce.’ In other words, genealogical entities are all ‘more-makers.’ Genes ‘duplicate,’ organisms ‘reproduce,’ ‘demes’ can divide or merge, and species also make more of themselves. Thus we preferred ‘more-making’ over ‘reproduction’ as the general process that characterizes genealogical entities of these various levels.

“However, the ‘more-making’ buck stops with species. Genera and higher taxa do not make more of themselves through an analogous natural process. Instead, higher taxa, which are indeed collectivities of genetic information, are simply skeins of phylogenetically interrelated species.” Eldredge, Niles. 2015. Eternal Ephemera. Columbia University Press. p. 305.

 

“Nor are genealogical entities parts of matter-energy transfer systems–again with the major exception of individual organisms. Perhaps the most important conclusion of all this work in hierarchy theory in the 1980s and 1990s is that species are not economic entities. Entire species are not parts of local ecosystems, or indeed ecosystems of any size, nor do they have niches. Species do not play coherent direct economic roles in the natural world….” Eldredge, Niles. 2015. Eternal Ephemera. Columbia University Press. p. 305.

 

“Thus two hierarchies are delineated: one the ‘ecological’ or ‘economic’ hierarchy (that is, somatic cellular processes-organisms-avatars [populations in an economic sense]-local ecosystems-regional ecosystems-the global system). The other is the ‘genealogical’ hierarchy, consisting of the germ line genomes (and constituent parts)-organisms-demes (local populations in a reproductive sense)-species-monophyletic taxa. Interactions among components of the two hierarchies are seen, in this dual hierarchy model, as producing the phenomena of evolution.” Eldredge, Niles. 2015. Eternal Ephemera. Columbia University Press. p. 329.

 

“… we can think of constraint closure like this: it is a set of both constraints on the release of energy in non-equilibrium processes, and those processes, such that the system constructs its own constraints.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. x.

 

“In that search [the triumphs of physics], we have come to think of the world as a vast machine….

“My thesis in this book is that, with respect to an evolving biosphere, ours and any in the universe, the ‘machine’ thesis is wrong.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 1.

 

“History enters when the space of the possible is vastly larger than what can become actual. For example, the evolution of life itself is a profoundly historical process….

“The physicist’s phrase for this historicity is ‘nonergodic.’ ‘Ergodic’ means, roughly, that the system visits all its possible states over some ‘reasonable’ time period.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. pp. 3,4.

 

“‘Functions’ in the biological sense, do not exist in physics… Thus, if functions are a legitimate part of biology, then biology cannot be reduced to physics.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. pp. 13-14.

 

“More generally, to be a function something must abet the survival of a Kantian whole–like us or a fruit fly or any living thing.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 14.

“Work is the constrained release of energy into a few degrees of freedom.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 19. This is direct quote from Atkins, Peter. 1984. The Second Law. Freeman & Co.

 

“The increase in entropy would be greater were the cylinder not there at all and the gas expanded in all spatial directions, that is, into all degrees of freedom, the full space of possibilities, everywhere. But the boundary conditions constrain the release of energy into only a few degrees of freedom, and only then is work done…. So here is another key concept: this channeling of work is part of how life ‘beats’ the second law. Due to constraints, entropy still increases, but more slowly.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 21.

 

“So surely, no constraints, no work. And often, no work, no constraints.

“Call this the Constraint Work cycle.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 22.

 

“These newly constructed constraints [in living cells] can then constrain yet further releases of energy that then constitute yet further work that can construct yet further constraints, and so forth and so forth. And so order can self-propagate!

“Our machines do not do this. An automobile constrains the motion of many parts but does not construct new constraints. Life does.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 22.

 

“The spontaneous emergence of collectively autocatalytic sets of polymers such as RNA or peptides is the case I will explain in subsequent chapters. Such systems achieve three closures: constraint closure; work task closure; and, as we soon shall see, something called catalytic task closure. In the latter, all the catalysts needed to make the same set of catalysts are contained in the autocatalytic set itself. These are three closures for life. The system literally constructs itself. We are on the verge of the organization of life.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 30.

 

“… we discussed the remarkable concept of Constraint Closure due to Montevil and Mossio (2015). And we introduced a second idea: work task closure. The former is the fact that a set of constraints on non-equilibrium processes can do work to construct the same set of constraints. The latter is the set of thermodynamic work tasks that are done to accomplish this. We now show that collectively autocatalytic sets achieve these and a further, third closure, catalytic task closure. Such systems are inherently open, non-equilibrium systems and reproduce.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 50. Reference: Montevil, Mael & M. Mossio. 2015. “Biological Organisation as Closure of Constraints.” Journal of Theoretical Biology. 372:179-191.

 

“Gonen Ashkenasy has a nine-peptide collectively autocatalytic set flourishing … Here, peptide 1 catalyzes a reaction forming a second copy of peptide 2 by joining two fragments of peptide 2….

“The three closures are achieved. First, there is catalytic task closure. No peptide catalyzes its own formation. Each of the nine reactions requiring catalysis is catalyzed by one of the nine peptides. Work task closure is realized. Each of the reactions is a task, and work is done performing that task, seen in the formation of a new peptide bond in the ligated product. So a cycle of real thermodynamic work is carried out. But in addition, each peptide as the catalyst is a boundary condition constraint on the release of energy. The catalyst binds the two substrate fragments, holding them close together and lowering the energy potential barrier of that ligation reaction. This is precisely a constraint altering the release of energy into a few degrees of freedom. The catalyst is like the cannon, constraining the release of energy to fire the cannon ball. So the nine peptides are the nine constraints, and this system achieves precisely Montevil and Mossio’s constraint closure. The peptides, as the catalysts, are the constraints; and the system builds second copies of its own constraints on the release of energy in each of the nine reactions.

“Finally, the system is displaced from equilibrium by the continued feeding of the two fragments of each of the nine peptides. Ashkenasy’s set realizes the three non-local closures–constraint, work, and catalytic–in a far from equilibrium system.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. pp. 50-1. References: Wagner N. & G. Ashkenasy. 2009. “Systems Chemistry: Logic Gates, Arithmetic Units, and Network Motifs in Small Networks.” Chemistry: A European Journal. 15.(7):1765-1775; Montevil, Mael & M. Mossio. 2015. “Biological Organisation as Closure of Constraints.” Journal of Theoretical Biology. 372:179-191.

 

“Life is a fundamentally new linking of non-equilibrium processes and boundary condition constraints on the release of energy into a few degrees of freedom that thus is thermodynamic work. But stunningly, the work done can construct constraints on the release of energy in further non-equilibrium processes. In reproducing systems such as cells, a closure is achieved linking these processes and constraint construction into an organization that closes on itself. The system, in doing this work, constructs its own constraints and also reproduces achieving catalytic task closure.

“Such a system is a ‘machine’ but not of matter alone, energy alone, free energy alone, entropy alone, or boundary conditions alone. It is a new union of these.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. pp. 52-3.

 

“David Hume said one cannot deduce an ought from an is, the famous naturalistic fallacy….

“But Hume forgot that organisms act, even one as simple as an amoeba. Once doing enters the universe, doing it well or doing it poorly follows. Trying to eat my ice cream, cone, I might keep bashing it into my forehead. In short, doing brings with it instrumental ought.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 94.

 

“Darwin once described an image of a species driving a wedge in the crowded floor of nature–a wedge of a competitive nature that created a space for it to live in.

“There is no wedge driven into the crowded floor of nature. The floor itself is expanding, creating new niches …. The same is true of the biosphere, and the global economy, both of which have exploded in diversity ….

“We seem to make our worlds and thereby make rooms for one another. Each ‘for whom’ makes even more opportunities for others in its adjacent possible niches or rooms. The adjacent possible niches, like worms coming to live in swim bladders, explode faster than the number of occupants who, by existing, create those very adjacent possible niches.

In much the same ways, both the biosphere and global economy explode in diversity. each species affords one or more adjacent possible new niches for yet new species, which so expands what now becomes possible….

“It is not only that the floor of nature is crowded by competition, as Darwin thought, but rather that each species also affords adjacent possible new niches, new ‘wide cracks’ in the floor–new niches that invite the next new species into those wide cracks that constitute new niches. The possible new niches expand faster than the species that create them.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. pp. 106-7.

 

“… we can formulate no probability measure on what happens, for we do not know the sample space.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 118.

 

“In short, for the biosphere, and ‘econosphere,’ niche creation is self-amplifying. In both cases, the current system enables an unprestatable adjacent possible into which the system is ‘sucked.’ We become what it is next possible to become, and we ourselves create those very possibilities.” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 125.

 

“The two central ideas [for the economic web] are complements and substitutes….

“In addition to goods and services are needs. A first sense of ‘need’ for a good can be a need for its complement. A screw ‘needs’ a screwdriver ….” Kauffman, Stuart. 2019. A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. Oxford UP. p. 130.

 

“The case of Luisi’s group shows that definitions are used and can be useful as operational tools to guide research in Origins of Life and Synthetic Biology. More generally, definitions can lay a theoretical, epistemological, practical, and even ethical role in several disciplines at the frontiers of biology.” Bich, Leonardo & S. Green. 2018. “Is defining life pointless? Operational definitions at the frontiers of biology.” Synthese. 195(9):3919-3946. p. 3930. Reference: Pier Luigi Luisi.

 

“The main distinction is between classificatory definitions and causal definitions. The point of classificatory definitions is to spell out a set of properties that are independently necessary and jointly sufficient for being a member of the defined classes.” Machery, Edouard. 2012. “Why I stopped worrying about the definition of life… and why you should as well.” Synthese. 185(1):145-164. P. 147.

 

“Life definitionists have too often been careless: They have constantly mixed folk intuitions with scientific considerations. However, they have to decide whether the notion of life at stake is the folk concept of life or a scientific concept. In the first case, there is little hope of finding a definition of life, since, like most folk concepts, the folk concept of life is not a definition, and it unlikely to yield a set of intuitive judgments about what is alive that can be captured by a definition non-arbitrarily. In the second case, life can perhaps be defined. However, because the study of life spreads over several disciplines, life definitionists are likely to end up with several, intensionally and extensionally different definitions of life without having any means to choose between them. Defining life is then likely to be pointless.

“The conclusion raises an obvious issue. In several disciplines, scientists have tied, more or less strongly, their research projects to life definitionism. If scientists ought to discard life definitionism, what about these research projects? Should we discard them too?” Machery, Edouard. 2012. “Why I stopped worrying about the definition of life… and why you should as well.” Synthese. 185(1):145-164. p. 158.

 

“Textbooks commonly acknowledge the importance of a capacity for evolution, self-replication, growth, differentiation, metabolism, homeostasis, response to the environment, thermodynamic disequilibrium, orderedness, information, boundaries, and mutations. These lists have been presented as necessary and sufficient conditions, accidental similarities between all living entities, and everything in between. Authors differ about which properties to treat as essential and which to view as mere consequences or accidents. Most freely admit that their definitions are exception-riddled or tentative.

“The problems of defining life are well known. For any set of defining traits, one can either show obviously living cases that are left out of the definition or unexpected non-living cases included in the definition. Life is organized. So are geological formations. Life processes energy, so does fire. Life evolves, so do star systems. Life is at thermodynamic disequilibrium, so is a car. Life is made of complex biochemistry, so are prions. Life exhibits functional complexity, so does a clock. Living creatures embody contained, functionally integrated programs, but so do robots. Life reproduces. Mules don’t, bubbles do. Life is self-sustaining. Parasites are not, the carbon cycle is.” Mariscal, Carlos & W.F. Doolittle. 2018. “Life and life only: a radical alternative to life definitionism.” Synthese. July 11. doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1852-2. pp. 3-4.

 

“Indeed, it has even been contended that continued insistence that life is real but undefineable as a category is a sort of residual vitalism.” Mariscal, Carlos & W.F. Doolittle. 2018. “Life and life only: a radical alternative to life definitionism.” Synthese. July 11. doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1852-2. p. 5. Referencing: Wolfe, C.T. 2011. “Vitalism.” In Gargaud, M. et al (eds.). Encyclopedia of astrobiology. pp. 1740-1750. Springer; Ellington, A.D. 2012. “Origins for everyone.” Evolution: Education and Outreach. 5(3):361-366.

 

“Interestingly, one can maintain that the category ‘life’– though lacking an essence–is a legitimate property cluster kind with a set of properties that do not all need to be present in all members…. So, the dependence of life, the category, on Life, the individual, is parasitic.” Mariscal, Carlos & W.F. Doolittle. 2018. “Life and life only: a radical alternative to life definitionism.” Synthese. July 11. doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1852-2. p. 11.

 

“… we carried out simulations of a complexly driven, randomly wired, many-species chemical reaction network, with the aim of identifying a thermodynamic principle governing self-organization far from equilibrium. We found that such networks have a pronounced bias toward settling into rare states in chemical space with extremal forcing, suggesting that emergent fine-tuning is a general tendency of their dynamical behavior.” Horowitz, Jordan & Jeremy England. 2017. “Spontaneous fine-tuning to environment in many-species chemical reaction networks.” PNAS. July 18. 114(29):7565-7570. p. 7565.

 

“…we discovered that if general conditions are satisfied, the accumulation of adaptations in chemical reaction networks can occur. These conditions are the existence of rare reactions producing viable cores (analogous to a genotype), that sustains a molecular periphery (analogous to a phenotype).

“We conclude that only when a chemical reaction network consists of many such viable cores, can it be evolvable. When many cores are enclosed in a compartment there is competition between cores within the same compartment, and when there are many compartments, there is between-compartment competition due to the phenotypic effects of cores and their periphery at the compartment level. Acquisition of cores by rare chemical events, and loss of cores at division, allows macromutation, limited heredity and selectability, thus explaining how a poor man’s natural selection could have operated prior to genetic templates.” Vasas, Vera, C. Fernando, M. Santos, S. Kauffman & E. Szathmary. 2012. “Evolution before genes.” Biology Direct. 7:(1):1-14. p. 1.

 

“We demonstrate that for a catalytic network to accumulate adaptations it needs to be compartmentalized, the platonic reaction network must have multiple attractors, and some of these attractors must be selectable. The larger the number of attractors, the smaller the chance of convergence.” Vasas, Vera, C. Fernando, M. Santos, S. Kauffman & E. Szathmary. 2012. “Evolution before genes.” Biology Direct. 7:(1):1-14. p. 7.

 

“Our results should be contrasted with the lipid world scenario that so far has failed to offer models that would demonstrate a capacity for evolvability. The problem is that the simplicity of the underlying chemistry in GARD (lipid molecules are either in the assembly or not) allows only as many reactions as there are different molecular species available in the environment. Moreover, the number of distinct lipid types cannot be too high, partly because of practical considerations, but also because increasing diversity implies increasing noise in compotype replication.” Vasas, Vera, C. Fernando, M. Santos, S. Kauffman & E. Szathmary. 2012. “Evolution before genes.” Biology Direct. 7:(1):1-14. p. 11.

 

“Our work shows that autocatalytic sets as first devised by Dyson and Kauffman are theoretically possible despite previous criticisms and, perhaps more interesting, that chemical evolution in these systems can lead to the appearance of viable autocatalytic cores, thus opening the possibility for evolution by natural selection.” Vasas, Vera, C. Fernando, M. Santos, S. Kauffman & E. Szathmary. 2012. “Evolution before genes.” Biology Direct. 7:(1):1-14. p. 11.

 

“The challenge is to explain the cultural forces that enabled this major transition [the jump ten thousand years ago to colossal nation states] in the size and complexity of human social groups to occur….

“One prominent theory is that belief in supernatural punishment, particularly by powerful and omnipotent Big Gods, inhibits selfishness and increases cooperation among adherents. The intuitive idea is that if people believe a punishing and moral supernatural agent is monitoring them, they are more likely to behave themselves. By facilitating cooperation in large groups of nonkin, beliefs in supernatural punishment are thought to have played a causal role in the emergence of large, complex human societies. It is crucial to emphasize that, at least as it was initially formulated, this hypothesis was both causal and directional. Big Gods were needed to make big societies….

“In support of the Supernatural Punishment Hypothesis, a number of cross-cultural studies have shown that belief in MHGs [moralizing high gods] is positively correlated with a range of measures of social complexity, such as political hierarchy, agriculture, and taxation systems. On the face of it, the cross-cultural evidence for the Supernatural Punishment Hypothesis appears compelling. However, these studies have a number of important limitations. First, these studies do not actually get at the direction of causality. Although one possible explanation for these results is that MHGs facilitate social complexity, another is that social complexity makes cultures more likely to adopt MHGs. Second, these studies are either based on a single dataset called the Ethnographic Atlas or a subset of this dataset known as the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. The MHGs in these datasets are almost all derived from the closely related family of Abrahamic religions–Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. These religions share a wide range of features, such as providing a universal rather than ethnocentric doctrine and encouraging fertility, and it is not clear whether it is an MHG specifically or some other part of these religions that is related to social complexity. Third, cultures often inherit traits such as language, customs, oral traditions, and social norms from their ancestors. These relationships between cultures mean that cultures cannot be treated as statistically independent….” Gray, Russell & J. Watts. 2017. “Cultural macroevolution matters.” PNAS. July 25. 114(30):7846-7852. p. 7847.

 

“Because Austronesian cultures were some of the last cultures in the world to have contact with major world religions, and their traditional beliefs were well documented, they provide an ideal sample for testing theories about the role of religion in the emergence of social complexity….

“We were surprised to find evidence of MHGs in just 6 of the 96 traditional Austronesian cultures we studied. Although our analyses suggested that MHGs coevolved with political complexity, instead of MHGs driving political complexity, our results indicated that MHGs tended to be gained after political complexity had already emerged.” Gray, Russell & J. Watts. 2017. “Cultural macroevolution matters.” PNAS. July 25. 114(30):7846-7852. p. 7848.

 

“According to the Social Control Hypothesis, ritualized human sacrifice was used by social elites as a religiously sanctioned means of terrifying underclasses into obedience….

“The results of our analyses showed that human sacrifice coevolved with social stratification and functioned to stabilize social inequality in general, as well as facilitated the emergence of rigid class systems…. What our results do show is that ritual human sacrifice was used by social elites as a tool to maintain their social standing in the early stages of social complexity.” Gray, Russell & J. Watts. 2017. “Cultural macroevolution matters.” PNAS. July 25. 114(30):7846-7852. p. 7849.

 

“Teleonomy in living systems is today accepted without question. Yet few theorists take the next step and draw out the implications for evolutionary theory. Teleonomy puts living organisms into a unique category. An organism cannot be reduced to the laws of physics, or be derived from those laws, because its properties (inclusive of its structure, its behaviour and its historical trajectory) cannot be predicted from those laws. For example, the laws of physics are silent about the phenomenon of ‘feedback’, a fundamental (informational) aspect of all living systems.” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. p. 248.

“Indeed, behavioural innovations, however they may occur, are beginning to look like the explanation for some of the outstanding puzzles in the natural world. One notable example is the extraordinary diversity of cichlid fish in African lakes, such as Lake Victoria, which is of recent origin. It is now assumed that a highly malleable morphological trait in these creatures, namely their jaw structure, interacted with a great profusion of new food ‘habits’ (specializations on different resources) to accelerate the evolutionary process.” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. p. 248.

 

“From an evolutionary perspective, downward causation/supervenience refers especially to purposeful activities at higher levels of organization in living systems (the phenotype) that differentially affect the survival and reproduction of lower-level ‘parts’ (including the genes).” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. p. 249.

 

“Even trial-and-error processes are purposeful. They are shaped by evolved, pre-existing search and selection criteria, namely, the adaptive needs of the organism.

“These behavioural ‘choices’ may then affect the course of natural selection. Again, most important are the functional consequences for survival and reproduction of significant changes in the relationship between an organism and its environment.” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. p. 249.

 

Cactospiza pallidus is one of the numerous species of highly unusual finches, first discovered by Darwin, that have evolved in the Galapagos Islands,….

“However, as any beginning biology student knows, C. pallidus has achieved its unique adaptation in a highly unusual way. Instead of excavating trees with its beak and tongue alone, as the mainland woodpecker does, C. pallidus skillfully uses cactus spines or small twigs held lengthwise in its beak to probe beneath the bark. When it succeeds in dislodging an insect larva, it will quickly drop its digging tool, or else deftly tuck it between its claws long enough to devour the prey. Members of this species have also been observed carefully selecting ‘tools’ of the right size, shape, and strength, and carrying them from tree to tree.”

“For our purpose, what is most significant about this distinctive behaviour is its ‘downward’ effect on natural selection and the genome of C. pallidus. The mainland woodpecker’s feeding strategy is in part dependent on the fact that its ancestors evolved an extremely long, probing tongue. However, C. pallidus has no such ‘structural’ modification. In other words, the invention of a digging tool enabled the woodpecker finch to circumvent the ‘selection pressure’ for an otherwise necessary structural change. This behavioural ‘workaround’ in effect provided both a facilitator and a selective shield, or mask.” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. pp. 249-250.

 

“A fundamental characteristic of a cybernetic system is that it is controlled by the relationship between endogenous, in-built goals and the external environment….

“… the behavior of a cybernetic control system can be described mathematically in terms of its tendency to oppose an environmental disturbance of an internally controlled quantity.” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. p. 250.

 

“It is also important to note that cybernetic control processes are not limited only to one level of biological organization. Over the past two decades, we have come to appreciate the fact that they exist at many levels in living systems. They can be observed in, amongst other things, morphogenesis, cellular activity, and neuronal network operation, as well as in the orchestration of animal behaviour. Indeed, the cybernetic model also encompasses processes that conform to the paradigm of ‘distributed control’ or ‘horizontal control’. Some examples include bacterial colonies, honeybees, army ants, slime moulds, and, of course, humans.” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. p. 250.

 

“With the increasing scope of cybernetic self-control over the course of time, a subtle but important threshold was crossed in evolution. Self-organization was augmented by the emergence of self-determination: the behavioural ability to set and pursue internally-defined behavioural goals that increasingly determine the outcome for an organism in terms of survival and reproduction.

“This has had two consequences. One is that self-determining processes have gained increasing ascendancy over the ‘blind’ processes of organismic variation and natural selection. The second is that, as noted earlier, the partially self-determining organisms that are the products of evolution have come to play an increasingly important causal role in evolution; they have become co-designers of the evolutionary process, a trend that has culminated in humankind.” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. p. 250.

 

“Evolution, similar to a wagon pulled by a team of horses, has harnessed four distinct classes of influences: chance, necessity, teleonomy, and selection.” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. p. 251.

 

“‘Sexual selection’ is also an example of Teleonomic Selection. Mate-choices among reproductive animal pairs involve behavioural choices that may directly shape the course of evolution, as Darwin himself first pointed out.” Corning, Peter. 2013. “Evolution ‘on purpose’: how behaviour has shaped the evolutionary process.” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 112:242-260. p. 252.

 

“By emphasizing planning, Coolidge and Wynn include in their thesis for the emergence of modern thinking cognitive features that are becoming conceptually differentiated in two related emerging fields of cognitive psychology. The first is prospective memory, which is defined as the encoding, storage, and delayed retrieval of intended actions. The second is planning and imagining the future, which falls within the conceptual domain of the even newer field of constructive memory. Prospective memory for delayed tasks and constructive memory for imagined futures both feed into the here and now of WM [working memory] to varying degrees.” Ambrose, Stanley. 2010. “Coevolution of Composite-Tool Technology, Constructive Memory, and Language.” Current Anthropology. V. 51. Supplement 1. June. S135-147. p. S136. Reference: Coolidge, F.C. & T. Wynn. 2005. “Working memory, its executive functions, and the emergence of modern thinking.” Cambridge Archaeological Journal. 15:5-26.

 

“However, in East Africa, where obsidian (volcanic glass) artifact sources are easily located and chemically fingerprinted, there is incontrovertible evidence for an order-of-magnitude increase in the abundance of long-distance transport of obsidian near the end of the MSA [African Middle Stone Age]. It is notable that this transition within the MSA occurred at the beginning of the last ice age, when the genetic structure of modern human populations suggests a catastrophic population crash around 74 ka. This population bottleneck is followed by a population expansion around 60–70 ka among all African populations and then by expansions of the ancestors of southern Australasians around 60 ka and northern Eurasians around 50 ka. The period from approximately 74 to 72 ka witnessed a catastrophic volcanic winter lasting 6 years that may have initiated a severe instant ice age lasting 1,800 years, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger stadial 20. Two millennia of relatively warm (interstadial) climate separated this severe event from the early last glacial maximum (known as marine oxygen isotope stage 4), which lasted from 71 to 60 ka. Stage 4 was consistently colder and lasted longer than the late last glacial maximum (stage 2), 26–14 ka. The prolonged cold, droughts, and famines from 74 to 60 ka are probably responsible for the severe population bottleneck recorded in Africa at this time.” Ambrose, Stanley. 2010. “Coevolution of Composite-Tool Technology, Constructive Memory, and Language.” Current Anthropology. V. 51. Supplement 1. June. S135-147. P. S140.

 

“In such environments, where variance in resource availability is high and environmental disasters occur at irregular intervals, people actively seek reciprocal exchange relationships with individuals in distant, ecologically complementary environments. Frequent visits and gift exchanges function to maintain rights of reciprocal access to foraging in their partners’ territories. These visits are also occasions for gathering information about the state of the environment. Shared information is crucial for formulating plans for resource exploitation and for averting starvation when resources fail within a home range. In stable, productive environments, where resources are abundant and predictable, these intensive long-distance exchange systems are poorly developed or absent, even among Kalahari hunter-gatherers, but they are a characteristic feature of foragers in severe environments.” Ambrose, Stanley. 2010. “Coevolution of Composite-Tool Technology, Constructive Memory, and Language.” Current Anthropology. V. 51. Supplement 1. June. S135-147. P. S140.

 

“The archaeological and bioarchaeological record of the transition to modern human behavior suggests that the most fundamental changes involved enhanced capacities for planned use of the landscape, resources, and social relationships…. The first stage in the evolution of enhanced planning abilities probably involved constructing composite artifacts, which would have placed greater demands on integrating WM with prospective memory and, ultimately, constructive memory.” Ambrose, Stanley. 2010. “Coevolution of Composite-Tool Technology, Constructive Memory, and Language.” Current Anthropology. V. 51. Supplement 1. June. S135-147. P. S143.

 

“Neanderthals apparently had respectable working, prospective, and constructive memory capacities for making composite tools, but their skeletal biology and pathologies, as well as their poorly timed use of seasonally available resources, suggest that they were unable to realize their capacities for planning and land use.” Ambrose, Stanley. 2010. “Coevolution of Composite-Tool Technology, Constructive Memory, and Language.” Current Anthropology. V. 51. Supplement 1. June. S135-147. P. S144.

 

“Bird migration seemingly evolves through a unidirectional causal process, as the organism is shaped by selection to “match” features in the external environment. Thus, developmental processes feature only in proximate causal accounts. For intersexual selection, however, causation is reciprocal. Proximate mechanisms both shape and respond to selection, allowing developmental processes to feature in proximate and ultimate explanations. In reciprocal processes, ultimate explanations must include an account of the sources of selection (as these are modified by the evolutionary process) as well as the causes of the phenotypes subject to selection.

“One ramification of reciprocal causation is that phenotypic plasticity, which is extremely widespread in nature, can generate selection and thus precipitate evolutionary episodes. It follows that developmental processes can influence the direction of evolutionary change. A second consequence is that, in these cases, the origin of the evolutionary episode is ambiguous. The cycle of causation may have begun with a prior preference or with fitness differences in a trait. Either way, such cycles can originate as an expression of phenotypic plasticity, in which case developmental processes explain the origin of evolutionary change.” Laland, K., K. Sterelny, J. Odling-Smee, W. Hoppitt & T. Uller. 2011. “Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited: Is Mayr’s Proximate-Ultimate Dichotomy Still Useful?” Science. 334: 1512-1516. December 16. P. 1512.

 

“Niche-construction theorists, like developmental biologists, view phenotypes (and hence their environmental modification) as underdetermined by genes.” Laland, K., K. Sterelny, J. Odling-Smee, W. Hoppitt & T. Uller. 2011. “Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited: Is Mayr’s Proximate-Ultimate Dichotomy Still Useful?” Science. 334: 1512-1516. December 16. P. 1514.

 

“These authors [proponents of evo-devo] regard teaching, imitation, and punishment as modifying selection and hence influencing biological evolution. Here, social learning creates developmental bias and/or shapes natural selection pressures, allowing genetic and cultural variation to coevolve and plastic responses to trigger evolutionary episodes. Once again, ontogenetic processes are part of the evolutionary explanation.

“Cultural evolution. Matters become even more complex with cultural evolution, where many researchers see alternatives to natural selection as the ultimate process responsible for a character’s design. Aspects of human cognition and society—features of language, reading, writing, norms, cooperative behavior, institutions, and technology—are viewed as fashioned by cultural evolution, encompassing generations of social learning, teaching, and innovation.

“There are many forms of cultural evolution, which differ in transmission pattern and in whether differentially fit individuals are biological organisms, groups, or cultural traits. But none fit Mayr’s simple paradigm. For example, in one view, culture allows acquired characteristics to be transmitted between individuals at varying rates. In this view, cultural knowledge itself differentially reproduces. This allows differential social learning and transmission to generate design, in a manner parallel to that resulting from the natural selection of genes.” Laland, K., K. Sterelny, J. Odling-Smee, W. Hoppitt & T. Uller. 2011. “Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited: Is Mayr’s Proximate-Ultimate Dichotomy Still Useful?” Science. 334: 1512-1516. December 16. P. 1514.

 

“Cultural evolutionists tend to view natural selection and cultural evolution as providing competing ultimate explanations, whereas evolutionary psychologists and linguists with a more nativistic perspective see the discussion as centered around alternative proximate accounts, often with greater or lesser amounts of innate structure shaping cultural learning. The same holds for debates over evo-devo, niche construction, and cooperation, where advocates of reciprocal causation propose alternatives to conventional evolutionary explanations in which ontogenetic processes are relevant to ultimate questions. Laland, K., K. Sterelny, J. Odling-Smee, W. Hoppitt & T. Uller. 2011. “Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited: Is Mayr’s Proximate-Ultimate Dichotomy Still Useful?” Science. 334: 1512-1516. December 16. P. 1515.

 

“The sum of direct and indirect fitness is called inclusive fitness. Consequently, inclusive fitness is the quantity that organisms should appear to maximize. Put another way, inclusive fitness is the maximand of natural selection. Inclusive fitness is not a special case; it is instead our most general encapsulation of Darwinian fitness. One related and often misunderstood term is kin selection. Coined by Maynard Smith, kin selection is usually used to mean selection of the indirect component of inclusive fitness. As such, kin selection is not an alternative to natural selection as a source of explanation. Rather, it is part of natural selection. It should also be emphasized that methods such as multilevel (group) selection do not give different predictions—they are just alternate ways of analyzing the dynamics of natural selection, and they still lead to the maximization of inclusive fitness. Put simply, nothing else has been shown to be a maximand of natural selection.” Scott-Phillips, Thomas, T. Dickins & S. West. 2011. “Evolutionary Theory and the Ultimate-Proximate Distinction in the Human Behavioral Sciences.” Perspectives on Psychological Science. 6(1):38-47. P. 40.

 

“Why are these misunderstandings relatively common? We suggest three possible reasons. The first is that proximate explanations are often (in fact, usually) the desideratum for research in the human behavioral sciences, and so the question of ultimate functionality is often not raised. A second (and related) reason may be that some terms have two different meanings: one at the ultimate level and another at the proximate level. For example, cooperation, altruism, spite, and associated terms are defined in the biological literature in terms of their net effects on direct fitness. As such, these theoretical constructs exist at the ultimate level of explanation. However, the same terms in the psychological literature are often used to refer to mental states, which are proximate mechanisms. These different frames of reference (direct fitness effects on the one hand, mental states on the other) are to be expected, given the different domains of enquiry. However, there is an associated danger that such terms may be misunderstood and/or misused when they are transferred between disciplines. Scott-Phillips, Thomas, T. Dickins & S. West. 2011. “Evolutionary Theory and the Ultimate-Proximate Distinction in the Human Behavioral Sciences.” Perspectives on Psychological Science. 6(1):38-47. P. 40.

 

“Cooperation depends on interactions between prosocial emotions and social learning. Humans act prosocially, but the form and extent of prosocial behavior often depends on specific, local, but stable cultural traditions. For example, Henrich et al in their cross-cultural survey of economic games noted that one group, the Orma, mapped the public goods game onto an important, cooperative local institution, and that probably helped explain their high rates of cooperation. The general picture that emerges from this research tradition is that we have evolved (in part through cultural learning) a distinctive set of attitudes towards social interaction, that of ‘strong reciprocation.’ Strongly reciprocating agents enter social interactions intending to cooperate if others do, but they are also vengeful if others failure [sic] to cooperate. We have evolved as a cooperative primate because we have evolved this distinctive psychology.” Sterelny, Kim. 2013. “Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate Explanations.” Biol Theory. 7:358-367. P. 359; Reference: Henrich, J., R. Boyd, S. Bowles, C. Camerer, E. Fehr, H. Gintis, R. McElreath, M. Alvard, A. Barr, J. Ensminger, N. Henrich, K. Hill, F. Gil-White, M. Gurven, FW Marlowe, JQ Patton & D. Tracer. 2005. “‘Economic man’ in cross-cultural perspective: behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies.” Behav Brain Sci. 28:795-855.

 

“Avital and Jablonka argue convincingly that this interaction between individual adaptive plasticity and genetic accommodation is especially important in the evolution of behavioral novelties, for initial innovations cause changes in foraging patterns and social interaction which in turn stabilize the innovation. Think, for example, of the establishment of stone tool making and use in early hominins, or the domestication of wild fire by Middle Pleistocene humans. Very likely, early innovations were improbable accidents, and the skills those accidents established were easily lost. But the use of stone tools could and did give early hominins access to new and important resources such as the marrow in large carcasses, often inaccessible to other scavengers. Once that opportunity was taken, stone tool use became a regular rather than an occasional activity, and once it was regular, in their ordinary trial-and-error exploration, juveniles would have had many opportunities to experiment with stones and what they could do. A low-probability innovation becomes a routine, high-probability result of trial and error in a biased environment, one with many opportunities for rewarding trials. Once toolmaking and use became a central and enduring feature of the hominin way of life, selection pressures changed, with selection for genetic variation that enhanced tool-using skills and that accelerated our capacity to acquire them. Our minds and bodies are now adapted to use tools, and to learn to use tools.” Sterelny, Kim. 2013. “Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate Explanations.” Biol Theory. 7:358-367. Pp. 360-1; Reference: Avital, E. & E. Jablonka. 2000. Animal traditions: behavioural inheritance in evolution. Cambridge UP.

 

“Interim conclusion: to the extent that the evolution of behavioral capacities depends on initial individual plasticity and on mechanisms of social learning and cultural transmission, there is no clear separation of ultimate and proximate factors.” Sterelny, Kim. 2013. “Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate Explanations.” Biol Theory. 7:358-367. P. 361.

 

“So a second interim conclusion: the capacity to learn culturally is indeed a feature of the proximate psychology of agents. But it is still relevant to evolutionary, adaptive explanations, because cultural learning can make traits heritable, hence selectable, at the level of both individuals and groups.” Sterelny, Kim. 2013. “Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate Explanations.” Biol Theory. 7:358-367. P. 362.

 

“In our species, culture is especially central to explaining adaptive limits, for cultural learning also makes maladaptation possible: first, by increasing the heterogeneity of the environment and the rate at which it changes, thus exacerbating the problems of adaptive lag; and second, increasing humans’ sensitivity to how others think and act; a sensitivity that increases their vulnerability.” Sterelny, Kim. 2013. “Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate Explanations.” Biol Theory. 7:358-367. P. 362.

 

“Foragers cooperated because most of the time, cooperating served their interests well, and evidently so, and this material fact supported, and was supported by, the norms and customs of their lives. Pleistocene cooperation is readily explained as maximizing individual fitness.” Sterelny, Kim. 2013. “Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate Explanations.” Biol Theory. 7:358-367. P. 364.

 

“We are faced with an early to middle Holocene paradox. There are two cooperative equilibriums in human social life: the Pleistocene exemplifies one, the egalitarian equilibrium of fair dealing in intimate, transparent, stable worlds. The later Holocene exemplifies the other. Once states have appeared, with efficient mechanisms of policing and coercion, cooperation by the humble is no mystery. They are making the best of a bad deal. Both equilibriums are buffered: the state-based equilibrium by mechanisms of coercion and control; the egalitarian equilibrium by anti-dominance mechanisms….” Sterelny, Kim. 2013. “Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate Explanations.” Biol Theory. 7:358-367. P. 364.

 

“It is time to summarize the state of play. Mayr’s division of labor is sometimes useful. But it is no help when we are interested in explaining the evolution of the social behavior of agents whose developmental trajectory is sensitive to their social environment; who learn from each other; and whose acts, individual and collective, influence both their selective and the developmental environment.” Sterelny, Kim. 2013. “Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate Explanations.” Biol Theory. 7:358-367. P. 366.

 

“The idea that cognition reaches beyond the brain started with the term distributed cognition, and although that term is still used, I am sticking to another common term, situated cognition. This term serves at a genus level, referring to the general class encompassing cognition beyond the brain of a single animal. The term distributed cognition, on the other hand, now takes on a different sense at the species level, in which cognition is spread among different animals.” Cheng, Ken. 2018. “Cognition Beyond Representation: Varieties of Situated Cognition in Animals.” Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews. V. 13. DOI: 10.3819/CCBR.2018.13001. P. 2

 

“The genus of situated cognition comes in conservative and liberal versions. In the conservative versions, the extension adds a component to standard cognitive theory based on representations and operations over representations, a component outside of the central nervous system. Thus, nervous control embodied in the arms of an octopus or extended to the web of an orb-web spider adds such a component to standard cognitive theory. The liberal versions recast cognition as something fundamentally different from the standard cognition of representations. For example, to Gallagher, cognition in humans arises from a socially extended mind, ‘constituted not only in social interactions with others, but also in ways that involve institutional structures, norms, and practices’ (p. 4). In this liberal view, not only bodies and objects but also entire historical institutions such as the law or scientific paradigms of research make up cognition.” Cheng, Ken. 2018. “Cognition Beyond Representation: Varieties of Situated Cognition in Animals.” Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews. V. 13. DOI: 10.3819/CCBR.2018.13001. P. 2; Reference: Gallagher, S. (2013). The socially extended mind. Cognitive Systems Research, 25–26, 4–12. doi:10.1016/j.cogsys.2013.03.008.

 

“The distributed cognition hypothesis (O’Donnell et al, 2015) is opposite to the social brain hypothesis as applied to, for example, primates. The social brain hypothesis predicts that brain size—in particular, neocortex size—increases with the social complexity of the species. The distributed cognition hypothesis, as applied to eusocial species, predicts the opposite: Brains can be smaller in theory because nest mates form a cooperative team with common interests and can divide up tasks. Cheng, Ken. 2018. “Cognition Beyond Representation: Varieties of Situated Cognition in Animals.” Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews. V. 13. DOI: 10.3819/CCBR.2018.13001. P. 3; Reference: O’Donnell, S., Bulova, S. J., DeLeon, S., Khodak, P., Miller, S., & Sulger, E. (2015). Distributed cognition and social brains: reductions in mushroom body investment accompanied the origins of sociality in wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 282, 20150791. doi:10.1098/rspb.2015.0791.

 

“Much of the octopus’s nervous system lies outside the central brain. Hochner gave an estimate of half a billion neurons in the entire nervous system. Of the neuronal population, some 50 million reside in the central brain, connected with two big optic lobes each with about 60 million neurons. An estimated 320 million dwell in the arms, about 40 million in each arm. Although the central brain is, of course, connected to the peripheral nervous system, the connecting fibers are few in comparison to the number of neurons, more than two orders of magnitude fewer.” Cheng, Ken. 2018. “Cognition Beyond Representation: Varieties of Situated Cognition in Animals.” Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews. V. 13. DOI: 10.3819/CCBR.2018.13001. Pp. 3-4; Reference: Hochner, B. (2013). How nervous systems evolve in relation to their embodiment: What we can learn from octopuses and other molluscs. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 82, 19–30. doi:10.1159/000353419.

 

“The spider’s web provides key examples for Japyassú and Laland. The web-weaving spider extends its cognition in adjusting the tension of web threads. The tension affects attentional processes in the web builder: the tighter the threads, the smaller the disturbance needs to be to catch the builder’s attention. Thread tension thus calibrates threshold level for attention. When tight, tinier objects such as prey items are registered, satisfying the causal chain in one direction. The spider in turn adjusts its web tension based on its state. A hungrier spider tends to tighten the web, the functional reason being that when hungry, even small prey items are worth paying attention to. That establishes causal flow in the other direction to satisfy the mutual manipulability criterion. The web-building spider also extends its cognition in building the web. To start with, the web builder’s cognitive state affects how the web is built. Thus, spiders learn to adjust how they build their webs depending on which part of the web captures most prey. Japyassú and Laland argued for causal flow in the webspider direction as well because in building the web, the spider relies on previously built parts in construction. For example, in weaving the spirals, interstring gaps— the distances between concentric spirals—are determined in good part by the spirals that have already been built, especially the spirals right next to the one being woven. This saves a lot of memorizing.” Cheng, Ken. 2018. “Cognition Beyond Representation: Varieties of Situated Cognition in Animals.” Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews. V. 13. DOI: 10.3819/CCBR.2018.13001. Pp. 6-7. References: Japyassú, H. F., & Laland, K. N. (2017). Extended spider cognition. Animal Cognition, 20, 375–395. doi:10.1007/s10071-017-1069-7; Kaplan, D. M. (2012). How to demarcate the boundaries of cognition. Biology & Philosophy, 27, 545–570. doi:10.1007/s10539-012-9308-4.

 

“If we accept the link between pirouetting and standard accounts of wayfinding in ants, then the pirouettes fit the bill for extended cognition sensu Kaplan (2012) and Japyassú and Laland (2017), with actions extending cognition rather than physical objects. The mutual manipulability criterion is satisfied. Accepting the previous paragraph, the pirouetting is in the causal loop for the ant’s setting off on a direction of travel. It affects the (standard) cognition of the navigating ant. The ant might change its direction of travel after scanning,… In the other causal direction, the (standard) cognitive state of the ant affects the ant’s pirouetting. Thus, the standard cognitive state of uncertainty, in the guise of the first trip of the day or a change in the usual scenery, at least increases the amount of pirouetting,… The current data are pointing to both sides of the mutual manipulability criterion. Cheng, Ken. 2018. “Cognition Beyond Representation: Varieties of Situated Cognition in Animals.” Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews. V. 13. DOI: 10.3819/CCBR.2018.13001. P. 11; References: Kaplan, D. M. (2012). How to demarcate the boundaries of cognition. Biology & Philosophy, 27, 545–570. doi:10.1007/s10539-012-9308-4; Japyassú, H. F., & Laland, K. N. (2017). Extended spider cognition. Animal Cognition, 20, 375–395. doi:10.1007/s10071-017-1069-7.

 

“Each of the three e-words, embodied, extended, and enactive, emphasizes a different supporting actor to complement the lead star of standard cognition, respectively, the peripheral nervous system, objects, and actions.” Cheng, Ken. 2018. “Cognition Beyond Representation: Varieties of Situated Cognition in Animals.” Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews. V. 13. DOI: 10.3819/CCBR.2018.13001. P. 12.

 

“… I go both against Laland et al. who argue that the work of advocates of SR [strong reciprocity] shows that Mayr’s ultimate—proximate distinction is no longer useful and against West et al. who argue that in their work advocates of SR mix up ultimate and proximate explanation in an unacceptable way. I argue, first, that Mayr’s ultimate—proximate distinction can be disambiguated in a way that is acceptable for both camps, that of Laland et al. and that of West et al., and, second, that in the work of advocates of SR the disambiguated distinction is not blurred.” Vromen, Jack. 2017. “Ultimate and proximate explanations of strong reciprocity.” History and philosophy of the life sciences. 39: 25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40656-017-0151-4. References: Laland, K., K. Sterelny, J. Odling-Smee, W. Hoppitt & T. Uller. 2011. “Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited: Is Mayr’s Proximate-Ultimate Dichotomy Still Useful?” Science. 334: 1512-1516. December 16; Scott-Phillips, Thomas, T. Dickins & S. West. 2011. “Evolutionary Theory and the Ultimate-Proximate Distinction in the Human Behavioral Sciences.” Perspectives on Psychological Science. 6(1):38-47.

 

“Advocates of SR clearly believe not only that cultural evolution is a Darwinian process analogical to biological evolution, but also that cultural evolution and its products played a key role in the evolution of human cooperation….

“It is important to see what is not implied by such a view. First, social learning need not be as faithful or as ‘high-fidelity’ as genetic inheritance. Genetic inheritance, it is sometimes argued, is largely preservative. Copying and editing errors are relatively rare. By contrast, it is often argued that systematic biases in social learning (and thus also in cultural transmission) are the rule rather than the exception. Especially Dan Sperber and associates have been consistently arguing that a Darwinian perspective on culture based on the assumption that there are items in culture that are replicators (sometimes called memes)—just like genes in biological evolution—is fundamentally mistaken. Rather than assuming that cultural transmission is a matter of faithful copying, Sperber urges that cultural transmission is systematically biased by what he calls attractors. Most of the time, when people try to learn something from others, they have to make inferences. The meanings that words have, for example, cannot be observed or imitated, but have to be inferentially reconstructed. In those processes of inferential reconstruction, pre-existing psychological biases, as ‘attractors’, play a key role.

“Sperber and his associates have used this argument repeatedly to resist and oppose attempts to Darwinize culture. But advocates of SR, such as Boyd, Richerson and Henrich, have consistently argued that Sperber’s argument, which they take to be well-taken for the most part, does not undermine their view that cultural change can be seen as a Darwinian evolutionary process in its own right. Just like Sperber, Boyd, Richerson and Henrich acknowledge the existence of a host of systematic biases in cultural transmission. Not only do people selectively choose their role models—the people they want to learn from—(these they call context biases), what they learn from them is also greatly affected by psychological mechanisms (what they call content biases)….

“Thus, advocates of SR agree with Sperber and other critics that there are significant differences between cultural and biological evolution, yet maintain pace Sperber that it is worthwhile and fruitful to conceive of cultural change as a Darwinian process in its own right.” Vromen, Jack. 2017. “Ultimate and proximate explanations of strong reciprocity.” History and philosophy of the life sciences. 39: 25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40656-017-0151-4.

 

“Advocates of SR also connect cultural evolution and biological evolution causally, however. This is the other part of their story. With their gene-culture co-evolutionary theory, they want to bring out that the causal connection between biological and cultural evolution is not a one-way street. It is not just that biological evolution and its products causally affect subsequent processes of cultural evolution. Conversely, cultural evolution and its products also causally affect subsequent processes of biological evolution. Sure, they argue, humans only could start cumulative cultural evolution after the requisite psychological capacities and mechanisms first evolved biologically. And biologically pre-evolved psychological mechanisms might still greatly affect ongoing processes of cultural evolution, as Sperber, evolutionary psychologists and advocates of gene-culture co-evolutionary theory alike recognize. But vice versa in the history of humankind cultural evolution and its products also determined to a large extent the social ‘environmental’ pressures for subsequent processes of biological evolution. In a social world replete of culturally pre-evolved social norms, for example, in which people who fail to adhere to the prevailing norms are shunned from food-sharing and mating opportunities, the genetic reproductive success of people greatly depends on whether they are capable of internalizing the norms. In such a world, there is a tight pressure favoring the biological evolution of a ‘norm psychology’.

“Gene-culture co-evolutionary theory thus involves more than the recognition that culture has an inheritance mechanisms [sic] of its own. It also crucially involves the recognition that cultural evolution and its products change the conditions for subsequent biological evolution. In fact, since it transpired that cultural evolution also leaves biological traces, it would be more accurate to say that cultural evolution and its products change the conditions for subsequent genetic (not biological) evolution. The nascent subdiscipline of cultural neuroscience shows, for example, that being raised in different cultures leads to different wirings of the brain. Enculturated brains differ from non-enculturated brains and the brains of enculturated people in the one culture differ from those of enculturated people in another culture. Thus culture turns out to have effects on biological organization at higher layers (or levels) than the molecular layer of the gene. In short, rather than maintaining that culture has its own realm or sphere, in ways similar to but also fully detached from the biological realm, advocates of SR, who also propagate gene-culture co-evolutionary theory, hold that the cultural and biological realm are deeply intertwined. Not only are there myriad ways in which processes of cultural evolution and processes of genetic evolution mutually affect each other, cultural evolution and its products also have direct biological consequences.” Vromen, Jack. 2017. “Ultimate and proximate explanations of strong reciprocity.” History and philosophy of the life sciences. 39: 25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40656-017-0151-4.

 

“Both camps might agree about the causal processes involved in the evolution of social preferences such as SR. The disagreement between the two camps might be limited to how we should theoretically account for these causal processes. That is, the Laland camp holds that since cultural evolution and its products made such a big difference to what evolved genetically afterwards, an acceptable ultimate explanation should explicitly mention cultural evolution and the proximate mechanisms at work in it. Even though the West camp might grant the importance of cultural evolution and the proximate mechanisms at work in it in shaping the conditions for genetic evolution, it sees no need to adjust its belief that ultimate explanations should not invoke proximate mechanisms. The West camp can maintain this belief by arguing that ultimate explanations need not go so far back in time that the factors that produced the conditions for genetic evolution should also be taken into account in acceptable ultimate explanations.” Vromen, Jack. 2017. “Ultimate and proximate explanations of strong reciprocity.” History and philosophy of the life sciences. 39: 25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40656-017-0151-4.

 

“As the West camp, the ‘skeptics’ with respect to niche construction theory, makes clear, evolutionary processes can and should be distinguished from the causes of evolutionary processes. Four evolutionary processes are traditionally recognized in the standard evolutionary synthesis, the West camp argues: natural selection (including sexual selection), genetic drift, mutation and migration. All four evolutionary processes lead to changes in gene frequencies. The West camp is adamant in stressing that ultimate explanation is inextricably tied to genetic evolution. But the West camp also emphasizes that this does not imply that non-genetic factors are ruled out as important causes. It has been long appreciated that many different causes might change conditions for genetic evolution, West et al. argue. Niche construction is just one of those, one that alters the local ecology. Thus the standard evolutionary synthesis can accommodate these causes, the West camp argues, without pre-judging which are more important or more crucial: evolutionary processes or the causes affecting them.

“Without denying that this is a defensible take on niche construction, I think two observations are in order. One is that even though the West camp argues that the standard evolutionary synthesis does not prejudge the issue of whether evolutionary processes or causes are causally more powerful or efficacious, there might be a tendency to regard the former as basic and the latter as mere add-ons. In this vein, the basic evolutionary processes are ‘foregrounded’ and the causes of evolutionary processes are ‘backgrounded’. If advocates of gene-culture co-evolutionary theory are right that cultural evolution has been the central force driving human genetic evolution, then a case can be made for reversing this way of picturing human evolution: cultural evolution, and the proximate causes involved in them, should be foregrounded and the basic evolutionary processes should be backgrounded.

“This brings me to my second observation. Even if we accept the West camp view that ultimate explanation should be confined to basic evolutionary processes producing changes in gene frequencies, this does not establish that reference to proximate causes in ultimate explanation is not admissible. The West camp is right that ultimate explanation need not go into the causes of basic evolutionary processes. But this does not imply that it would be wrong or mistaken to push ultimate explanation further back in time. On the contrary: if the proximate mechanisms involved in cultural evolution played a crucial causal role in molding the conditions for genetic evolution, as advocates of gene-culture co-evolutionary theory hold, then this provides an excellent reason to explicitly refer to these proximate mechanisms in ultimate explanations.” Vromen, Jack. 2017. “Ultimate and proximate explanations of strong reciprocity.” History and philosophy of the life sciences. 39: 25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40656-017-0151-4.

 

“I argue that … causation in biological systems is fundamentally reciprocal in nature.” Laland, Kevin. 2014. “On evolutionary causes and evolutionary processes.” Behavioural Processes. 117:97-104. P. 1.

 

“I characterize such niche construction [termite nests] as an evolutionary process because the selection pressures it generates are directional, orderly and often highly consistent amongst unrelated organisms.” Laland, Kevin. 2014. “On evolutionary causes and evolutionary processes.” Behavioural Processes. 117:97-104. P. 5.

 

“GSE [generalized selected effects theory] states that the function of a trait is whatever it did, in the past, that contributed to the trait’s differential reproduction or differential retention within a population.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 3.

 

“Functions are simply doings.

“Sadly, the biologists’ simple account can’t be right – for two reasons. First, traits do many things that aren’t their functions. Noses help us breathe, they also hold up glasses, but their function is to help us breathe, not hold up glasses. Holding up glasses is a lucky benefit, or side effect, but not a function. Zebra stripes entertain safari guests, but that’s also not their function….

“Here’s a second problem with the simple account that says a trait’s function is just what it does. A particular instance of a trait – my stomach, your heart – can have the function of doing something even if it can’t actually do that thing. If my stomach shuts down because of a drug overdose, it can’t digest food. Yet it has the function of digesting food; thus it has a function it can’t perform. It’s ‘dysfunctional’ or, if you prefer, ‘malfunctioning.’ Philosophers sometimes call this feature of functions – that it’s possible for a trait to have a function it cannot perform, that it can dysfunction or malfunction – the ‘normativity’ of functions.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. pp. 10-11.

 

“… when we say something’s functional, we’re not saying (or not only saying) that it does something or other to help us out, but that the fact that it helps us out in the specified way is the reason it exists.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 13.

 

“The reason a function of the nose is to help us breathe, and not hold up glasses, is because the fact that noses help us breathe explains why we have them.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 15.

 

“Despite its merits, etiological approaches to function seem to suffer a major drawback. This is known as the problem of ‘backwards causation.’ On the face of it, the fact that stripes deter flies cannot possibly explain why zebras have stripes….

“In order for the fact that stripes deter flies to cause zebras to have stripes, the two facts would then have to stand in a before-and-after relationship. It would have to be the case that, first, zebra stripes deter flies and, second, zebras have stripes, but that’s the reverse of what happens in the real world. For a zebra to use its stripes to deter flies, it must already have the stripes. Hence the ‘backwards’ part of the problem of backwards causation. In order for the fact that stripes deter flies to cause zebras to have stripes, there would have to be a peculiar causal relationship in which later events (a zebra using its stripes to deter flies) cause earlier ones (zebras have stripes).” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 16.

 

“Many philosophers have chosen to follow Hempel in denying that functions statements are causal explanations. They have worked out a vast array of nonetiological accounts of function instead. Fitness-contribution theories, such as the propensity theory and the biostatistical theory, hold that a trait’s function has to do with its present-day contribution to fitness. Causal role theories say it has to do with the contribution a part makes, in tandem with other parts, to an interesting system capacity.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 17. Reference: Hempel, CG. 1965. Aspects of Scientific Explanation. Free Press.

 

“We need one theory for biological functions, and another theory for artifact functions. It seems to me that beaver dams acquire their functions, in the first place, because individuals design, create, and use them; they don’t get their functions in the same way that features of organisms do.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 21.

 

“This observation, that selection accounts for function’s explanatory depth, is the root of the selected effects theory of function.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 26.

 

“Let S be an individual or population, T a trait, and A an activity. The explanans is, T does A; the explanandum, S has T:

“Explanans: T does A

“Explanandum: S has T

“I said that if T was selected for A by natural selection (in S), then this is a correct causal explanation.

“One might protest that in a selectionist explanation the explanans is not T does A. The explanans is T did A in the past. T’s doing A, right now, explains nothing.

“I agree that, in a selectionist explanation, the fact that T did A in the past explains why S has T now. The fact that T does A, at this very moment, explains nothing. Still, the criticism misses its mark. The statement ‘T does A,’ in the explanans, is not about what T is doing at this very moment. Rather, ‘T does A’ should be understood … in a ‘tenseless’ way – in just the way we understand statements like ‘beavers build dams.’ The statement ‘beavers build dams’ isn’t about what some beavers are up to right now. Nor does it say that beavers have always built dams, ever since they came into existence; the statement cuts a wide temporal swath. As long as enough beavers built enough dams recently, it’s right to say that ‘beavers build dams.’ That’s the sense in which the explanans must be understood.

“Put differently, if we replace the current explanans, ‘T does A,’ with a modified explanans, ‘T did A in the past,’ we wouldn’t be moving from saying something false to saying something true. We’d be moving from saying something less precise to saying something more precise. But both statements are right. At worst, the selected effects theory solves the problem of backwards causation by a sort of temporal smudging,….” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. pp. 27-8.

“Consider Lester Wire, who invented the first electric traffic light. It seems to me that the very first traffic light he made, complete with working red and green lights, had the function of regulating the flow of traffic, since that’s what he meant for it to do, but that effect didn’t cause its existence. The traffic light existed because Wire thought, or surmised, or anticipated that it would regulate the flow of traffic. That is the crucial difference between biological and artifact functions. With biological functions, an actual effect of the trait explains the trait’s existence, not a merely presumed or anticipated or desired effect.

“Some have tried to bridge the divide between artifact functions and natural functions by arguing that artifacts, like biological traits, get their functions from a selection process, but it is a virtual selection process that goes on in the designer’s mind. I agree that something like that happens, but that doesn’t make biological and artifact functions the same. The difference, again, is that for artifacts, at least at the outset, their effects do not explain their existence. One cannot say, of the very first traffic light ever made, that the fact that it regulates traffic explains why it exists. The fact that someone anticipated or surmised that it would regulate traffic explains why it’s there.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. pp. 30-31.

 

“For the selected effects theorist, functions are historical properties.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 37.

 

“Here’s what I take the core puzzle of function to be: How can an effect of a trait play into a causal explanation of that trait’s very existence? Immediately, we can see that any theory that doesn’t appeal to history is useless to us.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 43.

 

“The reason the flagpole explains the shadow [using the sun’s angle and the shadow’s length to calculate the pole’s height] but not vice versa is because the flagpole causes the shadow and not the other way around.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 45.

 

“There is a class of theories, however, that does refer to causal history, but doesn’t invoke selection. Such theories take aim at the very heart of the selected effects theory, because they take function’s explanatory depth seriously but cast aside selection as inessential to understanding it… There are two such theories on the market: the organizational approach and the weak etiological theory.

“The organizational approach to function is not a single theory but a collection of them. What ties them together is the idea that functions are contributions to self-persistence. Roughly, a trait’s function is whatever it does that helps it persist, even when there’s no selection.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 47.

“Organizational theorists know that not all functions work the same way. Not every functional trait token causes its own continued survival. Some trait tokens, like bee stingers, destroy the organism but save the lineage.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 48.

 

“The organizational approach, in every single one of its manifestations, faces a severe liberality problem. It can account for the explanatory depth of functions, to be sure, but at an unacceptable cost. It is profligate; it generates too many functions. It is profligate; it generates too many functions. Boorse saw this problem in his justly famous critique of Wright…. Imagine a hose in a lab that springs a leak, spraying chlorine gas. Whenever a lab technician rushes over to patch the leak, the technician is knocked unconscious, and the leak goes on. The leak has a certain effect, knocking out scientists, that causes its own troublesome persistence. That fits Wright’s formula neatly, but the leak has no function.” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. pp. 48-9.

 

“Organizational theorists think they can get around Boorse’s problem without mentioning selection. The idea is to supplement that core idea, functions as contributions to self-persistence, with some restrictive new principles. I call these ‘persistence-plus’ theories. They’ve toyed with a variety of principles. Gerhard Schlosser adds a ‘complexity’ principle. Matteo Mossio and his colleagues add an ‘organizational differentiation’ principle. Peter McLaughlin adds an evaluative principle; he thinks functions have to do with values and ‘having a good.’” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 49. References: Schlosser, Gerhard. 1998. “Self-re-production and functionality: A systems-theoretical approach to teleological explanation. Synthese. 116:303-354; Mossio, M, C. Saborido & A. Moreno. 2009. “An organizational account for biological functions.” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 60:813-841; McLaughlin, P. 2001. What Functions Explain: Functional Explanation and Self-Reproducing Systems. Cambridge UP.

 

“The authors [Mossio et al] claim that functions belong only to a special subclass of self-maintaining systems, those that have organizational differentiation. In an organizationally differentiated system, we ‘distinguish between different contributions to self-maintenance made by the constitutive organization,’ and each component makes a ‘specific contribution to the conditions of existence of the whole organization.’” Garson, Justin. 2019. What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter. Cambridge UP. p. 56. Reference: Mossio, M, C. Saborido & A. Moreno. 2009. “An organizational account for biological functions.” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 60:813-841.

 

“Information value is the inverse of predictability,…

“The science of communication theory was born with the recognition of this inverse relationship between information value and predictability.” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 10.

 

“Intriguingly, it appears that our mental circuitry for decision-making through imagining the future and counterfactual possibilities is integral with the circuitry for memory, and this circuitry is alive in all three of these modes [perception, learning, and memory] in the ‘default’ mode of brain activity. The brain treats delving into the past and projecting into the future as a unified, ongoing task–because they are.” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 15.

 

“According to the good regulator theorem of the systems theorists Roger Conant and Ross Ashby, a good regulator for a system–one that is both effective and efficient–is a model of that system… The brain and body of the hunter-gatherer are, then, not the system but the regulator for this system, the organism-environment interchange.” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 16. Reference: Conant, R.C. & W. Ashby. 1970. “Every good regulator of a system must be a model of that system.” International Journal of Systems Science. 1:89-97.

 

“Morality, social norms, and laws thus join technology in adding structure to the future, making actions and outcomes possible, which otherwise would simply be unavailable….” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 22.

 

“For intelligent behavior in living systems, biology must find a way of representing not only the physical and social environment and its possibilities, but of representing and comparing the values at stake–benefits and costs must function as weights in the selection of actions and in the allocation of effort….

“The system biology built with all these features–valence; degrees of strength and urgency; spectrum of character; sensitivity to experience; and direct, coordinated connections with attention, perception, memory, inference, and action–is emotion, the affective system, broadly understood. Emotion, it seems, is the brain’s first line of response to new experience…. And affect appears to enter virtually all subsequent mental processing, from the way that interest affects memory retention to the way that surprise launches new lines of reasoning…

“If emotion is built to contribute to successful anticipation and action, then the primary function of emotion will not be agitation but information and evaluation, not arousal, but orientation and guidance.

“Emotion, then, is as much a part of our intelligence and representational capacity as cognition, as classically understood; increasingly, neuroscientists are questioning the emotion-cognition dichotomy.” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. pp. 24-5.

 

“… error-reduction learning. Here’s a schematic way of picturing the process:

“(*) representation -> expectation -> observation -> discrepancy detection (feedback) -> error-reducing representation revision -> revised expectation -> observation -> discrepancy detection …” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 62.

 

“Learning is not about assembling a massive archive of past events, but about efficient extraction from ongoing experience of probabilistic information used to update model-based expectations…. The expectations resulting from (*)-like or Bayesian processes are, in effect, running summaries of the impact of past information, and thus afford instantaneous access to the net results of what one has learned without requiring an extensive search of memory in order to determine ‘the weight of evidence.’” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 63.

 

“If animals and humans are (*)-like or Bayesian learners, then they should pay greatest attention to incongruous rather than familiar experiences, as these afford the greatest potential information value for learning.” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 64.

 

“… there are realities that are purely social. Searle pointed out that a cocktail party–or a war–is not a description of purely physical events but rather depends on how the people taking part in it understand it. A person may fire a gun, but whether this is an isolated crime, a recreational entertainment, or an act of war depends on how it is interpreted. The rotation of the earth and the resulting alternation of day and night do not. Nonetheless, war and cocktail parties really do happen. They are not fictions nor illusions, as the people whose lives are altered by them can attest.” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 135.

 

“Reserved seats on airplane flights are only possible in a social world that has structured its future quite precisely.” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 136.

 

“Without a culture that has an established future, nobody would build, let alone invent, an airplane.” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. pp. 136-7.

“Trust is inherently prospective. It is about the future. Trust is a matter of expecting that someone will at some point in the future do what is good for you rather than what might bring that person some benefit or advantage then. Trust is an expectation.” Seligman, Martin, P. Railton, R. Baumeister & C. Sripada. 2016. Homo Prospectus. Oxford UP. p. 143.

 

“The unexamined assumption is that causation is a relation that relates two distinct events, objects, or existences….

“The orthodoxy immediately suggests a disunited view of the world: that it consists in a succession of distinct, wholly discrete events. The world might not be that way, though. Suppose that things are more unified, dynamic, and continuous and that change occurs in a smooth and gradual processual way. What if, furthermore, this latter view is the one needed in biology to account for causation within, and affecting, living organisms? A problem, we argue, is that, if one begins from the idea that causation has to be a relation between two discrete and ‘static’ events, then it may already be impossible to formulate a satisfactory theory of what causation is and how it works. The biological case makes this quite apparent. The assumption splits the world asunder into distinct, self-contained fragments, and then tries to find a relation that would stick them all back together again. it is not clear that any relation can do this job. Even if it could, would the world with which we are left–a Franenstein-world of stitched together pieces–have all the features we require? Would it really be a world of continuity, fit for living biological processes?” Anjum, Rani Lill & S. Mumford. 2018. “Dispositionalism: A Dynamic Theory of Causation.” Pp. 61-75. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. pp. 61-2.

 

“The dispositional aspect is important in this account. Dispositions are properties of things; arguably they constitute the properties of things. They are a thing’s causal powers towards manifestations, those manifestations being conditional upon the empowered particular meeting the appropriate reciprocal disposition partners. Crucially, however, these powers are not just for the end point of the causal transaction, such as the property of being dissolved that is the end point of solubility. The power is for the whole process that takes a sugar cube from being in liquid to being dissolved. It matters, to count as solubility, how the power gets to its end state of being dissolved. If it did so via some deviant causal chain, for instance, we would not be convinced that this was a case of genuine solubility.” Anjum, Rani Lill & S. Mumford. 2018. “Dispositionalism: A Dynamic Theory of Causation.” Pp. 61-75. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 66.

 

“We thus have two very different approaches to the question of causation that are based on opposed metaphysical frameworks. It is the second of these that, we argue, is the more natural one for biology, with its need for continuity. The two frameworks, in summary form, are as follows.

A. Static relatedness: The world consists of succession of static events, as in perdurantism, and then some of those events are ‘connected’ together by a contingent relation. That relation might be regular succession, counterfactural dependence, probability raising, or something else. Causation is the (unobservable) relation the [that?] might hold between some of the static relata; hence the two–event-plus-relation mode….

“All of Aristotle’s four causes are dropped from the account except for efficient causation, which is also given a reductive analysis….

B. Dynamism: Change is everywhere. It is continuous, in the sense that it does not break down into changeless parts. Causation begins as soon as certain processes are appropriately aligned, which is to say that they form a mutual manifestation partnership with respect to some effect. When they are so aligned, a new process begins and continues dynamically (always in a state of change) until it reaches its end (exhausts itself) or is interrupted, either additively or subtractively.” Anjum, Rani Lill & S. Mumford. 2018. “Dispositionalism: A Dynamic Theory of Causation.” Pp. 61-75. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. pp. 71-2.

 

“Elsewhere I have referrred to the central tenet of biological mechanicism–the metaphorical redescription of the organism as a machine–as the machine conception of the organism (MCO).” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 140.

 

“Machines exhibit a static stability, which they attain when they reach an equilibrium state that reflects the cessation of their activity. Organisms, in contrast, exhibit a dynamic stability, which is based on their capacity to actively maintain a low-entropic ‘steady state’ where there is a continuous, perfectly balanced import and export of materials. The stability of machines at equilibrium means that they do not require free energy for their preservation, while the opposite is true for organisms. A further difference is that, whereas the activity of a machine is temporary and its onset is reversible (given that a machine can return to a state of operation after being at rest), the actively maintained steady state of an organism is fixed and irreversible. An organism must remain permanently displaced from equilibrium; the moment it yields to it, death inevitably and irreversibly ensues.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 144.

 

“As Bertalanffy put it, ‘living forms are not in being, they are happening; they are the expression of a perpetual stream of matter and energy which passes the organism and at the same time constitutes it’. He referred to this processual view of the organism as the stream of life conception (SLC) and counted it ‘among the most important principles of modern biology’.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 148. Reference: Bertalanffy, L. von. 1952. Problems of Life: An Evaluation of Modern Biological and Scientific Thought. Harper & Brothers. p. 124.

 

“Water, however, was not the only resource available to those wanting to underscore the dynamic stability of living systems. Some biologists resorted to fire in their articulation of the SLC, identifying the organism with a flame….

“For example, a flame depicts metabolism more accurately than a whirlpool in that metabolism is essentially a series of chemical reactions; and, while the steady state of a flame is similarly sustained by continuous chemical changes, the steady state of a whirlpool is not.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. pp. 150-1.

 

“In the same way, if an organism is to stay alive, it has to keep acting (‘working’, in the thermodynamic sense) to avoid the ever present threat of equilibrium. To stop acting is to stop existing. As far as any living system is concerned, to be is to act. We can draw from this our first ontological lesson, which is that, for an organism, activity is a necessary condition for existence.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 153.

 

“A great deal of philosophical thought throughout history has been tacitly committed to the scholastic principle operari sequitur esse that is, activity is subordinated to being and thus follows from it; there can be no activity if there is no being to begin with. The processual nature of organisms requires that we relinquish this principle, given that–in the biological world, at least–activity and being necessarily presuppose one another. Being is neither ontologically nor temporally prior to activity, as the very existence of a living being is only possible by means of continuous activity.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 153.

 

“The indissoluble bond linking existence to activity in organisms and other dissipative structures obtains because their operation is directed inwardly, towards the generation and maintenance of their own organization. The operation of machines, by contrast, is directed outwardly, towards the production of something external to themselves.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 154.

“The thermodynamically grounded fact that organisms need to keep acting in order to keep existing helps to account for the emergence of a rudimentary form of normativity in nature. It is because its existence depends on its own activity that an organism must act in accordance to the operational norms that enable it to persist through time. If the organism stops following these norms, it ceases to exist. What this means is that it is in principle possible to objectively specify what is intrinsically ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for an organism (that is to say, what is and what is not in an organism’s ‘interest’) by evaluating its activities according to the contribution they make towards the preservation of its organization in far-from-equilibrium conditions.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 154.

 

“Attributing intrinsic normativity to the behaviour of organisms implies ascribing agency to them in some minimal (i.e. non-intentional) sense.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 154.

 

“As agents, organisms are inherently active, as opposed to machines, which are typically reactive. The former are primary sources of activity, whereas the latter must be activated by external means.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 154.

 

“Just as a vending machine, by virtue of an internal mechanism, delivers an article after a coin is inserted, so an organism performs a preset operation upon receiving a stimulus from its environment. In actual fact, because activity is a necessary condition for existence, a stimulus never really triggers the onset of activity in a hitherto inactive organism, but rather modifies the preexisting network of processes that are already occurring within it.

“This leads to the important conclusion that, more often than not, it is not so much the nature of the external stimuli as the organisms’s internal physiological state that determines its reactions and behaviour. And as an organism’s current physiological state is a product of the sequence of past events that led to it, it follows that the history of an organism fundamentally shapes its behaviour.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. pp. 154-5.

 

“For Jonas, organisms invert the ontological relation between matter and form found in inanimate objects like a stone or a lump of iron. Whereas in the latter form is subordinated to matter (as form in such instances reflects nothing more than the contingent spatial configuration of a physical body), in the former it is matter that is subordinated to form (as form here specifies a unified, causally efficacious whole).” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 156. Reference: Jonas, H. 1966. The Phenomenon of Life: Toward a Philosophical Biology.

Northwestern UP.

 

“From the perspective of the SLC, the role of genes is not to initiate, control, or direct development, but rather to constrain the possible paths of dynamically stable forms of self-organization to those with the highest probability of producing a viable, structurally and functionally differentiated adult. The genome, in this view, constitutes a sort of catalogue or database of effective self-organization strategies that is transmitted from one generation to the next in a given lineage.” Nicholson, Daniel. 2018. “Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.” Pp. 139-166. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. pp. 160-1.

 

“Organisms call for a special kind of theory, an agent theory. Most of our familiar scientific theories are not of this sort; they are object theories. The principal difference between agent theories and object theories resides in the way they treat the elements of their respective domains. I introduce two neologisms to mark the distinction: objectcy is the role played by the elements in the domain of an object theory, and agency is the role played by the elements in the domain of an agent theory. The proper study of organisms, I claim, requires us to take their agency seriously.” Walsh, Denis. 2018. “Objectcy and Agency: Towards a Methodological Vitalism.” Pp. 167-185. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 167.

 

“I maintain that modern synthesis evolutionary biology doesn’t recognize the contribution of organisms to evolution for the simple reason that it can’t. It is the wrong sort of theory–an object theory. Insofar as it deals with organisms at all, it recognizes them only as objects. But, I claim, organisms participate in evolution as agents. Their contribution to evolution can only be adequately captured by an evolutionary agent theory. An evolutionary agent theory is an instance of methodological vitalism. It holds that the contribution of organisms to evolution demands a set of proprietary concepts and methods that apply exclusively to living things.” Walsh, Denis. 2018. “Objectcy and Agency: Towards a Methodological Vitalism.” Pp. 167-185. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 168.

 

“The prime focus of a DST [developmental systems theory] account of evolution is the life cycle–the series of events that occurs in each generation of a lineage. The process of evolution is the differential reproduction of variant life cycles. The end of one life cycle and the beginning of the next is marked by the reconstruction of the various mechanisms that allow the life cycle to reproduce itself from relatively simple resources. The replication of genes is simply one aspect of the replication of a life cycle. Many classes of developmental resource are replicated: genes, methylation patterns, membrane templates, cytoplasmic gradients, centrioles, nests, parental care, habitats, and cultures are all at least partly constructed by past generations and interact to construct future generations.” Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. 2018. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.” Pp. 225-245. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 225.

 

“A developmental system includes a ‘developmental niche’ that contains the reliably inherited developmental resources needed to reconstruct that developmental system–or to modify it, in the case of phenotypic plasticity.” Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. 2018. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.” Pp. 225-245. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 226.

 

“The relationship between a developmental system and a persistent resource can explain aspects of both development and evolutionary success. But the persistent resource itself is not replicated in development, nor does it increase its representation relative to alternatives as a result of the evolutionary success of the system, so the persistent resource cannot be treated as a replicator. What is replicated, and may increase in representation, is the relationship between system and resource.” Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. 2018. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.” Pp. 225-245. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 226.

 

“Species-specific phenotypes depend on species-typical environments of development. These are often the result of parental activities, but their construction can also involve other conspecifics, past and present, and, importantly, the offspring itself. The idea of the construction of a developmental niche answers a fundamental question about inheritance: How do parents reliably influence the phenotype of their offspring and promote healthy development? Organisms do not rely on chance to provide their offspring with the resources for normal development: they actively intervene to modify environments to this end.” Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. 2018. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.” Pp. 225-245. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 236.

 

“In earlier work we have suggested keeping ‘epigenetic inheritance’ for the narrower class of mechanisms and using West and King’s term ‘exogenetic inheritance for the broader class of mechanisms. It is this broader class of heredity mechanisms that constructs the developmental niche….” Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. 2018. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.” Pp. 225-245. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 237. Reference: West, M. & A. King. 1987. “Settling Nature and Nurture into an Ontogenetic Niche.” Developmental Psychobiology. 20:549-562.

 

“It is important not to conflate the developmental niche with the ‘niche’ of niche construction theory. Niche construction theory concerns the influence of past generations on the selective pressures that act on future generations. This activity partially constructs a selective niche, the set of parameters that determine the relative fitness of competing types in the population. The developmental niche, however, is the set of parameters that must be within certain bounds for an evolved life cycle to occur.” Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. 2018. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.” Pp. 225-245. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 237.

 

“… an individual life cycle is a token of a life history strategy, and that strategy is its telos and its principle of genidentity.” Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. 2018. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.” Pp. 225-245. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 239.

 

“In life history theory, the goal of an organism is to find the optimal way to parcel the resources available to it into offspring. This problem is modelled as the simultaneous optimization of two parameters, the probability of surviving to each age class and the number of offspring produced in each age class, integrated across all age classes…. Since life history theory already conceives of an organism as a series of events (age classes), it is readily applicable to a life cycle that consists of a series of developmental interactions, each one of which moves the life cycle forward.” Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. 2018. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.” Pp. 225-245. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. pp. 239-240.

 

“The entities that make up a developmental system–which we can divide for some purposes into a genome, an epigenome, and a developmental niche–are picked out as elements of a single system by the unity of the process to which they contribute, and not vice-versa. That principle of unity–the genidentity of a life cycle–we have argued, is simply its Darwinian telos: a life history strategy.” Griffiths, Paul & K. Stotz. 2018. “Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.” Pp. 225-245. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 241.

 

“… an increased use of networks in evolutionary biology could be coupled to the development of a yet to be introduced typology of processes designed to analyse the (big) processual picture of life. In reaching this end, evolutionary studies may benefit from identifying simple patterns in evolving networks and in phylogenetic networks. This enterprise could help with translating the principles of systems biology and network theory into an abstract, unifying language for theoretical biology in order to improve our understanding of the (big) processual picture of life….

“Using networks as a new level of abstraction to describe biological reality beyond a list of individual entities, systems biology searches for new regularities in biology. These regularities, found in the network topology, are expected to provide a universal ‘alphabet’ or interaction networks and to reveal a ‘periodic table’ for functional regulatory circuits. These small motifs, the components of networks, are detectable and are already proving to be useful in scientific inquiry….

“We wish to propose the same sort of enterprise in order to identify some regularities at an ever higher level of abstraction: the networks of processes, using a process typology. If successful, the most important payoff from such a strategy would be the detection of universal trends in processual networks and the possibility of identifying a simple ‘alphabet’ of processes.” Bapteste, Eric & G. Anderson. 2018. “Intersecting Processes Are Necessary Explanantia for Evolutionary Biology, but Challenge Retrodiction.” Pp. 283-299. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. pp. 295-6.

 

“Nonhuman animals have social groups, but these do not generally construct a shared understanding of their world. Human selves thus face a largely unprecedented task of operating in a social environment based on a collective worldview, a joint mental construction. The construction and maintenance of this shared store of information constitute an important and pervasive human activity.” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 36.

 

“We therefore begin with the assumption that some features of human selfhood adapted in order to make this shared reality possible and to reap its benefits. These features include being motivated and equipped to seek information and communicate it to others. Relaying information obtained from others (e.g., via gossip, teaching, rumor transmission) is also vital to help spread information through the group. More advanced features of human information agency include selectively withholding information (e.g., keeping secrets), disseminating false or misleading information (e.g. lying), and even seeking to control the group’s collective outlook (e.g., by stifling contrary information).” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 36.

 

“What makes a group’s collective stock of knowledge superior to another group’s? The value of such a collective store can be measured on three dimensions. First, the overall coherence includes how complete the information is and whether it is free from contradictions (i.e., is internally consistent). Second, its general accuracy refers to how correctly the information matches objective reality. Third, consensus refers to how thoroughly the information is shared by all group members.” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 37.

“Anecdotal impressions suggest that to small children, reality testing often consists of asking their mother, which suggests that consensus operates as a surrogate for accuracy. The default assumption of parental omniscience may be fairly durable through childhood.” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 39.

 

“Acquiring, communicating, and relaying information constitute the three basic aspects of the information agent.” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 39.

 

“(Theory of mind refers to understanding that other people have inner mental states that could differ from one’s own, thereby raising the possibility of a community of minds that have similarities and differences.) Thus, one important innovation of human evolution was being able to mentally represent whether particular bits of information are differently known by different minds.” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 41.

 

“… from early childhood and throughout life, people are highly sensitive to whether the focus of their attention matches that of important others. Babies are extra interested in things they notice that others are also attending to. Coattended stimuli are recalled better than other stimuli. Goals that are the focus of joint attention are pursued more earnestly and effectively than solitary goals. Both good and bad emotions are intensified simply by believing that a relationship partner is attending to the same stimulus, regardless of it whether [sic] the partner is physically present. These effects are mediated by devoting more attention and cognitive processing to the stimulus.” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 43.

 

“A remarkable extension of shared reality theory was contributed by Sloman and Rabb. Their studies show that despite objectively lacking requisite information, people rate their own understanding higher when other group members understand something. Thus, people respond as if having the information in the group’s store of knowledge is almost as good as actually knowing it oneself.” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 43. Reference: Sloman, S. A., & Rabb, N. 2016. “Your understanding is my understanding: Evidence for a community of knowledge.” Psychological Science. 27:1451–1460.

 

“Summing up the literature on shared reality, Echterhoff, Higgins, and Levine posited four components. First, shared reality is not just about observable behavior but encompasses a commonality of inner, subjective states. Second, shared reality is about something, that is, the shared inner states refer to some other facts. Third, the sharedness of inner states is not accidental or coincidental but is strongly motivated. Fourth, it depends on a successful connection of each person’s inner states with other people’s inner states. The information agent’s task is thus to establish connection so that its inner states of knowledge and feeling match those of others in creating a mutually similar understanding of the world.” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 43. Reference: Echterhoff, G., Higgins, E. T., & Levine, J. M. 2009. “Shared reality: Experiencing commonality with others’ inner states about the world.” Perspectives on Psychological Science. 4:496–521.

 

“The shared reality perspective also helps explain one of the classic paradoxes in groups research. This pattern emerged from the hidden profile research by Stasser and colleagues. Prior to discussion, group members were given assorted information, most of which favored one candidate while some favored the other. Crucially, the limited amount of information favoring the poorer candidate was given in full to all group members, while the bits favoring the better candidate were dispersed among the various individual members. This is of course the classic rationale for having committees. Group members can contribute their diverse knowledge and viewpoints so as to bolster the collective wisdom. Unfortunately, the findings generally failed to fulfill that ideal, and in fact group discussions tended to emphasize what all knew in common rather than the uniquely held information, resulting in groups often choosing the worse option.

“The implication is that groups value consensus and shared reality, and so members are often reluctant to bring up information that goes against the emerging consensus. Although critique and argument would best serve the group’s epistemic goals, the goal of harmony tends to suppress those processes. If anything, group members like to validate each other’s views and perspectives (and to have their own statements similarly validated).” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. P. 43. Reference: Stasser, G., & Titus, W. 1985. “Pooling of unshared information in group decision making: Biased information sampling during discussion.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 48:1467–1478.

 

“Additional factors and processes[of human as information agent][:]

“Selectively withholding information.

“Disseminating false information.

“Reputation concerns.

“Role of boredom…. Boredom is commonly understood as lack of stimulation, which for information agents could mean the absence of new, incoming information.

“Controlling the collective store of knowledge. The last plank in our theory posits that information agents can gain advantage within the group by manipulating or otherwise controlling the collective stock of knowledge.” Baumeister, Roy, H. Maranges & K. Vohs. 2018. “Human Self as Information Agent: Functioning in a Social Environment Based on Shared Meanings.” Review of General Psychology. 22(1):36-47. Pp. 44-45.

 

“The cohesiveness of animal groups has been commented on and documented for a wide range of avian, fish, insect, and mammalian species. Group cohesion is beneficial for a number of reasons. Being in a (larger) group decreases individuals’ risk of predation both through dilution and improved predator detection and dense, polarized groups may lead to predator confusion, further reducing predation risk and encouraging cohesiveness. Groups may also be able to collectively hunt larger or aggregating prey. Finally, other individuals (conspecific or heterospecific) may constitute an additional source of indirect information about the environment.” Miller, Noam, Simon Garnier, Andrew T. Hartnett, and Iain D. Couzin. 2013 (March 26). “Both information and social cohesion determine collective decisions in animal groups.” PNAS. 110(13):5263-5268. P. 5266.

 

“CGS [cultural group selection] shares with biological group selection the same problem of porous boundaries. If homogenization of between-group traits occurs on a time scale shorter than that needed for the consequences of between-group competition to materialize, then group competition will be obviated. Biological group competition ‘solves’ the porous boundary problem through coupling selection for traits that maintain non-porous boundaries with biological group competition. In extreme form, this leads to the formation of biological species. The functional equivalent for CGS would be a group-level, cultural system with boundaries resistant to the introduction of competing cultural traits.

“Consider the cultural adaptation of the Netsilik Inuit of Hudson Bay to Arctic conditions. Their adaptation included a culturally prescribed system of sealing partners central to procuring and sharing seal meat in the winter months. The system of sealing partners was but one of several functionally integrated cultural idea systems that regulated, among other things, female infanticide, post-marital residence, and preferential cousin marriage. Jointly, these idea systems framed the behavioral patterns and modes of social organization necessary for the survival of the Netsilik Inuit under Arctic conditions.

“The Netsilik adaptation centered on three resources: (1) salmon, (2) caribou, and (3) seals. Seals were obtained in the winter months when a seal surfaced in one of the breathing holes it had to keep open in the pack ice in order to breathe. Because there was no way to know which breathing hole a seal would use, the Netsilik increased substantially their odds of obtaining a seal by stationing about 20 hunters at different breathing holes. Each hunter had 12 sealing partners in the camp, with each partner corresponding to a part of the seal, plus one part of the seal for the hunter and one for his children. When a seal was killed, the hunter’s wife distributed the parts of the seal to the wives of the partners in accordance with the part of the seal represented by a partner. The partners were determined at birth by the boy’s mother from among distant (cultural) kin–with kin being those recognized by reference through one of their kin terms, such as in the English expression, ‘he is my uncle.’

“The system of sealing partners expresses the cultural meaning of being a seal hunter and makes the actions of others, as hunters, predictable, hence forming the basis for cooperation among the sealing partners. In this sense their cultural idea system was a social contract to which the Netsilik adhered. The social contract specified that a seal, through the act of the hunter, became collectively owned by the hunter and his partners, and only they had rights to the seal. Collective ownership was enacted by distribution of the seal meat, based on another cultural idea system that defined a man as the procurer of resources and his wife as manager of the resources he procured. Read, Dwight. 2016. “Is cultural group selection enough?” Commentary on Richerson et al.: “Cultural group selection plays an essential role in explaining human cooperation.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. V. 39. Pp. 36-7.

 

“CGS [cultural group selection] proponents find the existence of cooperation in mass societies a self-evident evolutionary puzzle because the numbers involved evoke the impression that selection is not at equilibrium (which it need not be). In contrast, we think researchers need to carefully characterize the computational architectures of our evolved array of neural adaptations for exchange, delayed implicit reciprocity, risk-pooling, alliances, coalitions, coordination (such as theory of mind), bargaining, aggression, mateship, parenting, kin selection, partner choice, reputation, externality-management, social learning, and so on, together with their interactions. Only then can you know whether any puzzling residue of ‘group-beneficial behavior’ in modern societies remains, requiring further explanation.” Tooby, John & Leda Cosmides. 2016. “Human cooperation shows the distinctive signatures of adaptations to small-scale social life.” Commentary on Richerson, Peter et al. 2016. “Cultural group selection plays an essential role in explaining human cooperation.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 39:1-68. doi:10.1017/S0140525X1400106X, e30. P. 42.

 

“The dazzlingly extended forms of modern cooperation we see today (Adam Smith’s division of labor supporting globe-spanning trade) appear differentially built out of adaptations for small-scale sociality that modularly scale, such as exchange–rather than the marginal benevolence of Smith’s butcher, brewer, and baker. Evidence indicates that political attitudes toward welfare and redistribution re ect a specialized forager psychology of sharing for variance reduction and resource-conflict. Societies that attempted to harness general benevolence to organize institutions and production–the USSR, East Germany, China, Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba–were spectacular cooperative failures. That they functioned at all depended on other scalable small-scale specializations–aggressive threats (conditional punishment), hierarchy, dominance, coalitions, and so forth.

“Even ancestral foragers had institutions (enduring coordination with different roles). We do not understand why individually selected psychological adaptations for cooperation, coordination, coalitions, theory of mind, metarepresentations (i.e., x is a rule), intelligent instrumental reasoning (that allows locally contingent tailoring of actions to goals), social learning, a social psychology that understands and deploys incentives, hierarchies (and so on) are considered inadequate to explain institutions, then or now. It is puzzling why the authors believe that modern institutions cannot be far better explained without recourse to CGS, by the combined operation of these neural adaptations in dense, persisting social networks of intelligent, cultural agents. When the interlinked cognitive niche adaptations such as intelligence, language, and culture are added, it is difficult to see any obvious cooperative anomalies.” Tooby, John & Leda Cosmides. 2016. “Human cooperation shows the distinctive signatures of adaptations to small-scale social life.” Commentary on Richerson et al.: “Cultural group selection plays an essential role in explaining human cooperation.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. V. 39. P. 42.

 

“The rapid cultural dynamics of moral norms (think French Revolution) seem far better explained by rivalrous agents opportunistically seeking allies to jockey for self-advantageous norms, than by the slow accumulation of group-benefiting norms through some groups doing better than others. Tooby, John & Leda Cosmides. 2016. “Human cooperation shows the distinctive signatures of adaptations to small-scale social life.” Commentary on Richerson, Peter et al. 2016. “Cultural group selection plays an essential role in explaining human cooperation.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 39:1-68. doi:10.1017/S0140525X1400106X, e30. P. 43.

 

“The landscape of the tectonic rift creates a sharp contrast in the conditions between the high ground and the bottom of the valley. Rain falls over the tall rift walls and volcanic peaks, where it then flows into the lakes dotting the valley floor, a much hotter environment with high rates of evaporation This means that many of the lakes in the Rift Valley are exceedingly sensitive to the balance between precipitation and evaporation, and even a slight shift in climate causes their water levels to respond very considerably and rapidly – far more so than other lakes around the world and even elsewhere in Africa. As small changes in the regional climate cause very large changes in the levels of these vital bodies of water, they are known as ‘amplifier lake’ – they act like a hi-fi amplifier intensifying a weak signal. And it is these peculiar amplifier lakes that are thought to provide the key link between the long-term trends of tectonics creating the rift valley and the Earth’s climate swings and the rapid fluctuations of habitats that directly, and dramatically, affected our evolution….

“During each of these phases of climatic variability, whenever the precession cycle cast a little more solar warming onto the Northern Hemisphere, more rain fell onto the walls of the Rift Valley. The amplifier lakes appeared and enlarged, their shores lined with woodland. And conversely, during the opposite phase of the precession cycle the rift received less rainfall and the lakes diminished or disappeared altogether….

“These variable phases occurred every 800,000 years or so, and during those periods the amplifier lakes flickered in and out like a loose lightbulb – each swing causing a considerable shift in the availability of water, vegetation and food, which had a profound influence on our ancestors….

“The three most recent periods of such extreme climatic variability occurred 2.7-2.5, 1.9-1.7, and 1.1-0.9 million years ago. Looking at the fossil record, scientists have made a fascinating discovery. The timing of when new hominin species emerged – often associated with an increase in brain size – or fell extinct again, tends to coincide with these periods of fluctuating wet-dry conditions.” Dartnell, Lewis. 2019. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History. Basic Books. Pp. 21-2.

 

“The primeval trees of the Carboniferous Period,… were a kind of plant known as spore-forming. Like ferns today, they reproduced by releasing spores on the wind which, if they fell on accommodating ground, germinated and grew into a tiny, green, leafy plant in their own right, but with only one-half of the full set of genetic material. It is this separate plant stage that had the equipment for sex, and they produced sperm that swam through films of water in the soil to an egg cell on a nearby plant. Once fertilised to reconstitute a complete double set of chromosomes, the egg then grew into a new full-sized tree. This seems a truly bizarre way of reproducing. It is as if humans procreated by spraying their sperm and eggs onto the ground in front of them, which each developed into a miniature version of themselves, and which then had to mate with each other to create an adult person. Moreover, this reproductive strategy worked fine for the spore-forming plants in the swampy basins of the Carboniferous, but they were biologically restricted to soggy soils by this alternating life cycle.” Dartnell, Lewis. 2019. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History. Basic Books. Pp. 78-9.

 

“Gymnosperms – plants with ‘naked seeds’ – emerged at the end of the Carboniferous and developed into all the evergreen conifers familiar to us today, including fir, pine, cedar, spruce, yew and redwood. They evolved to effectively suppress that intermediate phase of the life cycle. Once pollinated, gymnosperms produce seeds that are exposed on the scales of their cones. The seeds fall to the ground, safe within their protective casing and containing a small provision of stored energy, and wait for the right conditions to sprout. This evolutionary innovation released plants from the wetlands. (In some ways it’s analogous to the evolution of reptiles which, unlike amphibians, didn’t need to return to the water to reproduce.)” Dartnell, Lewis. 2019. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History. Basic Books. P. 79.

 

“Angiosperms have taken their sex lives to an even higher level of refinement. Their eggs are not left naked but are contained in a special organ, originally adapted from a curled-up leaf, within which the seeds then develop – angiosperm means ‘encased seeds’.

“A far more noticeable defining feature of the angiosperms, however, is the way they adorn and advertise their sex organs with flamboyant displays in the development of the flower. This evolutionary invention enabled angiosperms to recruit a huge range of insects – as well as birds, and some bats and other mammals – to help them transfer pollen from one plant to another…. The specialised sex organs of flowering angiosperms not only allowed them to co-opt animals into helping them with their reproduction, but the ovary containing the seeds also developed into fleshy means to help them disperse; it produced fruit.” Dartnell, Lewis. 2019. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History. Basic Books. P. 80.

 

“Signs of grass first appear in the fossil record from about 55 million years ago, but with the persistent cooling and drying of the planet through the Cenozoic era, grass-dominated ecosystems became established in many parts of the world between 20 and 10 million years ago.” Dartnell, Lewis. 2019. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History. Basic Books. P. 81.

 

“And virtually every other plant we eat is also a member of one of eight different families of angiosperm.

“After the grasses, the second most important family are the legumes, which include peas and beans, soya beans and chick-peas, as well as the alfalfa and the clover we feed to our livestock. The brassicas include rapeseed and turnip, and a single species of this family, a weedy mustard plant, was transformed by accentuating different features of the plant through selective breeding to give us cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and kohlrabi. Other angiosperm groups include the nightshade family of potatoes, peppers and tomatoes; the family of gourds, pumpkins and melons; and the parsley family that also includes parsnip, carrot and celery.

“Most of the fruit we consume comes from either the rose family (such as apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries and strawberries) or the citrus family (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kumquat). The family of palm trees have also played an important role in history, giving us the coconut and, more influentially, the date….” Dartnell, Lewis. 2019. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History. Basic Books. P. 81.

 

“The three major orders of mammals that dominate the world today, however, did not emerge and begin diversifying until 10 million years later. These are the artiodactyls, perissodactyls and primates – collectively known as APP mammals….

“The artiodactyls are the even-toed or cloven-hoofed ungulates, the perissodactyls are the odd-toed ungulates.

“The even-toed artiodactyls include pigs and camels, as well as all the ruminants; antelope, deer, giraffe, cow, goat and sheep. Ruminants deal with the challenge of breaking down tough grass by regurgitating the cud to chew it again, and then use bacteria in the first of four compartments in their stomachs, the rumen, to ferment the plant material and help break it down chemically, before it is passed through the rest of the digestive system to absorb the nutrients. Artiodactyls are the dominant large herbivorous animals in the world today. Their cloven hoof is made up of two toes, which correspond to the third and fourth fingers on your hand.

“The odd-toed perissodactls include horses, donkeys and zebras, as well as tapirs and rhinos. Perissodactyls have either three toes like the rhinoceros or just one like the horse…. In contrast to ruminants, they are hind-gut fermenters with a simpler stomach. They host bacteria to ferment and help release the nutrients from the vegetation in a greatly enlarged pouch in their intestine, called the cecum.” Dartnell, Lewis. 2019. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History. Basic Books. Pp. 82-3.

 

“The surprising fact is that the artiodactyl and perissodactyl orders, along with the primates, all emerged suddenly within a period of about 10,000 years, in a burst of evolutionary diversification that occurred 55.5 million years ago….

“This exceedingly rapid heating of the world’s climate marks the boundary between the geological epochs of the Palaeocene and the Eocene, and so is known as the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum – PETM for short. Over a very brief geological span of less than 10,000 years, massive amounts of carbon were injected into the atmosphere, creating a powerful greenhouse effect, and the global temperatures jumped rapidly by 5-8 C in response. This temperature spike made the world the hottest it has been for the past few hundred million years.” Dartnell, Lewis. 2019. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History. Basic Books. Pp. 84-5.

 

“If this extreme temperature blip drove the emergence of the APP orders, it was the global cooling and drying over the last few tens of millions of years that created the ecosystems the artiodactyls and perissodactyls came to dominate. As the grasslands spread around the desiccating continents, the herbivorous ungulates followed and diversified into a large number of different species including the ancestors of our cows, sheep and horses. So the grasslands that supplied the cereal crops we came to cultivate also provided the evolutionary theatre for the emergence of the large ungulate animal species that we domesticated.” Dartnell, Lewis. 2019. Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History. Basic Books. P. 86.

 

“Understanding group cognition, then, becomes a matter of determining how a cognitive system at a higher level can subsume cognitive systems at a lower level, and how the systems at multiple levels can strengthen rather than diminish one another.” Goldstone, Robert & Georg Theiner. 2017. “The multiple, interacting levels of cognitive systems (MILCS) perspective on group cognition.” Philosophical Psychology. doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2017.1295635. P. 2.

 

“We believe that progress in understanding how interacting groups of people can think and act as a coherent agent will depend on using many of the same systems principles that have been recruited for explaining how individuals think and act as agents…. For example, both individuals and groups will often need to assure that their parts work in close coordination rather than at cross purposes, make decisions that integrate diverse information sources in an accurate and timely manner, and engage in useful behaviors by exploring, evaluating, and selecting appropriate actions.” Goldstone, Robert & Georg Theiner. 2017. “The multiple, interacting levels of cognitive systems (MILCS) perspective on group cognition.” Philosophical Psychology. doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2017.1295635. P. 3.

“One well-documented such case is that of social networks and their search for good but hard-to-find solutions in large problem spaces. Both experiments with people and computational models show that if the best solution in a problem space is difficult to find because it involves nonlinear interactions of its elements, then it can be better to connect the social network more sparsely and more locally rather than densely and globally. The problem with fully connected social networks is that decent, but not ideal, solutions may be stumbled upon by an agent early in the search. If everyone can see the solutions that everyone comes up with, then there will often be a premature convergence of agents on the good solution, thereby preventing the group from fully exploring the entire search space adequately for better solutions. For difficult searches, it is better to limit the connectivity between parts of the social network if the goal is for the network to find the overall best solution.” Goldstone, Robert & Georg Theiner. 2017. “The multiple, interacting levels of cognitive systems (MILCS) perspective on group cognition.” Philosophical Psychology. doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2017.1295635. Pp. 4-5.

 

“Our individual human thoughts both depend upon and determine the social structures that contain us as elements within those structures.” Goldstone, Robert & Georg Theiner. 2017. “The multiple, interacting levels of cognitive systems (MILCS) perspective on group cognition.” Philosophical Psychology. doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2017.1295635. P. 7.

 

“In particular, we maintain that a lateral inhibition network is deployed for a particular computational function—it selects the most attractive option from a set of options in a decentralized fashion. Furthermore, it implements the cognitively important function of warping sensory signals that are linearly related to physical qualities in a non-linear manner, transforming analog inputs into quasi-discrete, quasi-symbolic encodings. A basic feature of human symbolic thought is that people form equivalence classes. In the classical notion of an equivalence class, distinguishable stimuli come to be treated as the same thing once they have been placed in the same category. The lateral inhibition network provides a mechanism for the origin of these (near-) equivalence classes by assigning a single, maximal activation level to any graded activation that is higher than its competitors. Hence, the network can provide us with equivalence classes, the beginning of proto-symbolic thought. So, although this network dynamic is not exclusively found in systems that we would want to call ‘cognitive,’ it does provide an example of the kind of mechanism that allows systems, including humans, to perform cognitive functions related to forming equivalence classes, action selection, and decision-making.” Goldstone, Robert & Georg Theiner. 2017. “The multiple, interacting levels of cognitive systems (MILCS) perspective on group cognition.” Philosophical Psychology. doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2017.1295635. Pp. 13-14.

 

“System dynamic models fall into a number of categories, such as: lateral inhibition network, diffusion, preferential attachment, competitive specialization, positive feedback, negative feedback, small-world network, scale-free network, back propagation, reinforcement learning, and multi-level deep learning. These categories are inductively powerful in the sense that if a natural phenomenon can be aptly cast as instantiating one of these systems, then a considerable amount of its behavior can be explained and predicted.” Goldstone, Robert & Georg Theiner. 2017. “The multiple, interacting levels of cognitive systems (MILCS) perspective on group cognition.” Philosophical Psychology. doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2017.1295635. P. 15.

 

“Our point is only that most people have an inherent drive to connect to others, and individual cognitive flexibility often finds ways to support those connections in rich and resilient ways by creating communicative infrastructures, norms, and conventions.” Goldstone, Robert & Georg Theiner. 2017. “The multiple, interacting levels of cognitive systems (MILCS) perspective on group cognition.” Philosophical Psychology. doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2017.1295635. P. 24.

 

“In Flannery’s (1969) broad-spectrum revolution model, for example, the interplay between demography and environment is seen as giving rise to a geographically framed dynamic of domination and encroachment, whereby groups capable of extracting a broader spectrum of resources can expand in size and thereby gain a competitive edge over groups exploiting a narrower spectrum of resources. This potentially creates a geographical bootstrapping dynamic in which competition perpetually renews the pressure for increasing resource output, thereby pushing for increased complexity in social organization and tool technology as a way to intensify, broaden, and increase the effectiveness of the extraction and use of resources.” Andersson, Claes & D. Read. 2016. “The Evolution of Cultural Complexity: Not by the Treadmill Alone.” Current Anthropology. 57(3):261-286. June. P. 261; Reference: Flannery, K. V. 1969. “Origins and ecological effects of early domestication in Iran and the Near East.” Pp. 73–100 in P. J. Ucko, PJ & G. W. Dimbleby, eds. The domestication and exploitation of plants and animals. Aldine.

 

 

“In brief, Henrich argues that imitation is imperfect and necessarily involves an immediate loss of information that must be dynamically compensated for by the creativity of individuals to maintain the long-term persistence of cultural systems. This process has been described as a “treadmill of cultural loss” against which a population must constantly run even to stay in the same place. The larger the population, Henrich argues, the more likely that highly creative individuals will be part of the population, thereby increasing the likelihood of augmenting and elaborating transmitted skills even beyond what is needed to compensate for information loss. According to Henrich (2004), a larger population can “run faster” to counteract the treadmill effect and maintain skillfulness in more complex cultural traits….

“The hypothesis that demography is the main causal factor behind the evolution of cultural complexity in humans is now prominently treated as an established fact, and the treadmill model has become the canonical model. Andersson, Claes & D. Read. 2016. “The Evolution of Cultural Complexity: Not by the Treadmill Alone.” Current Anthropology. 57(3):261-286. June. P. 262; Subquote: Kline, M. A. & R. Boyd. 2010. “Population size predicts technological complexity in Oceania.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 277(1693):2559–2564; Reference: Henrich, J. 2004. “Demography and cultural evolution: how adaptive cultural processes can produce maladaptive losses: the Tasmanian case.” American Antiquity. 69(2):197–214.

 

“The argument by Andersson is that cultural evolution must be viewed as primitive in this sense: mechanisms for high fidelity—cultural or physiological—must have emerged over time, and we cannot assume that they were there to begin with. Cultural evolution must initially have been constrained by low fidelity in a way that is similar to what is the case for biological systems with low fidelity transmission.” Andersson, Claes & D. Read. 2016. “The Evolution of Cultural Complexity: Not by the Treadmill Alone.” Current Anthropology. 57(3):261-286. June. P. 273.

 

“But, consider just how unique an activity is human hunting. It’s true that some nonhuman animals use tools to hunt, others target prey larger than an individual hunter, and a few even share food–but none, other than the human animal, possesses these traits as a behavioral complex used in combination to both satisfy their caloric and nutritional requirements and to build social cohesion.” Pickering, Travis. 2013. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution. University of California Press. p. 6.

 

“This natural fang-sharpening system, indicated by large, interlocking upper and lower canines, is found in primate species in which males compete aggressively for opportunities to mate with females; big canines are invaluable fighting weapons, and are, in other cases, displayed in warning yawns that can circumvent physical contact between male rivals.

“In contrast, this specialized upper-canine honing system is unknown in all hominins, living and extinct. Humans and their direct ancestors possess (or possessed) small, stubby canines that do not or did not project significantly beyond the chewing surfaces of their other teeth. By extension, the smaller canines of hominins seem to indicate a radically different social system than observed in apes, with markedly reduced levels of male-male competition, and perhaps even cooperative intragroup behavior. Although the upper canines and lower third premolars of Ardipithecus kadabba (that species that preceded Ardipithecus ramidus in the geological record) interlocked, the structure was not so developed as to sharpen the top fangs as thoroughly and consistently as are those of apes. By analogy with what we know of the relationship between canine size and primate mating systems, it therefore seems that by nearly 6 million years ago the putative hominin Ardipithecus kadabba might have been organized socially in a decidedly non-ape way.” Pickering, Travis. 2013. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution. University of California Press. pp. 27-8.

 

“Indeed, all ape-man species are united with one another, and are set apart from the emergent hominins of earlier times and the apes of today, by a single anatomical characteristic called megadontia–the enlargement of the premolars and molars, the cheek teeth that sit behind the canines. Not only did the cheek teeth of Australopithecus increase in absolute size through time, from species to species, but they also increased in dimension relative to body size, and they changed shape in some species, with the premolars becoming molarlike in their anatomy. In addition, the enamel of Australopithecus cheek teeth is much thicker than is the enamel of apes and of the earliest pre-australopithecine hominins. Collectively, these dental features functioned as part of an adaptive complex that involved increasingly more powerful chewing capabilities as the australopithecines evolved throughout the Pleistocene.

“The apogee of this unique form of dentition occurs in a group of ape-men referred to informally as the ‘robust australopithecines.’ The particularities in skull anatomy that link the robust australopithecines together as a distinct subgroup of Australopithecus arose as developmental consequences of their extreme tooth size and a requirement for hyper-masticatory power. For example, a high ridge of bone that runs down the midline of the male robust australopithecine cranium–the sagittal crest–anchored immense chewing muscles that originated on the lower jaw. The lower jawbone itself is massively deep, and the cheek bones are placed far forward on the face of robust ape-men skulls so that their huge jaw musculature could be further accommodated on the sides of their heads.

“The earliest known robust ape-man species, Australopithecus aethiopicus, appears in the fossil record of East Africa around 2.7 million years ago. That emergence concurs broadly with the first appearance of stone tools in the archaeological record (2.6 million years ago) and makes Australopithecus aethiopicus a near-contemporary of australopithecus garhi (2.5 million years old), the species that might have soon after given rise to the genus Homo. The coincidence of these three events–the rise of the robust australopithecines, the rise of incipient Homo, and the invention of stone tools–is exciting and complicating for paleoanthropologists.” Pickering, Travis. 2013. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution. University of California Press. pp. 30-32.

 

“For instance, summarizing their study of Australopithecus robustus isotopes, Matt Sponheimer and his colleagues concluded that the species ‘had an extremely flexible diet, which may indicate that its masticatory morphology signals an increase, rather than a decrease in its potential foods.’ In short, the gross anatomy of ape-men skulls and teeth shows us what these animals were capable of eating, while the microscopic wear (and/or chips) on their teeth and their dental isotopic signatures are direct indications of what they actually ate. And, study after study of tooth wear and isotopes is now coming up with significant mismatches between the extreme chewing potential of australopithecus expressed in its morphology and the more general nature of its diet in reality.” Pickering, Travis. 2013. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution. University of California Press. p. 37.

 

“… an adult male chimpanzee is at least as twice as strong as a grown man,….

“Indeed, it might be that part of the long-term evolutionary trade-off for the increasing growth of the human brain through time was concession of some muscular power.” Pickering, Travis. 2013. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution. University of California Press. p. 55.

“Walker postulates that human concession of muscular strength came at the gain of muscular control. If humans really do have relatively more small muscle motor units than do other apes–and this is very likely–that means, in turn, that people have, collectively, ‘a much greater range of motor unit sizes over their muscle masses, and this allows us to recruit muscles for more complex but less forceful tasks.’ This type of fine control of muscular force is critical ‘for effective human activities such as running, throwing, and manipulation, including tool making.’” Pickering, Travis. 2013. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution. University of California Press. p. 56; Reference: Walker, A.C. 2009. “The Strength of Great Apes and the Speed of Humans.” Current Anthropology. 50:229-234.

 

“Using their teeth to sharpen the ends of sticks into points, the chimpanzees of Fongoli, in the West African country of Senegal, fashion what are essentially simple thrusting spears, the longest of which are only a couple of feet in length. The Fongoli chimpanzees poke these simple spears into hollows in trees in an effort to stab and extract bushbabies, the small noctural primates who sleep in the holes during the day.” Pickering, Travis. 2013. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution. University of California Press. p. 57.

 

“Hare and Tomasello thus conclude that the social skills of chimpanzees and other studied nonhuman apes are hampered by their social emotions, those feelings that are produced in the presence of another living being.

“As a taxon, humans have, in contrast, gained controlled [sic] of our ‘emotional reactivity’ some time during the course of our evolution.” Pickering, Travis. 2013. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution. University of California Press. p. 60; Reference: Hare, Brian & M. Tomasello. 2004. “Chimpanzees Are More Skillful in Competitive Than Cooperative Cognitive Tasks.’ Animal Behaviour. 68:571-581.

 

“Further, chimpanzees that live in markedly seasonal savanna-woodlands, like those reconstructed for early hominins, are the populations that hunt the most often and most successfully.” Pickering, Travis. 2013. Rough and Tumble: Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution. University of California Press. p. 110.

 

“… I argue that humans have passed through four such tipping points over the past six million years. I label them beginnings since they mark periods when the basic character of human existence changed and our species began a new life. In chronological order these are the beginning of technology, the beginning of culture, the beginning of agriculture, and the beginning of a political organization called the state.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 3.

 

“With stone tools, those small, two-legged hominins that had been living by trekking from forest patch to forest patch moved into a new niche. With their hands free, they were preadapted for stone tool use: to carry cobbles to where they might be needed, to cut or scrape meat from large carcasses, to make digging sticks to dig up tubers, or to fashion simple spears to hunt small game. Technology opened up a new niche for two-legged hominins.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 29.

 

“Bipedalism is made possible in part by a change in the structure of the pelvis. For female hominins, this meant a reduction in the length of the birth canal,…

“Being born early means that the offspring of bipedal hominins were essentially helpless. Someone would have to carry a Homo infant, and the infant was also probably breast-fed for quite a long time. Modern foragers breast-feed children for upwards of four years….

“This fact [a heavy load of maternal care for infants] might have produced an important level of cooperation in hominin society….

“The reason [female hominins didn’t hunt] is that they often have breast-feeding children with them, and small children are not compatible with hunting.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. pp. 33-34.

 

“However, the effects of bipedalism on birth and the need to breast-feed hominin offspring in a foraging environment, coupled with tool-assisted hunting, lead me to conclude that male and female hominins must have developed some form of cooperation that probably included food sharing, possibly between pair-bonded males and females but almost certainly within a hominin troop as a whole.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 35.

 

“Oldowan flake tools don’t require much forethought, but making an Acheulian hand ax is a more language-like activity because the flint-knapper must think ahead, imagining how removing one flake will affect future flake removals so that he or she can arrive at the final teardrop-shape form.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 43.

 

“Knowing that such ideas [culture as a set of ideas or beliefs that is shared by a group] are jointly held requires at least three and often four levels of intentionality: I have to know that you know that we both agree on what proper behavior is and that we know that the person over there knows this, too. This capacity is best manifested in behavior that we might gloss as ‘religion.’” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 52.

 

“Coupled with language, culture is a low-cost way to enforce cooperation.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 56.

 

“And as population density increases, so too does the likelihood that someone will have already occupied the next camp on the landscape. In that case, the hunter-gatherers have two choices: either push others from a desired piece of land or stay where you are and diversify your diet. The first option is risky, since you might lose the fight. The second option arises from the Diet Breadth Model. If you’ve depleted the high-ranked resources, then you must add lower-ranked resources to your diet. And these will be resources that may be abundant but that entail higher processing costs, like acorns.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 66.

 

“Hunter-gatherers almost always grant the right to use ‘their’ land because in the near future the tables might be turned, and the host group will need the visitors to return the favor. But this changes once nomadic hunter-gatherers become sedentary. Recall that the process of becoming sedentary is like the game of musical chairs–everyone grabs a seat, a place on the landscape, and some of those places are better positioned than others, with better wild foods and better potential for agriculture. What happens during the inevitable bad years in these cases?

“What happens is that those positioned on the poorer places will petition those in the better-endowed places for aid. But those in the well-endowed places will generally not need the assistance of those in poorer places because if a year is bad for the best places, it is probably horrible for the landscape’s mediocre venues. On the other hand, if the well endowed villagers deny the petitioners, they run the risk of retaliation because the potential cost of the violent overthrow of a village, death, doesn’t seem too great to someone who might expect to starve anyway….

“There was probably constant negotiation of status between villages, and feasts allowed them to judge each other’s power. This created a new level of cooperation, albeit one tainted by underlying competition.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. pp. 73-75.

 

“In early state societies, a new set of relationships was added, ones that entailed codified relations with the ruling body, such as government officials, tax collectors, and military commanders. Relations with these people are governed by cultural and legal rules. You don’t have to know police or tax collectors personally in order to know how to behave in their presence.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 86.

 

“… the world’s first known peace treaty. It was signed between the Egyptians and the Hittites in 1258 B.C., some fifteen years after the Battle of Kadesh ended in a stalemate. Deciding, finally, that neither could defeat the other, Ramesses II and Hattusili III decided to cooperate. Before their gods, they pledged to return runaways to each other’s control (Hattusili II had defeated his nephew, Mursili II, for the Hittite throne, and Mursili had fled to Egypt, where Ramesses protected him). And each pledged to come to the other’s aid if attacked….

“… the Battle of Kadesh involved horrific slaughter and enormous expense. Both sides fielded thousands of soldiers and had invested many resources in the technology of war and full-time armies….

“Violence is not new; people have whacked each other for millennia. But now, with the appearance of the state, we see weapons designed specifically to kill people: swords, spears, and pikes, and eventually longbows, crossbows, and the whole wicked menagerie of medieval warfare.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 87.

 

“And what people had to be changed as they switched from life in nomadic camps to that in sedentary villages. The material conditions of life tipped the fundamental strategy away from one type of cooperation toward another, one of vigilance and alliances to create strength against another, as Ramesses II and Hattusili III did. Sedentary villagers need to be prepared to implement a violent option, and that fact changes their culture. People come to value belligerence, to use generosity as a club, and to compete for prestige through violence.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 92.

 

“… cross-cultural studies of warfare. They found a statistically significant correlation between unpredictable events, such as food shortfalls, and warfare…. Rising population density only makes such events more likely because a shortage of food or water at a density of ten people per square kilometer is not as bad as the same shortage at one hundred people per square kilometer.

“The Embers found that the pattern held true for all societies except states. State societies need large fighting forces, often standing armies…. Because of this wider resource base, states might be more immune to unpredictable events.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 93: Reference: Ember, Carol & M. Ember. 1992. “Resource Unpredictability, Mistrust, and War: A Cross-Cultural Study.” Journal of Conflict Resolution. 36:242-262.

 

“The Northwest Coast feasts … are where people explain to themselves the relations of inequality that such situations [sedentary life plus population growth] produce. Giving away food and possessions is intended to embarrass visitors and to remind them who is the more powerful. On the Northwest Coast, a village chief acquired prestige at a feast he hosted because everyone in his village knew he had just bought off or warned off the competition.

“This process set into motion the inequality that pervades the world today. Culturally, a state’s elite must ‘explain’ to themselves and to others why they should get more. This is what anthropologists call ideologies, belief systems that account for inequality. They permit violence on many levels, from denying people basic rights to warfare and slavery.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 98.

 

“The Western world is stuck in a bind: it can’t use the full power of its military without violating its own cultural expectations. War no longer works.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 112.

 

“In each of the past four beginnings, humanity devised new levels of cooperation: pair-bonding, sharing, alliances, trade.” Kelly, Robert. 2016. The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about our Future. University of California Press. p. 114.

 

“At pretty much every point in our day social cognition is in effect. Even when we’re alone, we’re thinking about others.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 10.

 

“So any person’s behavior can have a cause internal to that person (disposition, personality, mood) or a cause external to that person (situation, luck, the influence of other people). Attribution theory is about the process that enables people to get to one or other of these conclusions.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 16.

 

“The co-variation model provides a set of rules for how people arrive at internal and external attributions for observed behaviour. To do so, Kelley believed that people look for three types of information: consensus, consistency, and distinctiveness information….

“First, consensus–is it just your friend who’s wearing a red wig (low consensus), or is it everyone around you (high consensus)?….

“Second, consistency–does your friend always wear a red wig (high consistency) or are they only doing it today (low consistency)….

“Third, distinctiveness–does your friend wear the red wig in other situations (low distinctiveness), or is it only on campus (high distinctiveness)?” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 16-17; Reference: Kelley, H.H. & J. Michela. 1980. “Attribution theory and research.” Annual Review of Psychology. 31:457-501.

 

“The first bias that people were found to display was named the fundamental attribution bias (FA bias) because people do it so often. It describes the tendency people have, all other things being equal, to make a dispositional (internal) attribution rather than a situational (external) attribution.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 19.

 

“… people encode, represent, and use positive behaviours about their own group, and negative behaviours about other groups, in an abstract way; but positive behaviours about other groups, and negative behaviours about their own group, in a concrete way. Importantly, abstract language implies that the focal topic is an enduring, stable characteristic while concrete language implies a one-off, isolated example.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 29.

 

“Alternatively, people can hold attitudes to fit in with groups, to build bonds and consensus, or to appease and please significant others. This is the utilitarian function–the idea that we express (and hold) attitudes to make it easier for us to form relationships.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 36.

 

“Interestingly, the rate upon which people converge on a group norm increases the more uncertain people are about the task.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 47.

 

“Brain-scanning studies have shown that the physical pain centre of the brain is activated when we are excluded from groups.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 50.

 

“Normative influence (when things are certain and clear, but there is group pressure) changes public but not private attitudes–this is known as ‘compliance.’ Informational influence (when the task is difficult, there is little info, or the participant is uncertain) changes both public and private attitudes–this is known as ‘conversion.’” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 50-51.

 

“According to social identity theory, good relations can also encourage followers to ‘depersonalize’; that is, come to see themselves less as individuals and more as group members–more readily adopting the goals of the group.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 54-5.

 

“There is a great deal of evidence for the notion that cooperative interaction (the establishment of common goals) can increase people’s tendency to abandon categorization at the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ level and instead adopt a common ingroup identity. In one published variant of Tajfel’s MGP participants either sat round tables in a segregated pattern (AAABBB) or an integrated pattern (ABABAB). They were given distinct group names, or provided with a common name for all participants, or they were given individual ‘nicknames.’ In their two groups, single combined group, or as individuals, they then had to carry out a problem-solving exercise that required either a segregated group decision, or an aggregated group decision, or decisions per individual.

“What the researchers found was that, compared to the two-groups condition, intergroup bias was reduced in both the aggregated group condition and the individuals group condition. Interestingly however, bias was reduced in the aggregated group condition in a different way to the individuals condition. In the aggregate group condition bias was reduced by an increase in the attractiveness of former outgroup members. In contrast, in the individuals condition bias reduced by a decrease in the attractiveness of former ingroup members. This is because recategorization works by bringing the former outgroup member into a more inclusive common ingroup. In contrast, individuation works by encouraging people to abandon categorization as a way of structuring the context at hand (so ingroup members no longer seem more similar and so more attractive).

“Further studies have replicated the positive and unique effects of forming a common ingroup identity, and shown that it is not only cooperation that makes it happen. Studies have shown that getting people to wear the same-coloured lab coats, use the same-coloured pens, or even simply coming up with things in common, can lead to the formation of a common ingroup identity (and reduce intergroup bias).” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 89-90.

 

“In one study, Williams and Jarvis asked people to play a game called Cyberball. In this game, three cartoon characters on the screen throw a ball to one another (each one of the cartoon characters is apparently operated by a participant in a different room–in fact there is only one real participant and the two other cartoon characters’ behaviour is programmed by computer). After a short while in which the computer controlled characters throw the ball to each other, including the real participant, something changes. The computer characters gradually reduce the number of times they pass the ball to the participant and eventually stop throwing it to them altogether. This exclusion had a huge effect on participants–they subsequently reported lowered self-esteem and a reduced sense of having a ‘meaningful existence’….

“It gets even weirder: even when participants were told that the cartoon characters were controlled by computer, participants felt just as bad. It seems we are simply unable to switch off the part of our brains that controls our response to being excluded….

“What could explain such universal and extreme responses to being excluded? Well, our need to affiliate is one of the most basic manifestations of the social mind, helping us to create a predictive and meaningful model of the world around us. Supporting the idea that this desire goes right back to the evolution of the human mind, ostracism has a deep visceral reaction that mirrors the experience of real pain. Recent brain imaging studies show that when people are ostracized the same part of their brain ‘lights-up’ as if they were experiencing physical pain. In other words, the social ‘pain’ of being excluded leads to exactly the same physiological reaction as inflicting physical harm.

“This suggests that we are actually hardwired to avoid the social pain of ostracism in the same way as we are hardwired to avoid physically damaging ourselves. This is because from an evolutionary standpoint humans are stronger and more productive when they can pool their skills in groups, tribes, colonies, and collectives.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. pp. 97-8; Reference: Williams, K. & B. Jarvis. 2006. “Cyberball: A program for use in research on interpersonal ostracism and acceptance.” Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers. 38:174-180.

 

“As relationships develop, passionate love is gradually replaced by companionate love. Companionate love is characterized by close personal intimacy, and a sense of being ‘at one’ with the other person.” Crisp, Richard. 2015. Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. p. 107.

 

“The terrestrial versus arboreal difference in grooming rates [terrestrial primate species groom more often than do arboreal primate species] seems to reflect both a higher risk of predation due to feeding in the open and greater competition for food resources for the terrestrial species. Together, these conditions would favor mechanisms for maintaining social cohesion through grooming and so the higher rates of grooming among the terrestrial species.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 49.

 

“What distinguishes hunter-gatherer societies from the later horticultural, agricultural and pastoral societies that replaced most of them is a mode for food resource procurement that is not designed to positively affect the natural productivity of the resources being exploited. Unlike horticulture, agriculture, or animal husbandry where labor investment can increase the productivity of the resources being exploited, hunter-gatherer societies are dependent upon, and thus limited by, the natural productivity of resources…. Implements and tools may be designed to make the procurement of food resources more efficient and to reduce the risk of failure when hunting mobile prey. Labor investment aimed at increasing the quality of implements and tools used in hunting, gathering and fishing may increase daily rates of return of food resources, but not their natural abundance.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 55.

“For the OW [old world] monkeys, there are Darwinian fitness benefits for individuals, such as protection against predators, arising from a troop form of organization. At the same time, for the troop organization to be maintained over time, the troop needs to minimize competitive conflict over resources between individuals within a troop since unchecked resource competition may disrupt the social coherency of a troop…. The ‘how’ side must also be developed: how are troops formed as a social unit in such a manner that the troop maintains coherency as a social unit over time?…

“The ‘how question’ was answered for the OW monkeys not through a herd or flock form of social organization but through incorporation of the sociality of primates in the form of linear dominance hierarchies based on a simple behavior mechanism implemented through social interaction among group members. At the same time, this mode of social organization made possible intensive social interaction, thereby leading to a feedback loop between mode of social organization and intensity of social interaction. Biological kin selection for the elaboration of social interaction behaviors among troop members became integral to the development of OW monkey forms of social organization, and the form of organization became integral to the implementation of biological kin selection.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. pp. 62-3.

 

“Whereas biological kin are independent of cultural context, the system of computational rules for kinship terminology is culture specific and varies in form from one society to another.

“To keep the biological and cultural notions of kinship distinct, we will refer to the system of relations expressed through a kinship terminology as cultural kin, in contrast with biological kin determined by biological reproduction.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 72.

 

“This research [optimal foraging, costly signaling, utility maximization, etc.], focusing on the facts of resource procurement, confirms in a general way the effectiveness of hunter-gatherers in procuring resources from their environment. However, usually left unstated in this research are the rights and obligations of individuals, and of individuals as family and group members, to resources through cultural rules of ownership.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 83.

 

“Hunting transforms what no one initially owns … into what is collectively owned and not into what is individually owned…. The recipients of the raw meat distribute it further as raw meat according to their kin relations and kin obligations. After this second distribution, the meat is cooked, and cooked meat becomes individually owned, hence not subject to collective sharing. The cultural rules for meat distribution, then, transform what is corporately owned into what is individually owned, and this transformation is marked by raw meat being subject to cultural rules regarding the distribution of meat versus cooked meat being individually owned.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. pp. 85-6.

 

“Cultural rules for sharing have the effect of removing sharing from individual decision making and making it part of one’s identity as a member of a culturally constituted group.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 90.

 

“In an ostensive society, individuals are born and enter into an already existing and established system of social organization… A performative society, however, is one in which the form of social organization structure emerges out of the interactions among the societal members and hence can vary in substantive ways from one context to another according to differences in how patterns of interaction vary from one context to another.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 97.

 

“Performative primate societies, in contrast, will have greater intra-species variability in social organization, and social behaviors will be less affected by selection processes such as biological kin selection.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 98.

 

“… selection for individualization of social behaviors will push the social system in the direction of a performative social system so that the form of social organization is less determined across different social units, thereby leading to greater variability in intra-species forms of social organization.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 98.

 

“In contrast to the OW monkeys, the wide variation in forms of social organization across the genera making up the lesser and greater apes suggests that no single model adequately provides a baseline pattern for their varied forms of social organization.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 99.

 

“Unlike other primates, though, the chimpanzees at Ngogo also make reciprocal exchanges using different currencies. They exchange grooming for coalitionary support and, non-reciprocally, coalitionary support for meat sharing.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 101.

 

“This conclusion [that chimpanzee social structure is determined through performance on a day-to-day and hour-to-hour basis] regarding social structure determined through performance is supported by evidence showing that male chimpanzees do not bias social behavior such as association, grooming, proximity, coalition, meat sharing, and patrolling towards biological kin as might be expected under biological kin selection. Instead, the only bias is towards maternal, but not paternal, biological siblings, despite male philopatry.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. pp. 103-4.

 

“When interacting through mutually understood roles, social complexity is determined by the number of distinct roles and not the number of actors.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 113.

 

“Selection for individuality, it should be noted, is antithetical to biological kin selection, as the latter introduces genetically based social behaviors that, by the nature of biological kin selection, will be distributed over the members of the cohort of genetically related individuals in a manner subject to biological kin selection. This will lead to introducing homogeneity of behaviors across biologically kin related individuals, whereas the introduction of individuality does the reverse.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 116.

 

“As individuality increases, the size of a stable social unit decreases and social behaviors are less focused on biological kin, so conditions favoring the introduction of social behaviors that promote social coherency through biological kin selection are reduced. In place of biological kin-based social behaviors, the coherency of social units depends increasingly on extensive, face-to-face interaction, but the efficacy of so doing, for a fixed size of social units, decreases rapidly with increased individuality. As a consequence, social cohesion is maintained primarily by reducing the size of social units.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 116.

 

“Selection for substantial individuality in the great apes appears to have driven their forms of social organization to limiting cases–to solitary behavior in Pongo, to single male harems in Gorilla, and to small, unstable social units in Pan.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 116.

 

“The trend from OW monkeys to the chimpanzees is, therefore, one of increased individuality coupled with a shift from ostensive to performative based social organization. Only the increased individuality carries forward to hunter-gatherer societies. The trend towards performative forms of social organization does not.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 117.

 

“… marriage does not derive, as does mate-guarding, from the attributes of the individuals involved…. In brief, marriage does not exist as an institution outside of a social context and can neither be reduced to a mate-guarding strategy nor to pair-bonding, though it may (but need not) incorporate aspects of each of these….

“Whereas mating is the means by which offspring are produced, marriage is the means by which offspring are given full status as societal members and can, under specified conditions, incorporate mating with individuals other than the two individuals who are the subject of a marriage event.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. pp. 124-5.

 

“From an information processing perspective, it appears that our brain incorporates both a cognitive processing system derived through evolution as part of our biological heritage and a cultural processing system that came into play during the evolutionary development of modern Homo sapiens.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 129.

 

“Increased individualization of behavior substantially increases the complexity of a social unit, and the combination of both increased complexity and individualization appears to reach a limit regarding processes such as biological kin selection and face-to-face interaction for introducing the traits upon which integration of complex social environments depends. The trajectory leading to Homo sapiens is characterized, instead, by the introduction of a new mode of social integration based on social relations and does not consist of just further elaboration on prior modes of social integration.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 138.

 

“We will distinguish four forms of social behavior between two individuals and their associated forms of social organization. These social behaviors are: (1) asocial, (2) action/reaction, (3) interaction and (4) social interaction between individuals.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 138.

 

“For asocial behavior, the post behavior by B is independent of the prior behavior of another individual A. This means that individual B does post behavior bB with a probability that disregards the particular prior behavior, bA, engaged in by individual A.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 139.

“Social interaction differs from interaction because individual A takes into account, before doing prior behavior bA, what A believes to be the likely response bB by individual B should individual A do behavior bA. This contrasts with interaction behavior where A takes into account the likelihood of B doing post behavior bB independent of A’s prior behavior.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 141.

 

“Social interaction as a learned behavior by A depends both on (1) repeated encounter outcomes in which individual A can track the response of individual B when A has engaged in prior behavior bA in an encounter with individual B and (2) A having a sufficiently evolved, cognitive learning system so as to be able to estimate the likelihood of post behavior bB by individual B when individual A engages in prior behavior bA. Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 142.

 

“The evolutionary pathway undertaken by our hominin ancestors leading from experience to relation-based social interaction builds on five cognitive abilities. These are the ability to: (1) recognize self as a distinct entity, (2) have a ‘theory of mind,’ (3) form categorizations based on the concept of a relation between individuals, (4) conceptualize when one relation is reciprocal to another relation, and (5) form new relations through recursive composition of relations.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 145.

 

“By a theory of mind is meant not only that one has awareness of one’s own mental states and one’s own mental representations as a basis for one’s actions, but that one is able to conceptualize that others may have the same awareness of mental states and/or mental representations as a basis for action.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 146.

 

“The culturally defined kinship relations that are central to human societies provide little, if any, functionality to an individual in isolation. Instead, the functionality of a system of kin relations derives from the reciprocity of kinship relations, which depends, in turn, on each person in the group who is socially interacting with other individuals having the same kinship system as part of her or his cultural repertoire. For the speaker to know that someone is his or her uncle, cousin or sister-in-law does not, by itself, provide functionality in the form of likely cooperative behavior or mutual assistance among those recognized by the speaker as cultural kin. The functionality arises from those recognized as kin by the speaker reciprocally recognizing the speaker (and each other) as kin.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 153.

 

“Those who are one’s cultural kin are those who have been encultured into the same cultural system and thus share similar concepts and notions about proper and moral behavior.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 154.

 

“Although cultural elements are, of course, located in the minds of individuals, cultural kinship is a group-level and not an individual-level property, and hence provides the basis for organizational change through change in the properties of the cultural kinship system rather than through change at the level of individual traits derived from the cultural kinship system.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. pp. 154-5.

 

“Even with passive scavenging, predators would still be a threat, making it likely that scavenging would ‘be limited to older subadult and prime adult male hominins’. The reduced mobility of females with altricial offspring implies that they would have had limited or even no involvement in scavenging. Consequently, meat protein and marrow calories obtained through scavenging could become a regular part of, and not just an occasional addition to, the female diet only if there were a modification in male-female mating relationships that led to consistent sharing of the scavenged resources obtained by a male with one, or possibly a few, females.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 160.

 

“Cultural idea systems provide the conceptual basis and rules for ownership and sharing of resources. Resources in the wild are collectively owned by a group, and access to them is either through group membership or by culturally defined kinship ties with members of the group.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 184.

 

“Cultural group selection, as the term is used here, does not refer to selection acting on individual or emergent group-level properties, but to selection acting on cultural properties that are inherently at the group level.” Read, Dwight. 2012. How Culture Makes Us Human: Primate Social Evolution and Formation of Human Societies. Left Coast Press. p. 193.

 

“For example, he [Kim Sterelny in The Evolved Apprentice] transforms the longstanding puzzle of the sudden development of ‘behavioural modernity’, long after the appearance of biologicaly modern humans, by treating behavioural modernity in ecological terms, as a ‘collective capacity to retain and upgrade rich systems of information and technique’ which is ‘constituted by the organization of social life’, rather than as an internal feature of individual minds (EA, p. 56).” Sutton, John. 2013. “Skill and Collaboration in the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory 8(1):28-36. p. 29.

“Enduring items of technology or material culture, more or less rhythmic regularities in the natural world, and reliable patterns of routine or ritual can all operate as nudges or anchors for shared decision-making, as residual cues or condensed reminders: when we think or act together, we often do so in settings and contexts that our own previous actions have partly engineered, so that we are not starting again from scratch.” Sutton, John. 2013. “Skill and Collaboration in the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory 8(1):28-36. p. 32.

 

“The central claim [of Sterelny’s The Evolved Apprentice] is that expert practice itself must remain flexible. For this reason, even in motor domains, it cannot be ‘mindless’, cognitively inaccessible or encapsulated (again, contrasting with the information underlying linguistic cognition). Certainly, response speed and efficiency is enhanced by the rich chunking of complex knowledge or action sequences developed over long and effortful apprenticeship. But this does not equate to automaticity, either in the sense that responses cannot be modified or altered online, or in the sense that awareness and attention are entirely absent. Instead, at different timescales, experts must be able to redeploy and redirect the components of their skilful practices. The online performance of skilled action in ordinarily challenging conditions, with fragile or volatile materials or in hostile environments, must be subtly responsive to novelty, to conditions beyond specific previous experience. Likewise, in taking skills offline for pedagogical, strategic, or collaborative consideration, experts will be able to access and tap in to aspects of their trained capacities. Those capacities thus remain open to at least two kinds of influence: both higher-level forms of cognitive control, and explicit or declarative labels.” Sutton, John. 2013. “Skill and Collaboration in the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory 8(1):28-36. p. 33.

 

“Some adaptive flexibility can be achieved by a capacity for developmental parameter-setting during critical periods, and other types of individual learning. In fact, all associative learning may be regarded as future-oriented mechanisms that enable individuals to track local regularities and adapt their behaviour so as to increase the chances of future rewards and avoidance of punishments.” Suddendorf, Thomas, A Bulley & B. Miloyan. 2018. “Prospection and natural selection.” Behavioral Sciences. 24:26-31. p. 26.

 

“Mental simulations of the future can thus also support the encoding of options, for example intentions to be deployed at a later time (i.e. so-called ‘prospective memory’).” Suddendorf, Thomas, A Bulley & B. Miloyan. 2018. “Prospection and natural selection.” Behavioral Sciences. 24:26-31. p. 28.

 

“Woodward identified three levels of causal learning that could reflect variation in the complexity of causal thinking. The basic level is the ability to learn that one’s own physical actions can cause certain outcomes…. He refers to this as ‘egocentric learning’, based on ordinary operant or instrumental conditioning. On the second level is the ‘agent causal learner’, who also learns about cause from the actions of others…. For example, a young chimpanzee is able to grasp, through observation, that if her mother is able to crack a nut by using a hammer stone, she too should be able to achieve a similar result by following similar actions….

“On the third level is the ‘observation/action causal learner’…. Such a learner is able to learn and understand relationships between their own actions and the potential outcomes thereof, the actions of others and their potential outcomes, as well as the fact that the observation of a range of natural signs or patterns can be integrated with the egocentric and action-causal observations, actions and outcomes.” Lombard, Marlize & P. Gaerdenfors. 2017. “Tracking the evolution of causal cognition in humans.” Journal of Anthropological Sciences. 95:219-234. p. 220; reference: Woodward, J. 2011. “A philosopher looks at tool use and causal understanding.” pp. 18-50. In: McCormack, T., C. Hoerl & S. Butterfill (eds): Tool Use and Causal Cognition. Oxford UP.

 

“As a result, we distinguish seven grades of causal understanding, based on their level of detachment from egocentric learning or individual understanding,…

“Grade 1: Individual causal understanding….

“Grade 2: Cued dyadic-causal understanding. This grade involves two individuals who take turns in performing a similar action. One example is two children on a seesaw….

“Grade 3: Conspecific mindreading….

“A special case of mindreading is self-awareness, that is, reading the mind of oneself. Self-awareness involves the ability to imagine myself in the future and in the past….

“Grade 4: Detached dyadic-causal understanding. Sometimes we do not perceive another’s presence, but only the traces of them. An example is when I come home and find your coat on a chair and infer that you have been in the room recently….

“Being able to reason from effects to non-present causes seems to be unique to humans….

“Grade 5: Causal understanding and mindreading of non-conspecifics….

“Grade 6: Inanimate causal understanding [e.g. inferring wind is the cause of a falling apple] ….

“Grade 7: Causal network understanding.” Lombard, Marlize & P. Gaerdenfors. 2017. “Tracking the evolution of causal cognition in humans.” Journal of Anthropological Sciences. 95:219-234. pp. 221-224.

 

“As with human uniqueness generally, there is spirited disagreement over the degree of continuity between human (cumulative) culture and the behavioral traditions of other animals. One influential view sees human culture as qualitatively distinct in its dependence on evolved capacities for high-fidelity social transmission that is absent in other species. The emergence of distinctly human cumulative culture is thus thought to have been a relatively discrete event requiring ‘one and only one biological adaptation’. A competing perspective views the animal-human disjunction as one of degree rather than kind, with some rudimentary cultural accumulation evident in other species. In this account, humans are exceptional in the degree to which they have enhanced a diverse portfolio of learning strategies shared with other apes. This implies a more gradual evolution of cumulative culture, likely involving multiple traits, processes, and events.” Stout, Dietrich, M. Rogers, A. Jaeggi & S. Semaw. 2019. “Archaeology and the Origins of Human cumulative Culture: A Case Study from the Earliest Oldowan at Gona, Ethiopia.” Current Anthropology. 60(3):309-328. pp. 309-310.

 

“Some researchers prefer to maintain a qualitative animal-human boundary by restricting the term ‘cumulative’ to culture-dependent traits that have already been ratcheted beyond the possibility of individual reinvention. Impossibility is obviously a more challenging standard of evidence and has been difficult to demonstrate for any animal behavior. Tennie et al. apply this standard to Paleolithic archaeology as a thought experiment they term the ‘island test’: only if it seems impossible for an individual isolated from birth (e.g. on a remote island) to reinvent a behavior should it be accepted as evidence of cumulative culture.” Stout, Dietrich, M. Rogers, A. Jaeggi & S. Semaw. 2019. “Archaeology and the Origins of Human cumulative Culture: A Case Study from the Earliest Oldowan at Gona, Ethiopia.” Current Anthropology. 60(3):309-328. p. 310; reference: Tennie, Claudio, D. Braun, L. Premo, & S. McPherron. 2016. “The island test for cumulative culture in the Paleolithic.” pp. 121-133. In: The Nature of Culture. Haidle, M., N. Conard & M. Bolus (eds.) Springer.

 

“Although behavior copying is commonly called social ‘transmission,’ this is misleading if it is taken to imply passive reception of rules or recipes for action… Such learning requires an extended interaction between social inputs and motivated individual practice better described as behavioral ‘reproduction’ rather than transmission. This dialectic process, exemplified by coaching or apprenticeship, has recently been described by Whiten as a ‘helical curriculum.” In such a curriculum, reproduction of observed actions during practice is just one potential means to the end of discovering subtle task affordances not directly available to the naive observer. Other facilitatory influences can include the physical and social context (the learning niche) created by ongoing technological activity as well as affective feedback, attention direction, practice opportunity scaffolding, and even intentional demonstration and instruction.” Stout, Dietrich, M. Rogers, A. Jaeggi & S. Semaw. 2019. “Archaeology and the Origins of Human cumulative Culture: A Case Study from the Earliest Oldowan at Gona, Ethiopia.” Current Anthropology. 60(3):309-328. p. 311; reference: Whiten, Andrew. 2015. “Experimental studies illuminate the cultural transmission of percussive technologies in Homo and Pan. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 370(1682):20140359.

 

“For example, behavior might be highly constrained by the limited possibilities for action (affordances) provided by objects and environments so that individuals with similar capacities and goals are quite likely to independently rediscover the same solutions. Tennie, Call, and Tomasello refer to this as a ‘zone of latent solutions’ (ZLS) within which individual learning, niche construction, and low-fidelity copying of goals or outcomes but not detailed means should be sufficient for behavior reproduction.” Stout, Dietrich, M. Rogers, A. Jaeggi & S. Semaw. 2019. “Archaeology and the Origins of Human cumulative Culture: A Case Study from the Earliest Oldowan at Gona, Ethiopia.” Current Anthropology. 60(3):309-328. p. 312; reference: Tennie, Claudio, J. Call & M. Tomasello. 2009. “Ratcheting up the ratchet: on the evolution of cumulative culture.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 364(1528):2405-2415.

 

“Trackways are the patterns of indentations and other physical traces inadvertently left behind in suitable substrates (sand, soft clay, mud, volcanic ash, dust, new-fallen snow) and foliage (moss, grass, browsing marks on shrubbery) by the physical passage of all land-based animals.

“Of all the lineages on this planet, including our great ape cousins, only ours has ever learnt to use this natural sign system to find unseen, unheard agents. All other terrestrial animals use scent trails and airborne odors.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 1.

 

“I argue imitation is only part of the story; after all, apes are quite good imitators in certain contexts, yet learning simple foraging skills takes several years (over five for termite fishing). Consider here an accidental smashing of stone on stone that produced a flake with a usefully sharp cutting edge. Being able to episodically remember how making that particular blow felt, its angle and the type of stone, would make a reasonably accurate repetition possible. In effect, one is imitating the actions of a past self. The same goes for someone intentionally demonstrating a sequence of actions slowly so a novice can replicate them more easily.

“Tulving thinks this autobiographical or narrative (episodic) sense of a self was the cognitive key to creating cooperative culture. I agree, mainly because of the above effects on social learning.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 3; reference: Tulving, E. 2005. “Episodic memory and autonoesis: uniquely human? pp. 3-56. In: Terrace, HS & J. Metcalfe (eds.) The missing link in cognition: origins of self-reflective consciousness. Oxford UP.

 

“In fact, all early hominin sites were situated in and around wetlands and waterways. The idea of bipedal, omnivorous hominins habitually wading into shallow waterways to obtain shellfish and catfish and edible-when-raw highly nutritious rhizomes of water lilies, papyrus, and cattails is no longer unorthodox.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 3.

 

“To summarize the reasons why our post-Ardipithecan ancestors began to exploit their own trackways:

“(1) Obligate bipedalism and no tree nesting makes where each foot is placed and finding one’s band at nightfall crucial for survival.

“(2) Their own footprints were ubiquitous and easy to perceive on muddy patches of ground and sandy beaches, even in shallow water.

“(3) The bipedal ability to see one’s feet makes it easy to roughly replicate a leader’s steps for safety and/or orienteering.

“(4) Excellent visual pattern recognition combined with lack of olfactory sensitivity and the extra visual field created by perpetual bipedalism made large sections of trackways more salient and easy to recognize as belonging to individual band members.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 4.

 

“There are three major differences between the natural sign systems of trackways and scent trails. First, footprints are immediately and inexorably directional, oriented in space and time with respect to their authors’ direction of travel. They will often have further information about a track maker’s goals; an animal in flight leaves different footprint shapes and patterns to one sedately browsing. Second, they are immensely more durable than scent trails. Trackways can last for days or weeks instead of just a couple of hours or so, even in windy conditions or after a bit of rain, which will instantly erase scent trails.

“Therefore, choosing which trackway of a targeted animal to follow is necessary and depends upon how ‘fresh’ it is. The narrative tracking mind is always trying to discern when tracks were made. If a scent trail can be detected at all it is worth following, for its author cannot be far away. The scenting mind remains locked into here-and-now associative cognition, but the narratively tracking mind is under selection to read the time stamp on every trackway, and respond appropriately.

“Third, because of their directionality and durability, trackways are combinatorial. Scent trails are not at all combinatorial because coming upon any fresher and therefore stronger scent trail instantly makes an older, weaker scent imperceptible… Several trackways can overlay each other and still be visually discernible. Therefore they can provide a huge amount of information about past behaviors. For example, social trackways narratives reveal where and when two conspecifics met, whether they mated or fought with each other, whether they traveled together after that, and so on. This is important social information.

“Combinations of tracks of different species can be used for time reckoning. The overlay of a trackway of a preferred diurnal prey animal by that of any nocturnal species shows the targeted trackway was made the day before. Hence all trackways out there in the environment are grist for the tracker’s cognitive mill.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 6.

 

“To sum up: unlike scent trails, trackways don’t just record presence or absence. To the eyes and narrative mind of a modern tracker they very often reveal physical condition, sex, status in a group, preferred foraging and resting sites, emotional-mental state, and even the character of individual animals.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 7.

 

“… the systematic tracker is integrating natural history and local geography via Dennett’s intentional stance, projecting the tracker’s own intentionality onto the target animal.

“A theory of mind capacity that can imagine what mental state an agent is in (through interpretation of the visual patterns presented by its trackway) is also needed. Knowing whether an animal is frightened and therefore heading for its den or a thicket to hide in, or whether it is relaxed, just ambling about foraging is very useful. The better one is at narrative imagination, the quicker one is going to find the target animal’s trackway again.

“So developing systematic tracking skills was not possible without possessing the narrative (episodic) faculty to some degree.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. pp. 7-8.

 

Speculative TWR: systematically following a trackway for a while and then heading directly to where one inductively imagines the target animal might be, right now or by the time one gets there, given one’s semantic knowledge of its routine behaviors and the surrounding terrain.

“Systematic tracking will often take one upwind of a target animal as it changes its course. Speculating on where it is heading, leaving its trackway, and looping back downwind of it becomes necessary. It requires imagining the unseen track maker traveling to an unseen place to perform a routine behavior there. It also requires imagining one’s future self approaching this unseen but narratively imagined place from downwind so one’s own scent will not warn the wary prey.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 8.

 

“There is good evidence of snaring techniques being used to capture small mammals around 450 kya in South Africa. Only a narrative mind can imagine exactly where an animal’s head or foot is going to be placed in the future and then set a snare ‘just there.’” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 8.

“Finally, TWR is not just useful for hunting: it is also important for predator avoidance, finding water, easy routes through rough terrain, and gathering (pig tracks lead to tubers). All !Kung San women are consummate trackers, often better than many of the men, and some join their husbands in the hunt for that reason.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 8.

 

“In sum then, habitually reiterating one’s old steps for safety and orienteering is likely to continually trigger narrative memories made up of the episodic events that occurred when making them…. Self-tracking hominins incrementally began to cognitively live with a sense of themselves (and therefore others, as per simulation theory) as being intentional agents travelling narratively through time.” Shaw-Williams, Kim. 2013. “The Social Trackways Theory of the Evolution of Human Cognition.” Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-013-0144-9. p. 9.

 

“When it comes to ‘seeing’ our nation, we all wear a distinct pair of ethnic glasses. Minorities’ spectacles give them a clear sense of where their ethno-symbols end and national ones begin. White majorities don’t, because many of the national symbols they think about, like Thanksgiving in the US or Joan of Arc in France, double as white ones.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 9.

 

“The early version of Whiteshift, from WASP to white, seemed to suddenly emerge, but was rooted in slow but steady mixing.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 61.

 

“On immigration, all could agree that barring non-whites was racist. But was it also the case that limiting immigration to a level the ethnic majority could assimilate was racist?” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 89.

 

“Whether societies are more conservative on immigration, like Denmark, or more liberal, like Canada, white micro-behaviour – intermarriage, segregation – is similar. In the most liberal societies, like Canada or Sweden, the disjuncture between official liberal cosmopolitanism and local-level tribalism is glaring,….” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 514.

 

“One way to move to a positive-sum outlook is for whites to adopt a Hawaiian/Creole strategy, opening up to those of mixed background who identify with their European roots…. If majorities open up even further, minorities should be more likely to identify with the white-inflected national past than the anti-white narrative of the modernist left….” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 517.

“Conflict resolution approaches such as truth and reconciliation commissions focus on getting people to move away from the victimhood narratives used by ultra-nationalists… How odd then that left-modernists, ostensibly progressive, are doing precisely the opposite, stirring up a sense of victimhood among often-reluctant ethnic minorities.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 517.

 

“The problem arises with what I have termed ‘asymmetrical multiculturalism’, whereby minority identities are lauded while white majority ones are denigrated.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 519.

 

“… liberal political theories were designed for a time when nation-states were ethnically stable and migration was limited. International law therefore lacks any rights or protections for ethnic majorities, only nation-states and minorities.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 525.

 

“Ethic nationalism has richness, but excludes minorities. Multiculturalism is rich and inclusive, but excludes the majority and can weaken commitment to the nation.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 530.

 

“When multiculturalism draws people’s gaze back to a distant homeland, multivocalism orients them to the nation, albeit viewed through different ethnic lenses. This flexibility maximizes meaning and unity by harnessing the complexity of national identity.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 531.

 

“Far better to crowd-source national symbols and allow people to read what they want into them, picking and choosing what moves them.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 532.

 

“The immigration system, not coercion and stigmatization, ensures that a balance is struck between diversity and assimilation. If intermarriage slows, the ethnic majority will call for lower numbers or more culturally selective immigration. As assimilation speeds up, immigration can be increased… An open ethnic majority will be more likely to view outsiders as potential recruits, removing the chance of zero-sum competition leading to the antipathy towards outgroups I define as racism.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 537.

 

“Repressing white identity as racist and demonizing the white past adds insult to the injury of this group’s demographic decline.” Kaufmann, Eric. 2019. Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Abrams Press. P. 537.

 

“Apples and other fruits provide food to frugivores not because they are altruistic, but rather because they need for their seeds to be dispersed. Producing fruit is costly to the plant, but worth the reproductive benefit it provides. The fact that fruiting also benefits frugivores is simply a by-product. Similarly, frugivores eat fruit not in order to disperse seeds but rather to obtain nutrients. From their point of view, seed dispersal is simply a side effect. Biologists call this ‘by-product mutualism.’ Because this particular example involves two parties that exchange mutualistic benefits as by-products of their behaviors, we can call also it ‘pseudoreciprocity.’” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 21.

 

“The environment in which an adaptation was designed is the environment of evolutionary adaptedness, often abbreviated as EEA. A common error is to apply the EEA concept to all of a species’ adaptations collectively rather than to specific adaptations.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 27.

 

“A somewhat more standard (and stringent) definition of group in the social sciences would be a number of individuals ‘who recurringly interact in an interconnected set of roles.’” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 49; subquote: Keesing, Roger. 1975. Kin Groups and Social Structure. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. p. 10.

 

Collective good is another common term in the literature. It is often used simply as a synonym for public good. It can also be used as a way to refer to both public goods and common pool resources simultaneously. Because both of those types of goods share the crucial and problematic characteristic of low excludability, it is often useful to be able to refer to them together.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 54.

 

“Unless they [groups trying to form to support a public good] are able to use coercion to increase people’s costs for not cooperating, they have only one choice: increase people’s benefits for cooperating. These private incentives are called ‘selective’ benefits to distinguish them from the public good being sought. Selective benefits, unlike public goods, cannot be attained by free riding. A selective benefit goes only to the person who joins, participates, or pays. It goes to members, not nonmembers.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 57.

“Similarly, a trade association may form to provide networking and informational services to members of an industry, with those benefits being available only to paying members, but it may subsequently choose to lobby the government, thus providing a benefit to nonmembers, as well. Because in this scenario collective goods are provided as a by-product of the selective benefits provided by the group, this is known as the by–product theory of public goods provisioning, which parallels the biological theory of by-product mutualism….

“By-product theory is one of the reasons why there are many more businesses and professional groups lobbying in Washington than there are issue-based groups without an occupational basis.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 58.

 

Delayed reciprocity: The addition of the word ‘delayed’ serves to emphasize the fact that many reciprocal transactions involve a delay between the first gift or favor and the second, reciprocating one. Ethnographers have found that in many societies, the delay between gifts or favors can serve as a way of strengthening the social bond between the two parties while also making it clear that the exchange is not the kind of immediate reciprocal exchange that typifies market transactions.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 75.

 

“Given that people vary in their quality as cooperators and assuming that our ancestors had at least some limited choice regarding their cooperative partners, it follows that we should have mechanisms that help us choose good partners. In a species with long-term pair bonds and biparental care of offspring, perhaps the most important such choice would be that of a mate. After all, we expect our long-term mates not only to have sex with us but also to help us care for our offspring and to be committed to our relationship with them. Cross-cultural research shows that many of the characteristics people look for in long-term mates are similar to those we would expect them to look for in any cooperative partner.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 82.

 

“What evolutionary science can contribute is its ability to identify specific psychological adaptations associated with reputational concerns. Several recent studies have made progress on this front. All demonstrate the important effect that an audience, even one that is only hinted at, can have on rates of cooperation.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 89.

 

“Even the specter of a supernatural observer is enough to make people more generous. In an experiment using the Dictator Game, subjects who were primed with God concepts through a task involving the unscrambling of sentences gave considerably more than unprimed subjects. Interestingly, the effect was seen in both theist and atheist subjects.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 91.

 

“If you want to get a message out to a lot of people, you need to get their attention. A simple way to do this is to do something that they will appreciate, such as provide a public good. Thus, public generosity may serve as a signal of one’s status and ability to control resources or one’s cooperative nature. Such generosity is not cooperation as we have defined it in this book, but it is relevant to the study of cooperation more broadly. By making it worthwhile for an individual to provide a public good without help from others, such ‘competitive altruism,’ as evolutionary theorist Gilbert Roberts has called it, has the potential to solve the collective action dilemma simply by removing it. By creating a system of unambiguous signals of cooperativeness, it also has the potential to enhance the effects of reciprocity and indirect reciprocity.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 95.

 

“Big game hunting may represent the original public good and, thus, the original collective action dilemma. Kristen Hawkes broke through the haze on this issue with a bold idea called the ‘show-off hypothesis.’ Hawkes first pointed out that hunters typically forego small, reliable prey that is shared within families in favor of large, risky game that is more widely shared. She then suggested that the benefit to good hunters was reproductive. Because good hunters are valuable to the whole community and because group membership among hunter-gatherers is usually quite flexible, people have an incentive to make good hunters happy. This may mean taking better care of their children or tolerating the affairs they have with other men’s wives. The problem with this is that it creates a second-order collective action dilemma. Why should any one person do whatever it may be that helps keep the good hunter in the community? Why not let someone else carry that burden? In short, why not be a free rider? Recognizing big game hunting as a costly signal breaks us out of this second-order collective action dilemma. If big game hunting is an honest signal of a man’s quality as a mate or ally, then receivers who need high-quality mates and allies have their own selfish reasons for attending to it. Although the result of all of this is a public good, only private benefits need be invoked to explain it.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 97; reference: Hawkes, K. 1993. “Why hunter-gatherers work: An ancient version of the problem of public goods.” Current Anthropology. 34(4):341-361.

 

“These human creations, which we will refer to broadly as ‘institutions,’ foster cooperation by providing incentives and common frameworks for social action. Whether institutions are as planned and structured as a government bureaucracy or as spontaneous and fluid as a social norm, they matter.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 101.

 

“… existing social and cultural structures can shape the organizations that foster cooperation. Scholars focusing on social movements have identified three particular such structures as crucial to the success of such movements: political opportunity structures, mobilization structures, and cultural frames. The political opportunity structure is important because social movements have an easier time forming and attaining their goals in some political environments than others. According to sociologist Sidney Tarrow, there are four important dimensions of this political environment to consider: the degree of openness in the formal political institutions, the degree of stability in existing political alignments, the presence or absence of allies, especially influential allies within the governing system, and the presence or absence of conflicts among existing elites. Mobilizational structures are formal or informal means of bringing people together in collective action. Thus they include interest groups, particular methods of protest, and ways of attracting and mobilizing followers. Finally, cultural frames can make it easier or more difficult to mobilize because deeply felt ideas about how society should function or about how individuals should act can influence how people behave. These frames can include existing symbols, cultural understandings and discourses, and any shared meanings within society.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. pp. 106-7; reference: Tarrow, Sidney. 1996. “States and opportunities: The political restructuring of movements. pp. 41-61. In: Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements. McAdam, Doug, J. McCarthy & M. Zald (eds.) Cambridge UP.

 

“Why are some kinds of property held privately and others communally? According to Ostrom, communally owned lands tend to have low rates of production and undependable yields. This means that a large area is needed for them to be used effectively, which makes them hard for a single owner to defend. Grazing land often fits this profile but cropland usually does not, which may explain why communally managed grazing land is so much more common than communally managed cropland.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 110; reference: Ostrom, Elinor. 1996. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge UP.

 

“Based on comparisons between common-pool resource management schemes around the world, Ostrom has identified seven design features that are common to those that last. First, they must have clearly defined boundaries….. Second, the rules of the agreement must be appropriate to local conditions…. Third, those who are affected by the rules must be able to participate in changing them… Fourth, some provisions must be made for monitoring members’ compliance with the agreement…. Fifth, there must be graduated sanctions for violations of the rules…. Sixth, there must be a system for conflict resolution…. Finally, the seventh rules is that there must be no external limits on a community’s efforts to manage a common-pool resource.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. pp. 113-114; reference: Ostom, Elinor.

 

“The phrase ‘cultural group selection’ can be parsed in two ways: ‘{cultural{group selection}}’ and ‘{{cultural group} selection}.’ The difference is subtle but important. In the first case, cultural group selection appears to be a type of group selection, analogous, perhaps, to biological group selection. In the second, it appears to be selection among groups defined in terms of cultural similarities and differences. We encourage readers to think of it in the second way, that is, as a type of selection that acts on groups that are defined in terms of shared culture rather than as a type of group selection that happens to involve culture in some way. This helps separate cultural group selection from biological group selection.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. pp. 115-116.

 

“The basic ideas behind cultural group selection are straightforward. There are patterns in how people acquire culture, such as a tendency to conform to local culture traits and a tendency for common versions of traits to be copied more often than rare ones. These patterns tend to create cultural similarities within groups and differences between them. Some of these cultural differences will lead some groups to outgrow, outlast, and generally out-compete other groups.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 116.

 

“The world created by cultural group selection is one in which competition between groups is important, but group memberships are flexible rather than fixed. This puts pressure on people to be team players but to recognize that they are just that–teams. People need to be able to feel loyalty and commitment toward their current teams while also being willing and able to shift from team to team. In short, we should have psychological mechanisms designed to deal with a world of important but flexible coalitions.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 119.

 

“Although ‘tribes’ are often invoked in the theoretical literature on cultural group selection, we may be better off focusing instead on more temporary and ephemeral coalitions.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 122.

 

“Ethnicities are also surprisingly ephemeral. Where, for example, have all the Picts and Visigoths gone? Although they certainly left behind biological descendants, no one uses those labels to refer to themselves any more. On the other hand, some currently important and seemingly ancient ethnicities are actually quite recent inventions. Only since the nineteenth century has ‘French’ been a meaningful ethnic label for more than a small minority of people in the nation of France. The flexibility and ephemerality of ethnic identity suggests that our evolved psychology for dealing with group life is likely one designed to deal with coalitions that may come and go, rather than long-lasting, bounded, and distinct groups.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. pp. 122-123.

 

“Common knowledge–including common knowledge that there is common knowledge–is the key to solving coordination problems.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 126.

 

“One step beyond joint attention is shared attention, in which two individuals are paying attention to the same thing while also being aware that they are doing so. From here we can move to shared intentionality, in which two individuals come to share a common intention, or goal. Because it allows people to develop different, complementary roles as they work toward their shared goal, shared intentionality is a crucial step toward the role differentiation that typifies social institutions and, thus, a crucial step toward the high degree of coordinated and cooperative social behaviors we see in our species.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 127.

 

“The idea that selection favored those of our ancestors who were best able to coordinate their behavior with others may explain why we do so many things simply for the pleasure of coordinating our actions with those of other people. We dance together, sing and play music together, participate on sports teams together, march together, and so on.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 128.

 

“Recent research has shown that people who engage in simple coordinated behaviors, such as walking in step and singing together, subsequently behave more cooperatively in experimental games.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 129.

 

“In the real world, transforming collective action dilemmas into coordination problems is often a key to solving them.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 130.

 

“Conventions like mealtimes and holidays work because they are common knowledge. If only one person knows about the convention, then it does not really qualify as a convention because it will be unable to help coordinate social interactions. So people need to know that there is a convention. But they need more than that. They also need to know that others know that there is a convention.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 136.

“He [economist Michael Chwe] argues that one of the important functions of rituals is to generate common knowledge.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 137; Reference: Chwe, Michael Suk-Young. 2001. Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge. Princeton UP.

 

“… ethnic markers serve to let people know who is playing the same game that they are playing. Sending and paying attention to ethnic markers can thus make it easier to coordinate one’s behaviors with those of others, even if the markers themselves (e.g., clothing styles) bear no direct relationship to the behaviors being coordinated (e.g., business deals).” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 139.

 

“Frames, scripts, and schemata create common knowledge, making social life easier and cooperation more likely.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 145.

 

“… it may be that the error of contributing to a public good and having that contribution not bear fruit is often a small price to pay compared to the error of failing to help create a public good from which one would have benefitted greatly. Given that our ancestors lived in small groups and among kin, easing the collective action dilemma and creating an indirect fitness benefit, this could easily have pushed our psychology in the direction of erring on the side of participation by overestimating the degree to which our contributions really matter to the success of the collective action.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 182.

 

“Because altruism is involved in some but not all cases of cooperation, the two concepts should remain distinct.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 183.

 

“Some of the keys to successful common-pool resource management include clearly defined boundaries, rules that are appropriate to local conditions, some way of changing the rules, some way of monitoring members’ compliance with the rules, a system of graduated sanctions for rule violators, and a system for conflict resolution.” Cronk, Lee & Beth Leech. 2013. Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton UP. p. 185.

 

“Cultures, however, are more than collections of individuals with shared traits. Cultural groups are organized, and organization matters. I argue that many important behaviors related to the success and function of human societies are only properly defined at the level of groups. I further argue that group-level traits, which involve organized collections of differentiated individuals, present a unit of cultural selection that is not encompassed by selection on individuals.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 243.

 

“Group-level traits are possible when individuals display both differentiation and organization. By differentiation, I mean that individuals take on different roles. The assignment of these roles may be based on differences in innate physical characteristics or abilities, in age or extent of experience, or in deliberate training and specialization. By organization, I mean that differentiated individuals coordinate and collaborate for a shared purpose. Group-level traits rely on organization, but the organization itself is not the trait. Group-level traits are related, but not equivalent to institutions, which are ‘the laws, informal rules, and conventions that give durable structure to social interactions in a population.’ Instead, a group-level trait is the phenotypic effect of social organization. Thus, examples of group-level traits are the music rather than the rock band, the election of a leader who reflects the public interest rather than the democratic voting system, the sailing ship’s voyage rather than the crew positions, the economic surplus rather than the market economy.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 244; Subquote: Bowles, S. 2004. Microeconomics, behavior, institutions, and evolution. Oxford UP. P 47.

 

“Many collective behaviors are largely aggregate [referring to Wimsatt’s analysis] …. Meanwhile, group-level traits are emergent to a much larger degree, because they depend strongly on specific arrangements of differentiated actors in specific organizational roles. The differences between aggregate and emergent properties is often relative, but a useful heuristic for distinguishing group-level traits from collective behaviors is that the latter depend strongly on the specific organization of differentiated individuals, whereas the former do not.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 245.

 

“Half a century of research on cooperation has largely solved this puzzle [of free riders]. Cooperation can evolve if individuals with heritable cooperative tendencies can positively assort, meaning that they tend to interact more with one another than at random. Positive assortment can be facilitated by a variety of mechanisms, including kin recognition, cognitive bookkeeping, spatial assortment with limited dispersal, or goal-directed movement away from free riders.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 247.

 

“How is it that we cooperate so much? Proponents of cultural group selection have argued forcefully for a two-step process. First, cultural learning biases (e.g., conformity, learning from prestigious individuals) and a suite of psychological mechanisms evolved for dealing with social norms combine to maintain within-group similarity and between-group variation. Second, competition between groups selects for groups with cooperative social norms.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 247.

 

“Much of the work on the evolution of cooperation is based on social dilemma games such as the prisoner’s dilemma, public goods, snowdrift, and stag hunt games, and research tends to focus on how to evolve and sustain general practices of cooperation. An implicit assumption of the payoff structures of these cooperative games is that cooperative or altruistic acts are completely general; that is, interacting with one cooperator is just as good as the next…. This structure misses a couple of important points about how cooperation works in human societies. The first is that cooperation is often domain specific. For example, some Indian villagers have been known to cooperate across castes in some domains (e.g., farming) but not others (e.g., marriage).

“The second and much richer point is that with whom one cooperates matters. It matters not only to the individuals involved, but also to other members of the group.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 247.

 

“The real story of how large-scale cooperation became established during the evolution of behaviorally modern humans is likely to have involved a trajectory of organization and differentiation that cannot be captured by more traditional cooperation models. As humans evolved to live in groups, group behaviors such as cooperative breeding and collective foraging allowed them to adapt to environments too harsh to sustain noncooperative individualists. Eventually, such adaptations may have created the necessity for interdependence, in which survival without some minimal amount of cooperation or aid from other group members was impossible. Interdependence sustains cooperation and provides a stable environment of mutual aid in which differentiation, division of labor, and complex group organization can emerge.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 248.

 

“A group with division of labor can easily outperform a group of generalists, but only if those specialists reinforce one another by providing what others lack.

“In this light, cooperation becomes more nuanced and gives way to collaboration, in which specialized individuals form an interdependent network of skills, personalities, and experiences that all contribute to group success.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 248.

 

“Bearing in mind the complications in the proximate/ultimate distinction, three possible proximate explanations for the emergence of group-level traits present themselves. Each is only partly explanatory on its own – a fuller picture requires the incorporation of all three.

“First, some individuals may possess a plan or leadership quality that allows them to direct others into some organization and guide them through a task….

“Second, although individuals may all be exposed to the same socially transmitted information via common cultural environments, environmental and biological differences may create the opportunities for differentiation. Differentiation and division of labor may emerge when small differences are exacerbated through the exploitation of opportunities….

“A third explanation for group-level traits incorporates the facts that humans have cumulative culture, a long developmental trajectory, and lots of generational overlap. Group-level traits may be examples of what Caporael has termed repeated assemblies.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. Pp. 249-250; reference: Caporael, L.R. 2003. “”Repeated assembly.” In: Evolutionary psychology: Alternative approaches. Scher, S.J. & F. Rauscher (eds). Pp. 71-89. Kluwer Academic.

 

“Although many of the people involved in manufacturing human constructions have a mental picture of the finished object, it also true that, in many cases, no single person has either the knowledge or the ability to build that object… Indeed, much of the technology in the developed world is so complex and built on cumulative technologies, designs, and materials that thousands if not millions of individuals may be involved in their construction, none of whom know how to make the completed product.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 249.

 

“… development [in the view of repeated assemblies] is characterized by a process by which the individual is assembled in overlapping cycles – aspects of the current cycle seed the beginning of the next – with cycles occurring at varying timescales and involving varied interactions between the individual, the external environment, and other social interactants. Stages of development may be scaffolded by more experienced individuals, as well as environmental and cultural structures that promote learning and transitions to subsequent stages.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 250.

 

“People do not simply assess and imitate individual behaviors. They adopt entire suites of behaviors, perceptual norms, and decision heuristics. Norm-enforcing institutions allow suites of cultural traits to be transmitted wholesale, which in turn allows for something analogous to natural selection to operate on the group-level traits that emerge from cohesive collections of individual-level traits.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 250.

“Durham discusses a number of ecological, psychological, linguistic, and cultural barriers to the blending of cultures, which he terms transmission isolating mechanisms (TRIMs).” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 250; reference: Durham, W.H. 1991. Coevolution: Genes, culture, and human diversity. Stanford UP.

 

“If culture can influence how members of that culture perceive situations, then culturally transmitted norm-enforcing institutions should indicate norms of organization and roles within those organizations. Narratives, mythologies, and other media take on the important role not only of maintaining differences between cultural groups, but also of maintaining differences between individuals within groups and organizational structures for those individuals.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 251.

 

“Religion may be viewed as one of the primary methods by which a culture maintains its norms of social organization and by which it propagates those norms. In a now-classic study, Cavalli-Sforza and colleagues found that religious traits are among those most strongly influenced by vertical transmission, especially between mothers and offspring. Religious identity is therefore both highly susceptible to cultural transmission and unlikely to change through adult peer influence.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 251; reference: Cavalli-Sforza, L.L., M. Feldman, K. Chen & S. Dornbusch. 1982. “Theory and observation in cultural transmission.” Science. 218:19-27.

 

“Certain types of organizational structures might be necessary to maintain even simple technologies. A sufficiently large population is, in turn, necessary to maintain the levels of complexity in differentiated social networks required to sustain complex technologies. Because complex technology often requires significant division of labor, the costs of specialization may be outweighed by the gains only when the specialist has enough customers and collaborators to be meaningfully useful.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 252.

 

“Human societies are high in what Wimsatt has called interactional complexity. Roughly, this means that an investigator wishing to make useful predictions must simultaneously consider the system from multiple descriptive perspectives, because elements of those different perspectives interact in a causal manner. We can describe societies at the level of individuals, in terms of nuclear families, kin groups, subcultures, and social classes. We can also include infrastructure and transportation, livestock and farming, religious rituals and linguistic traditions, and all this is on top of the descriptive complexity of an individual human. A complex society cannot be adequately described in terms of any single descriptive decomposition.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 252; reference: Wimsatt, W.C. 1974. “Complexity and organization.” In: PSA 1972. Schaffner, J & R. Cohen. Pp. 67-86. Philosophy of Science Association.

 

“Groups are complex organizations of differentiated individuals, and individual behavior is constrained by group organization.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 253.

 

“Cultural anthropologists, for example, have long recognized the importance of characterizing multiple levels of organization in their descriptions of cultures. The fields of management science and organizational psychology are almost entirely devoted to studying aspects of the organization and dynamics of groups.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 253.

 

“A general challenge for mathematical biology is the search for better ways to model multilevel systems… For example, models are needed that capture the difference between the social spreading of a particular individual-level trait and the emergence of group-level behaviors that rely on differentiation and organization.” Smaldino, Paul. 2014. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 253.

 

“Both minimum and maximum constraints on group size would occur: eventually too small a group would have a higher risk of perishing; too large a group strains the carrying capacity of the environment. Because a group mediates individual contact with the environment, and the number of niches within groups is constrained by minimum group size and carrying capacity of the habitat, we expect the evolution of perceptual, affective, and cognitive processes that support the development and maintenance of group membership. In short, we expect humans to have evolved to be obligately interdependent, unable to reproduce and survive to reproductive age outside a group.” Caporael, Linnda & C. Garvey. 2014. “The primacy of scaffolding within groups for the evolution of group-level traits.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 255.

 

“Anthropologists identify three categories of functional group organization among hunter-gatherer groups: hunting and gathering is typically done by workgroups, subdivisions of a band. A band undertakes domestic functions – butchering, preparing food for storage, child-rearing, and adjudicating conflict. A macroband is a seasonal gathering of bands, with a wide range of ritual, social, cognitive, and informational activities.” Caporael, Linnda & C. Garvey. 2014. “The primacy of scaffolding within groups for the evolution of group-level traits.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 255.

 

“Our first suggestion is a conceptual distinction between objective and subjective groups. Objective groups are those whose boundaries are shared by all members of the population, meaning the boundaries between members and non-members are the same from one individual to the next. Objective groups correspond most closely to the common understanding of the word ‘group’ and reflect the definitions used by both advocates and critics of early theories of genetic group selection. Subjective groups are those whose boundaries differ depending on one’s position within the population, meaning that the boundaries between members and non-members will be different from one person to the next. For example, human kinship systems often feature both descent groups – with objective boundaries between lineage members and non-members – and kindreds – with subjective ego-centric boundaries dividing relatives and non-relatives. Although the distinction between objective and subjective groups in this example is dichotomous, in other cases it may be more of a continuum, with some groups displaying more or less objective boundaries than others.

“An advantage of this approach to defining groups is that it can be used to establish clearer links between theories of multilevel selection and empirical research on individual/group dynamics in the social sciences. In particular, the growing interdisciplinary research program in quantitative social network analysis provides a wide range of conceptual and statistical tools for defining groups along the objective/subjective continuum, including clustering, centrality, and cliques, among others.” Gerkey, Drew & L. Cronk. 2014. “What is a group? Conceptual clarity can help integrate evolutionary and social scientific research on cooperation.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. Pp. 260-1.

 

“We submit, however, that an MLS [multi-level selection] model for group-emergent traits well ensconced in inclusive fitness reasoning already exists. This is social heterosis – where group diversity, itself, can be the mutually advantageous trait. Under certain conditions, individuals in heterogeneous groups achieve higher fitness than they would in homogeneous groups, and diverse groups experience more beneficial collective properties than uniform ones do. Social heterosis models examine emergent group-level fitness through nonadditive benefits that individuals gain from being in specific differentiated and organized units. Although originally applied to the maintenance of genetic diversity, social heterosis is also relevant to cultural evolution. The possibility that groups can have collaborative interdependence is an intrinsic part of social heterosis.” Nonacs, Peter & K. Kapheim. 2014. “Cultural evolution and emergent group-level traits through social heterosis.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 267.

 

“… replicative fitness of HIV increased nonadditively when genetically different clones evolved complementary capabilities and could co-infect the same cell. In other words, once an HIV social genome evolved, immune system collapse followed.” Nonacs, Peter & K. Kapheim. 2014. “Cultural evolution and emergent group-level traits through social heterosis.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 267.

“… consider Smaldino’s collaboratively interdependent ‘seal-hunters’ and ‘kayak-builders.’ Social heterosis is evident as cultural epistasis: For example, successful groups require both skills to be present and payoffs are nonadditive.” Nonacs, Peter & K. Kapheim. 2014. “Cultural evolution and emergent group-level traits through social heterosis.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 267.

 

“Social heterosis and social genomes are MLS models and fit comfortably in an inclusive fitness framework such as Hamilton’s Rule (i.e., traits are selectively favored when benefits provided to relatives exceed costs to the actors, or rb-c>0). The key to social heterosis is that relatedness, benefit, and cost are not independent variables; instead, benefits provided (b) or costs incurred (c) correlate with relatedness (r) at the group level.” Nonacs, Peter & K. Kapheim. 2014. “Cultural evolution and emergent group-level traits through social heterosis.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 267.

 

“Given that humans are equipped to share intentionality, conformity around beliefs, goals, intentions, and so on readily come under the remit of our normative psychology. Research suggests that humans are particularly evolved to respond to social norms.” O’Gorman, Rick. 2014. “Homogenetity of mind can yield heterogeneity in behavior producing emergent collaboration in groups.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 268.

 

“Campbell recognized that in early human cultural evolution (e.g., the early cultural evolution of tools and weapons), the physical environment played an important role, and what tools and weapons evolved were directly affected by biological fitness. However, for the evolution of group-level traits (e.g., social organization, inhibitory moral norms, and beliefs in transcendent gods), Campbell’s view was that biological evolution plays a minimal role at best. For many cultural traits, and especially group-level traits, vicarious selection mechanisms are required. For example, flint-knapping practices for making stone tools and weapons can be selected and transmitted by imitating or learning from those who are successful flintknappers. Individual learning is a biologically evolved mechanism, which also serves as a vicarious selection mechanism for rapidly evolving cultural practices such as flintknapping.

“Vicarious selection mechanisms require variation to operate on, but Campbell’s requirement for blind variation-generating mechanisms in culture is too strong and not essential for models of cultural evolution. Unlike genetic heritability mechanisms in biological evolution, there are many heritability mechanisms in cultural evolution. Campbell, like Smaldino, identified many retention and transmission mechanisms in culture such as imitation, individual learning, indoctrination systems, writing, and printing. There are, of course, others especially with the introduction of the Internet, and most importantly, they are still culturally evolving.” Schank, Jeffrey. 2014. “Strong group-level traits and selection-transmission thickets.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 272; reference: Campbell, D.T. 1975. “On the conflicts between biological and social evolution and between psychology and moral tradition.” American Psychologist. 30(1):103-26.

 

“Mechanisms for selecting, generating variation, and transmitting cultural traits are often intertwined. For example, imitating the practices of one group also involves the selection of which practices are partially imitated. In addition, the selection and imitation of practices can introduce new variation resulting from imperfect imitation as with the cultural evolution of cargo cults. Unlike natural selection in which mechanisms of heritability, mutation, and selection are independent or nearly so, mechanisms of selection, variation, and transmission in cultural evolution can be properties of a single organization.” Schank, Jeffrey. 2014. “Strong group-level traits and selection-transmission thickets.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 272.

 

To this entanglement of mechanisms of selection, variation, and transmission, it must be added that as cultures evolve and become increasingly complex, new vicarious selection, variation, and transmission mechanisms (VSVTMs) evolve and appear at new levels in culture. The cultural evolution of military strategies, tactics, and organization by war games is one example. War games allow new tactics and strategies for warfare – group-level traits – to evolve without conducting actual war. War games are social organizations, but they are also VSVTMs for evolving new social organizations with tactics and strategies for actual wars. The evolution of VSVTMs does not end there; in modern militaries, computer-simulated war games introduce a new layer of VSVTMs.” Schank, Jeffrey. 2014. “Strong group-level traits and selection-transmission thickets.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. Pp. 272-3.

 

“Furthermore, because religion is one of the most effective mechanisms for transmitting whole suites of cultural traits, such as hierarchies that reinforce the group’s social organization, it is one of the most important constituents of traits at the group level.

“We are in general agreement with Smaldino’s account, but we think he has overlooked two crucial points about religion: its unique role in stabilizing prosocial norms and its distinct effectiveness at transmitting suites of cultural traits. Approaching religion as an institution, as Smaldino does, can lead to worthwhile insights about the social structures that support religion and the functions of religion as a cultural organization. However, analyzing religions as complex systems more accurately reveals the structures that maintain religions, as well as the traits that emerge from them.” Sosis, Richard & J. Kiper. 2014. “Why religion is better conceived as a complex system than a norm-enforcing institution.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. Pp. 275-6.

“Although we are critical of Smaldino’s characterization of religion as a norm-enforcing institution, we believe that an adaptive systems approach is consistent with his argument for the emergence of group-level traits and provides various explanatory advances to his conception of religion….

“First, understanding religion as a complex adaptive system clarifies how religions succeed at transmitting suites of cultural behaviors while concurrently adapting to varying socioenvironmental conditions. Religious systems achieve this apparent opposition by maintaining hierarchies of religious discourse, in which adherents focus on core statements of belief that remain unchanged even as interpretations of those statements change over time….

“Second, the complex adaptive systems approach exposes the mechanisms by which religious systems achieve extensive cooperation and coordination, as observed experimentally and ethnographically. One such mechanism is religious signaling systems: religious activities are costly and thus serve as honest signals that enable and sustain trust, allowing groups to cooperate and coordinate socially….

“Third, the complex systems approach can explain the variation in social structures across religious systems, including religious variations among bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and states.” Sosis, Richard & J. Kiper. 2014. “Why religion is better conceived as a complex system than a norm-enforcing institution.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 276.

 

“In addition to these three advances, the complex systems approach also overcomes several inherent limitations to Smaldino’s understanding of religion as a norm-enforcing institution. First, Smaldino situates social norms outside of religious systems, such that religious institutions act on norms that emerge independently, which is unreflective of human history. The systems approach in contrast, recognizes that religion was not a separate and well-defined arena of social activity for most of human existence. Rather, religious systems permeated all aspects of social life, and thus norms coevolved with the system itself. Second, religious systems not only enforce norms, but they also naturalize them. Because religion is comprised of cognitive, behavioral, and developmental elements – and regularly activates human senses – it fully engages practitioners, making social norms feel correct and natural.” Sosis, Richard & J. Kiper. 2014. “Why religion is better conceived as a complex system than a norm-enforcing institution.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 276.

 

“If group cognition is countenanced, it is understood atomistically, as the aggregate output of individual cognition plus social processes of combination. Little attention is paid to collaborative interdependence as the hallmark of emergent group-level cognition, as expressed in the Gestalt maxim that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’” Theiner, Georg & J. Sutton. 2014. “The collaborative emergence of group cognition.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 277.

 

“The fact that collaborative facilitation is surprisingly hard to find experimentally suggests not that emergent group cognition does not occur, but that the conditions under which it is beneficial are surprisingly fragile.” Theiner, Georg & J. Sutton. 2014. “The collaborative emergence of group cognition.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 278.

 

“Apart from lacking ecological validity, such narrow focus [social combination approaches in small group research, which tend to be output- rather than process-oriented] can lead us to misconstrue the functions of real-world group cognition. An important function of shared remembering, for example, is to reinforce social bonds, by merging disparate memories into a stable rendering of shared past experiences.” Theiner, Georg & J. Sutton. 2014. “The collaborative emergence of group cognition.” Peer commentary to: Smaldino, Paul. “The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 37:243-295. P. 278.

 

Homo erectus was the lone survivor of early Homo species diversity and also the first hominin to exhibit extensive range expansion. Shortly after the increase in Northern Hemispheric glaciation around 2.5 Ma, multiple, contemporaneous morphs of Homo and Australopithecus are recognized. In East Africa, between about 2.1–1.7 Ma three named species of Homo (H. habilis [1.9–1.44 Ma], H. rudolfensis [2.1–1.78 Ma], and H. erectus [1.95–0.9 Ma in Africa; and later worldwide]), all persisted in the same locales over a period of at least a few hundred thousand years.” Anton, Susan & C. Kuzawa. 2017. “Early Homo, plasticity and the extended evolutionary synthesis.” Interface Focus. 7:20170004. P. 8.

 

“The four key insights are as follows:

“1. A holistic perspective is essential in management. If we have management decisions on any other perspective, we are likely to experience results different from those intended because only the whole is reality.

“2. Environments may be classified on a continuum from nonbrittle to very brittle according to how well humidity is distributed throughout the year and how quickly dead vegetation breaks down. At either end of the scale, environments respond differently to the same influences. For instance, allowing land to rest restores it in nonbrittle environments but damages it in very brittle environments.

“3. In brittle environments, relatively high numbers of large, herding animals, concentrated and moving as they naturally do in the presence of pack-hunting predators, are vital to maintaining the health of the lands we thought they destroyed.

“4. In any environment, overgrazing and damage from trampling bear little relationship to the number of animals, but rather to the amount of time plants and soils are exposed to the animals.” Savory, Allan & J. Butterfield. 2016. Holistic Management: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore our Environment, Third Edition. Island Press. Pp. 19-20.

 

“The presence of these herds was significant because they consumed a fair amount of plant material while it was still green and growing, and they continued consuming it long after all growth had stopped, and they trampled what they didn’t eat onto the ground. In the moist digestive tracts of these animals, a mass of microorganisms continued to thrive in the nongrowing season and managed to reduce the large volume of material consumed to dung. In the following growing season when insect and external microorganisms populations once again became numerous, they would consume the dung, as well as the dead vegetation that had been trampled onto the soil, and thus complete the cycle of decay.” Savory, Allan & J. Butterfield. 2016. Holistic Management: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore our Environment, Third Edition. Island Press. P. 41.

 

“In an effective water cycle little water is lost to runoff or evaporation from the soil. Most water penetrates the soil, only subsequently leaving it through transpiring plants, by flowing down to underground reservoirs or out through rivers and streams. A good air-to-water balance exists in the soil, enabling plant roots to absorb water readily, as most plants require oxygen as well as water around their roots to grow.

“In a noneffective water cycle, plants get minimal opportunity to use the full amount of precipitation received. Much is lost to soil surface runoff, and of that which does soak into the soil much is subsequently lost through evaporation from bare soil surfaces.” Savory, Allan & J. Butterfield. 2016. Holistic Management: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore our Environment, Third Edition. Island Press. P. 102.

 

“More than any other single factor an effective water cycle requires management that maintains soil cover, followed by soil life, organic matter, aeration, and drainage.” Savory, Allan & J. Butterfield. 2016. Holistic Management: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore our Environment, Third Edition. Island Press. P. 106.

 

“Theories within the equilibria approach view institutions as behavioral patterns that tend to persist because individuals have no incentive to deviate from the pattern unilaterally (unless everyone else does the same).” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. xxiii.

 

“By combining the rules account with the equilibria account we obtain a unified theory that I call the rules-in-equilibrium approach to the study of institutions.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. xxv.

 

“There is an important asymmetry between informal and formal institutions: while ‘purely’ informal institutions are quite common, it is difficult to find examples of institutions that consist exclusively of formal rules.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 7.

 

“So fiat money is sustained by two mechanisms: (1) individuals know that fiat money reduces their transaction costs, and (2) they know that they will be punished if they do not use it in some transactions (e.g., tax payments).” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. pp. 40-41.

 

“Borders and territories are institutional entities. The Nuer and the Dinka have developed a rudimentary institution of private property. But how can this institution be modeled in game theoretic form? Notice that borders and territories are not even represented in the grazing game: they are extra-theoretic features that help find a solution to the coordination problem…. the solution devised by the Dinka and the Nuer involves a new set of conditional strategies. Each tribesman, in particular, conditions his move (G[raze] or NG [not graze]) on the position of the patch of land relative to the old river’s bed. If it is north the Nuer graze it, if it is south only the Dinka do it.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 46.

 

“Solutions of this kind are correlated equilibria. A correlated equilibrium of a game G is a Nash equilibrium of a larger game G* obtained [by] augmenting G with the addition of new strategies. The new strategies prescribe actions conditional on the occurrence of an external event that is not part of the original game. They take the form of ‘if X then do Y’ statements, where X is a property of the correlation device.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 48.

 

“History creates a focal point for coordination. If no event or correlation stands out ‘naturally,’ then a group of ingenious players can try to make one of them more salient–by means of teaching, acculturation, and training. But there is no game-theoretic account of which correlations we naturally hook onto… Clearly the theory of correlated equilibria does not solve the ‘mystery’ of salience. It does, however, solve an important puzzle of social ontology. Recall the question we started from: are institutions rules, or equilibria of a game? We can now see that the answer is ‘both’: an institution may be considered as an equilibrium or as a rule of the game, depending on the perspective that one takes.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 50.

 

“But the convention is not a Nash equilibrium of the original game–it is a correlated equilibrium of the old game, and a Nash equilibrium of the augmented game. The contrast between rules and equilibria approaches is perhaps due to a failure to appreciate this distinction between equilibrium concepts. But with the introduction of correlated equilibria both approaches are vindicated: we have achieved a unified view of social ontology. We shall call it the rules-in-equilibrium theory of social institutions.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 51.

 

“Although institutions may be particular types of equilibria, it is clear that not all equilibria are institutions. Take mutual defection in a prisoner’s dilemma game for example. The pair of strategies DD is an equilibrium, but intuitively it is not an institution….The reason is not merely that mutual defection is worse than mutual cooperation. The reason is that in the prisoner’s dilemma each agent can implement the defection strategy independently. There is no need to correlate one’s actions with those of the other player.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. pp. 51-2.

 

“Let us stipulate that institutions are equilibria of coordination games, then. Although this condition takes us in the right direction, it is still too permissive. The problem is that correlated equilibria are too common: several nonhuman animals solve coordination games exploiting correlation devices, and animals do not have institutions.

“A classic example is Pararge aegeria, a butterfly living in the woodlands of Asia and Europe. Male butterflies patrol the patches of sunlight that appear on the woodland’s floor, where they mate with females after a brief courtship. When a male enters a sunspot that is already occupied by another male, it is attacked by the incumbent. After a brief fight, the defeated butterfly leaves the spot. Remarkably, the intruder is nearly always defeated, and the incumbent nearly always retains its territory. Similar patterns have been observed in swallowtails, baboons and lions. The standard interpretation is that males engage in repeated hawk-dove games, where they both have an interest to avoid the out-of-equilibrium outcome (hawk, hawk). As a solution, they have evolved pairs of strategies that minimize damage by granting the territory and the mating opportunity to the incumbent after a purely symbolic contest.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. pp. 52-3.

 

“A group of butterflies cannot coordinate on anything but who occupied the sunspot first. They can play only this particular strategy. They cannot invent a new equilibrium. Humans, in contrast, can: they hook onto different correlations, invent constantly new strategies, and dramatically enlarge the number of possible equilibria.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 53.

“Searle’s primary goal with the X-counts-as-Y formula is to explicate the relation between noninstitutional reality–the realm of physical entities, for example–and institutional facts. X terms in the formula refer to noninstitutional or preinstitutional facts, and Y terms refer to institutional facts (events, entities, properties). Searle uses the expression ‘status function’ to express the idea that the creation of institutions implies the assignment of new functions to objects or events that otherwise would not have that function. Another way to put it is that institutional reality is ‘built upon’ or ‘superimposed’ on the natural world.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 59.

 

“Of course a single rule does not exhaust a complex institution like baseball. A typical institution involves a large number of constitutive rules. As Searle rightly points out, the rules act as constraints on the actions of the individuals who are involved, but at the same time also create opportunities that otherwise would not exist. You cannot hit a home run or steal a base if the institution of baseball does not exist,….” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 61.

 

“Or, to put it differently, regulative rules can be extended to create constitutive rules at no cost, merely by inventing new Y-terms, because the Y-terms refer to regulative rules.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 65.

 

“… Searle’s version of the constitutive rule formula is elliptic. Unless we say what Y stands for, it does not mean very much. The formula must be made explicit by specifying the content of Y. Once this has been done, we can see that the full constitutive rule has the XYZ grammatical form [if C then X is Y, and if Y then Z].” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 66.

 

“… such an institution [driving on the left as compared to property] is too simple to deserve a name. The institution of driving on the left is exhausted by a single regulative rule (if you are in Japan, then drive on the left). Theoretical terms are useful if they promote economy of language and thought, and in fact we usually give names to institutions–like property or marriage–that are more complicated than driving on the left.

“A single institutional term is usually introduced to refer at once to a bundle of rules that govern behavior in a [sic] various related strategic interactions. The bundle in other words is far from arbitrary or ‘gerrymandered.’ Across different societies, for example, the rules of marriage regulate activities like the rearing of children, insurance, inheritance, and sexual access. But we do not use a single term for all these rules by coincidence: on the contrary, the rules that regulate behavior in one domain are functional to promote specific behaviors in other domains.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 67.

 

“So, how are the functional properties of institutions accounted for by a theory that considers the Y terms inessential and in principle eliminable? According to Hindriks’s view, the Y terms are theoretical terms that we use to name institutions, that is, the bundles of regulative rules that govern our interactions in sets of related games. So if the Y terms refer to functions, the functions must somehow be fulfilled by the regulative rules. Since the notion of function is strictly related to purpose and goal, the question can be rephrased like this: What is the purpose of regulative rules? What goal do they help to accomplish?

“The answer is straightforward: regulative rules, like the rules of traffic, the rules of private property, or the rules of money, facilitate coordination. Achieving coordination–with low effort and high reliability–is the main function of institutions.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 71; reference: Hindriks, F. 2009. “Constitutive Rules, Language, and Ontology.” Erkenntnis 71:253-275.

 

“There is a strict relation between coordination equilibria and functions. Recall that an equilibrium is a profile of actions, and the actions can be formulated as rules. So whenever a combination of actions leads to an outcome that is better than a relevant alternative, it is natural to say that the rules that indicate the actions have a function–the function of making us better off.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 72.

 

“Clearly a pair of alternating red and green lights could not have any function by themselves. They do acquire a function, however, when they are used to correlate our behavior in a coordination game. But to say that the creation of institutions involves the assignment of functions to a physical object is elliptic and obscures the most important part of the mechanism. The creation of institutions involves first and foremost the creation and the implementation of rules that make us better off, compared to an alternative outcome. If the rules condition our behavior on external events, then the events (or correlation devices) help to fulfill that function.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 73.

 

“Permission is one of three basic operators of deontic logic. The other two are obligation (ought, must, is obliged to) and prohibition (cannot, may not, is forbidden). The three operators are mutually interdefinable, that is, one can express any deontic statement using one of the other operators plus negation. For example:

“You must do A = you cannot do not-A.

“You can do A = you do not have to do not-A.

This is not a pure grammatical or logical curiosity: it means that any institutional rule expressed in deontic form imposes or lifts some constraints on behavior. Moreover, it is an interesting fact of institutional rules that they usually create mutual constraints. My rights are your obligations, and vice versa.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 75.

 

“For simplicity, when a convention is augmented with deontic force imposing extra constraints on players’ behavior, we shall call it a norm.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 76.

 

“Representing normative power by means of delta parameters (costs) facilitates the extension of the unified theory beyond the realm of coordination games… Normative rules thus can turn a cooperation problem into a coordination problem: norms change the games that people play. And, of course, they also work as coordination devices (choreographers) in the coordination games that have just come about.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 80.

 

“Notice that norms then ‘solve’ dilemmas of cooperation only in a peculiar sense. Games such as the one-shot prisoner’s dilemma cannot be properly solved, because there is no way to escape the disturbing conclusion that players ought to defect, without changing the rules of the game. The only ‘solution’ is to change the game itself, and this is precisely what institutions endowed with normative power can do. They create new equilibria introducing costs that make defection unattractive, at least within a certain range of payoffs.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. pp. 81-2.

 

“Deontic power however is unnecessary only if the players [within an equilibrium] have full information and never make mistakes. In real life people have the unfortunate propensity to make mistakes, to misinterpret the signals sent by the choreographer, and sometimes they are also uncertain about the payoffs of the game. In such cases it is useful to have some extra mechanism that helps enforce conformity with a rule.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 82.

 

“Thus, norms help explain not only the persistence of institutions, or how they can remain in force in the face of incentive to deviate; sometimes they also explain the emergence of new equilibria, when they are introduced ex novo. A central authority, like a government or a recognized leader, can reshape a game with ‘bad’ equilibria … and turn it into a better game.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. pp. 82-3.

 

“Adam Morton, one of the pioneers of simulation theory, has proposed a simple account of mindreading in coordination games. The idea is that when two individuals have a goal in common they predict each other’s actions and interpret each other’s beliefs by means of a procedure that he calls solution thinking. Each agent asks: what is the easiest or the most natural way to tackle this problem? What is the obvious solution? If there is a clear answer, then the same reasoning is attributed to the other player by default….

“Seen from the point of view of an individual player, solution thinking can be reconstructed as follows:

“1. S is the obvious solution to the coordination problem.

“2. You also think that S is the obvious solution to the coordination problem.

“3. To achieve S, I must do X and you must do Y.

“4. You also think that I must do X and you must do Y.

“Simulation occurs in the second and fourth steps.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. pp. 96-7; reference: Morton, Adam. 2003. The Importance of Being Understood. Routledge.

 

“Intentionality is a technical term used in philosophy to refer to the property of a mental state to be about something or to be directed toward something… Among the mental states that have intentionality, there are also intentions in the ordinary sense of the term, that is, mental states that play a specific role in directing and causing action (for this reason, and to avoid confusion with the more general concept of intentionality, philosophers sometimes call them ‘intentions in action’).” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 102.

 

“There are some differences between team reasoning and solution thinking, though. The first difference is that in team reasoning HH is the obvious solution because it is the best one for the team. The rational solution is the focal point. In solution thinking, in contrast, HH is focal because it is the best outcome for me and the best outcome for you. Since we both think in the same way, HH is the obvious thing to do.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 112.

 

“Notice that solution thinking and team reasoning also provide different explanations of coordination failures: on the one hand, coordination may fail because I cannot be confident that the others see the same obvious solution as I do (it is a simulation failure); on the other, it may fail because there is no ‘fusion of egos’ in the collective agent. But the two processes may well be complementary, and be used by the same individuals depending on what the situation requires. In the case of team reasoning the agent is a third party–the team–with which the players identify, and the reasoning of the team is simulated in we-mode. In solution thinking, in contrast, all the thinking is carried out in I-mode; the players identify with one another, and their beliefs are derived by reasoning backward from an outcome to a profile of strategies.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 113.

 

“Institutional terms are used to label people, for example when we assign roles that help coordination in our everyday interactions (husband, wife; policeman, thief; prime minister, king). And they are also employed to label things, when such things are used as correlation devices in the games that we play. A stone becomes a second base, a square line a penalty box; a piece of paper becomes a dollar bill, a building a church.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 119.

 

“In a reflexive social relation, each event or variable is both a cause and an effect of another event or variable (X causes Y and Y causes X).” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 120.

 

“The mechanics of reflexivity is fairly simple: we represent X as Y, and as a consequence X begins to behave like an entity of type Y.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 123.

 

“… multiple equilibria are ubiquitous in social life. The impression that reflexivity is peculiar and malign comes from the fact that in many cases there is an alternative, which is feasible and better than the equilibrium in which the players are trapped.

“The fact that there are many equilibria does not imply that they are all equally likely to occur though.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 125.

 

“The problem is that interactive kinds [per Ian Hacking] are quite common, even in the natural realm. Mary Douglas who first pointed this out, mentioned microbes, calling an entity staphylococcus may have real consequences for its future existence (how it reproduces or dies out, for example, or whether it mutates into something else as a consequence of our attempts to exterminate it).” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 135; reference: Douglas, Mary. 1986. How Institutions Think. Syracuse UP.

 

“The consensus is that we cannot dodge these counterexamples and save Hacking’s demarcation criterion. But although it does not capture a demarcation between natural and social sciences, the criterion captures a real difference between two kinds of kinds….

“They lack necessity, rather than stability.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. pp. 135-7.

 

“And this [stereotyping based on labels] is unsurprising, in a sense: an important function of classifications is to stabilize behavior, facilitate convergence on equilibria, generate behavioral regularities.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 142.

 

“The equilibrium approach explains why a social category or institution can be at the same time contingent (because it is one among many possible equilibria) and stable (because it is an equilibrium).

“Social constructionists should welcome this analysis. It explains why their project is legitimate and feasible (it can succeed), and why challenging everyday classifications is an important part of the constructionist task. It also explains why it may be very difficult to succeed, and why some classifications may be more entrenched than others (the equilibria are more robust).” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 142.

 

“Infallibilism and antirealism go hand in hand because their opposites–realism and fallibilism–are tightly related. If the objects that we represent are independent of our representations (realism), then they can be misrepresented (fallibilism); if they are dependent on representations (antirealism) then they cannot be misrepresented (infallibilism).” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 151.

 

“… the differences between institutional and natural kinds are less important than many philosophers have surmised. The characteristic properties of institutional kinds ought to be discovered, just as in the natural realm. Membership in an institutional kind, moreover, is not a purely conventional matter. Conventions do play a role, but only in the choice of the devices that coordinate actions and beliefs. The choice of these devices may be arbitrary, within certain limits, but is not essential for the constitution of institutional kinds. The truly important properties–those that turn a token piece of paper into money, for example–are not conventional at all: they are functional properties, and they involve facts like the likelihood that others will accept paper bills in exchange for goods and services. These facts in turn depend on other facts like the number of bills circulating in the economy, economic growth, or the military power of the state. Collective attitudes toward the kind itself are neither necessary not sufficient for the constitution of money.” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 175.

 

“So it is not rare for the same institutional term to live a double life, as a theoretical term associated with a scientific conception embedded in a scientific theory, and as an everyday term associated with an informal concept embedded in a folk theory [example is what makes Elizabeth Mary Windsor the queen of England].” Guala, Francesco. 2016. Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together. Princeton UP. p. 179.

 

“We will assume that the first transition, from a largely vegetarian primate living in fission-fusion societies in woodland landscapes, to a savannah-living partly carnivorous cooperative hunter type of living, was made possible by changes in social organization not unlike those seen in other lineages that ended up adopting a combination of cooperative breeding and hunting.” Powers, Simon, C. van Schaik & L. Lehmann. 2015. “How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 371: 20150098. p. 2.

 

“The rules of the political game can also themselves be set by rules generated by another game form, referred to as a ‘constitutional’ game form by Ostrom. This constitutional game form will, in turn, be played even less frequently. Finally, the rules of the constitutional game form will themselves be set by a ‘meta-constitutional’ game form, but this series of rule-generating game forms eventually begins with the unchangeable rules of the biophysical world and terminates with the economic game form that generates material pay-offs.” Powers, Simon, C. van Schaik & L. Lehmann. 2015. “How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 371: 20150098. p. 3; reference: Ostrom, E. 2005. Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton UP.

 

“Arrow’s impossibility theorem says that there is no satisfactory way of making social decisions once individuals have sufficiently different preferences.” Powers, Simon, C. van Schaik & L. Lehmann. 2015. “How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 371: 20150098. p. 5; reference: Mas-Colell A., M. Whinston & J. Green. 1995. Microeconomic Theory. Oxford UP.

 

“However, we note that once it evolved, language had two key consequences for hunter-gatherer social evolution. First, language made teaching more effective, which provided more scope for cumulative cultural evolution and hence the development of new technologies. Second, once in place, language enabled individuals to negotiate their rules of social interactions; that is, to start to create institutions for the first time.” Powers, Simon, C. van Schaik & L. Lehmann. 2015. “How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 371: 20150098. p. 6.

 

“While some other primates do practise some degree of food sharing, they do not have non-dyadic systems of food sharing which are regulated and enforced by impartial rules that apply to everyone in the group. This suggests that institutional rules are necessary to regulate such systems of sharing, and hence that the supporting institutional rules co-evolved with extended food sharing in hunter-gatherers after the advent of language.” Powers, Simon, C. van Schaik & L. Lehmann. 2015. “How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 371: 20150098. p. 6.

 

“… many more examples of institutional rules in extant hunter-gatherer societies. These include rules concerning access to mating partners within the groups (prohibitions and prescriptions on the basis of age, kin or ritual membership), polygyny (degree allowed and who may practice it), regulation of violent conflict within and between groups, and rules regulating political power (rules of turn-taking in discussions, and rules governing who will be the leader for different social activities). Institutional rules also affect life history, by specifying who must give resources to juveniles.” Powers, Simon, C. van Schaik & L. Lehmann. 2015. “How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 371: 20150098. p. 6.

 

“There are at least three alternative hypotheses for the evolutionary origin of large-scale human societies. The first rests on individuals performing biased social learning, especially conformity-based learning, whereby individuals tend to imitate the most frequent behaviours within their group. This creates high cultural relatedness within groups, and thus enables cultural group selection…. Consequently, in contrast to the institutional-path hypothesis, the biased-social learning hypothesis entails that cooperation is often maladaptive at the individual level. Yet although experiments show that human infants develop a propensity for unconditional helping by the age of 2 years, by the age of 3 years they start to become influenced by the past behaviour of their partners. In other words, as they develop, children do start to take account of the expected benefit when deciding whether to cooperate. Such individually beneficial cooperation is expected under the institutional path hypothesis….

“The second alternative hypothesis presupposes the formation of coercive hierarchy, which results from strong asymmetries in physical strength or power within groups. Coalitions of powerful individuals (elites) are able to coerce others when surpluses, as produced by agriculture, are large enough to be exploited….

“The third alternative hypothesis (the ‘interdependence hypothesis’) is based on the idea that cooperation in early humans was mutualistic, with individuals becoming highly dependent on each other through the scavenging of the carcasses of large game, which later extended into cooperative hunting. This required the development of shared intentionality, and then other advanced socio-cognitive features such as language, in order to ensure successful coordination in high risk Stag-Hunt game situations. The high interdependence of individuals, combined with the possibility of partner choice, provided an incentive for individuals to use reputation when deciding whether to cooperate with an individual.” Powers, Simon, C. van Schaik & L. Lehmann. 2015. “How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 371: 20150098. p. 8.

“A rough analogy [for the huge gap between the bottom up of biochemical beginnings and the top down from extant organisms to LUCA] can be drawn with the surface of last scattering in cosmology, which represents the point in cosmological history when the Universe became transparent to photons, such that information could propagate freely. We have only indirect evidence of the epochs preceding the decoupling of photons in the early Universe, just as we have only indirect evidence of the evolutionary epoch before the translation machinery solidified, enabling genetic information to propagate freely.” Walker, Sara, N. Packard & G. Cody. 2017. “Re-conceptualizing the origins of life.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 375:20160337. p. 2.

 

“The majority of these [hundreds of definitions of life] tend to be phenomenologically motivated rather than motivated by first principles.” Walker, Sara, N. Packard & G. Cody. 2017. “Re-conceptualizing the origins of life.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 375:20160337. p. 5.

 

“Our uncertainties in the most fundamental properties of life have left the origins-of-life researchers with a conundrum–without an understanding of what life is, how can we approach understanding its origins?” Walker, Sara, N. Packard & G. Cody. 2017. “Re-conceptualizing the origins of life.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 375:20160337. p. 5.

 

“It is also debated whether Darwinian evolution emerged early or late. The capability to undergo Darwinian evolution also necessitates a population and is not a property of individuals, muddling our ability to interpret what it means for the capacity to undergo Darwinian evolution to be a key property of life (or at least changing how we define life). In the context of life’s origins, the Darwinian definition provides few insights into the systems that could have preceded the first Darwinian replicator.” Walker, Sara, N. Packard & G. Cody. 2017. “Re-conceptualizing the origins of life.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 375:20160337. p. 6.

 

“The challenge with current definitional frameworks for understanding life is they focus on life as a system or thing, rather than a process. This leads to a black-or-white distinction between life and non-life: something is alive or it is not. This provides little insight into the chemical networks of ‘almost life’ that span the stages of complexity between prebiotic molecules and fully functioning cellular life….” Walker, Sara, N. Packard & G. Cody. 2017. “Re-conceptualizing the origins of life.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: A. 375:20160337. p. 6.

 

“Once upon a time, philosophy reigned supreme, just below theology. Then, as some part of philosophy began to achieve intellectual success, it broke away and established itself as a separate discipline, distinct from philosophy. This happened again and again, each time diminishing philosophy until it became the impoverished thing that it is today. First, physics and astronomy became astonishingly successful, and established themselves as independent sciences. Then chemistry, biology, geology. And then the social sciences: economics, anthropology, psychology, sociology, political science. Finally, logic and linguistics broke away, and established themselves as successful independent disciplines. The moment a bit of philosophy becomes successful, it ceased to be philosophy! Only the unsuccessful residue persists as philosophy.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. pp. 58-9.

 

“Our fundamental problem of all of thought and life can, in my view, be put like this:

How can our human world, and the world of sentient life more generally, imbued with perceptual qualities, consciousness, free will, meaning, and value, exist and best flourish embedded as it is in the physical universe?” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 62.

 

“This then, is what philosophy in my view ought to be, global philosophy, that discipline which seeks to keep alive awareness of our fundamental problems, especially our most fundamental problem of all, as formulated above, and the nest of nightmare dilemmas it contains. This means that a basic proper task of philosophy is to help solve a multitude of intellectual problems, and problems of living, that arise as a result of taking seriously what it is that modern science tells us about the universe – and ourselves. Global philosophy is, from the outset, inextricably linked to modern science – provoked by, even at times at odds with, in conflict with, the view of the world ushered in with science.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 63.

 

“There are four elementary, uncontroversial rules of rational problem-solving that we need to consider.

“1. Articulate, and seek to improve the articulation of, the fundamental problem to be solved.

“2. Propose and critically assess possible solutions.

“3. If the fundamental problem to be solved proves intractable, specialize. Break the basic problem up into subordinate problems. Tackle analogous, easier-to-solve problems, in an attempt to work gradually to the solution to the basic problem.

“4. But if one engages in specialized problem-solving in this way, make sure that specialized and fundamental problem-solving interact, so that each influences the other (since otherwise specialized problem-solving is likely to become unrelated to the fundamental problems we seek to solve).” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 64.

 

“Let us now consider the problem of induction. In 1739 David Hume published A Treatise of Human Nature, in which he pointed out, in effect, that science cannot establish laws or theories by means of evidence. For however empirically well-established a theory may be, it must always be possible, for all that we can know for certain, for the course of nature suddenly to change in such a way that the predictions of the theory become dreadfully false.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 71.

 

In science, no factual thesis about the world, or about the phenomena, can be accepted as a part of scientific knowledge independently of empirical considerations.

“Standard empiricism, as I have just characterized it, is widely, almost universally, taken for granted by scientists, philosophers of science, and the public alike.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 73.

 

“It is general acceptance of standard empiricism that keeps science and philosophy apart. Philosophical doctrines are not empirically testable; hence, given standard empiricism, they have no significant role within science.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 74.

 

“Physics cannot proceed on the basis of evidence alone. Infinitely many different theories will always successfully predict all the evidence we have accumulated. In deciding what theories to accept and reject, two kinds of methods need to be employed: (1) empirical methods, which determine what theories are to be accepted and rejected on the basis of empirical success and failure; (2) ostensibly non-empirical methods which determine what theories are to be accepted and rejected on the basis of theoretical unity, simplicity, explanatory character, and other such characteristics of theories. We need both. The second may even override the first, as we have seen. Whatever specific form (2) takes – whatever we decide to mean by theoretical ‘unity’ – inevitably this amounts to selecting out, from the domain of possible theories compatible with available evidence, a highly restricted domain of acceptably unified theories.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. pp. 79-80.

 

“What is being appealed to here is a quite basic principle of rigour or rationality, which can be stated like this:

Rationality requires that assumptions that are influential, problematic, and implicit be made explicit so that they can be subjected to imaginative and critical scrutiny, in an attempt to improve them.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. pp. 80-1.

 

“What all this reveals is that a profound dilemma lies at the heart of science, the very existence of which is obscured by standard empiricism. It deserves to be called the fundamental dilemma of science. It can be put like this. Science must make some kind of conjectural assumption about the ultimate nature of the universe (evidence alone is not enough).” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 81.

 

“The basic idea [of aim-oriented empiricism] is that, in order to give ourselves the best chance of improving the metaphysical assumption accepted by physics, we need to represent this assumption in the form of a hierarchy of assumptions which become, as one goes up the hierarchy, less and less substantial, and more nearly such that their truth is required for science, or the pursuit of knowledge, to be possible at all. In this way we create a relatively unproblematic framework of assumptions and associated methodological rules high up in the hierarchy, below which much more substantial, problematic assumptions and associated methodological rules, low down in the hierarchy, can be critically assessed and, we may hope, improved, in the light of the empirical success they lead to, and their compatibility with assumptions higher up in the hierarchy.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. pp. 83-4.

 

“At the top [level 7 of an aim-oriented empirical hierarchy of assumptions] there is the relatively insubstantial assumption that the universe is such that we can acquire some knowledge of our local circumstances…. As we descend the hierarchy, the assumptions become increasingly substantial and thus increasingly likely to be false. At level 6 there is the more substantial thesis that there is some rationally discoverable thesis about the nature of the universe which, if true and if accepted, makes it possible progressively to improve methods for the improvement of knowledge. “Rationally discoverable,’ here, means at least that the thesis is not an arbitrary choice from infinitely many analogous theses. At level 5 we have the even more substantial thesis that the universe is comprehensible in some way or other, whether physically or in some other way. This thesis asserts that the universe is such that there is something (God, tribe of gods, cosmic goal, physical entity, cosmic programme, or whatever), which exists everywhere in an unchanging form and which, in some sense, determines or is responsible for everything that changes. A universe of this type deserves to be called ‘comprehensible’ because it is such that everything that occurs, all change and diversity, can in principle be explained and understood as being the outcome of the operations of the one underlying something, present throughout all phenomena. At level 4 we have the still more substantial thesis that the universe is physically comprehensible in some way or other. This asserts that the universe is made up one unified self-interacting physical entity (or one kind of entity), all change and diversity being in principle explicable in terms of this entity. What this amounts to is that the universe is such that some yet-to-be-discovered unified physical theory of everything is true. I shall call this thesis physicalism. At level 3, we have an even more substantial thesis, the best, currently available specific idea as to how the universe is physically comprehensible. This asserts that everything is made of some specific kind of physical entity: corpuscle, point-particle, classical field, quantum field, convoluted space-time, string, or whatever…. Here, ideas evolve with evolving knowledge. At level 2 there are the accepted fundamental theories of physics, currently general relativity and the standard model. Here, if anything, we can be even more confident that current theories are false, despite their immense empirical success….Finally, at level 1 there are accepted empirical data, low-level, corroborated, empirical laws.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. pp. 84-86.

 

“What the long-standing failure of philosophers to solve the problem of induction has been trying to tell us, over the centuries, is that standard empiricist science is untenable, and what we need to develop in its place is aim-oriented empiricist natural philosophy!” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 91.

 

“Instead of rejecting Cartesian dualism and focusing attention on the problem Cartesian dualism sought to solve – our fundamental problem, indicated above, the human world/physical universe problem – philosophy rather preoccupied itself with the problems Cartesian dualism generates even though Cartesian dualism itself is rejected.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 97.

 

“The outcome of this progression in philosophy, from Locke to Kant, is that the fundamental problem of philosophy cannot be formulated. That which sets the problem, the physical universe, has been intellectually annihilated, or at least cast into the realm of the utterly unknowable. Instead of Cartesian dualism and its implications being firmly rejected, the implication concerning the impossibility of knowing anything about the physical world by means of experience is firmly adopted, and as a result it becomes impossible even to formulate our fundamental problem.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 101.

 

“Kant’s philosophy, famous for its obscurity, led to a great upsurge of obscure work in metaphysics, often idealist, anti-rationalist, and indifferent if not hostile to natural science…. The anti-scientific and idealist character of this body of post-Kantian work again made it impossible even to formulate the basic problem of philosophy, our fundamental problem of all of thought and life.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. pp. 101-2.

 

“What began so promisingly with Rene Descartes in the seventeenth century has dwindled either into anti-rationalist, anti-scientific metaphysical nonsense, or into sterile analytic puzzle-solving, as far as the mainstreams of philosophy are concerned, ignoring important exceptions.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 105.

“Standard empiricism (SE) demands that metaphysics and philosophy be excluded from science. Aim-oriented empiricism (AOE), by contrast, demands that metaphysics, methodology, and thus, in a sense, philosophy, are vital, integral parts of natural science.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 116.

 

“Viewed from the standpoint of SE, the prospects of science making real progress in knowledge and understanding look rather bleak…. As we have seen, again and again in the history of physics, theories that meet with astonishing empirical success turn out, sooner or later, to be false: Newtonian theory, Maxwellian electrodynamics, the whole of classical physics, quantum theory, general relativity, and almost certainly quantum electrodynamics, quantum electroweak theory, chromodynamics, and the standard model…. There is even a serious problem as to what it could mean to say of a succession of false theories that they are getting closer and closer to the truth. Philosophers of science have denied that there is any progress in knowledge through scientific revolutions.

“View all this from the perspective of AOE, however, and the prospects for real progress in scientific knowledge and understanding change dramatically. If the universe really is physically comprehensible, then it follows at once that all dynamical theories that are about a restricted range of phenomena, and cannot be immediately generalized to apply to all phenomena, must be false.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 175.

 

“Each discipline of natural science needs to articulate and implement its own version of AOE. Let us call the collection of these versions of AOE, each version more or less specific to a specific discipline of natural science, generalized AOE (GAOE).” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 182.

 

“The basic intellectual aim of science, as we have seen, is not truth per se; it is rather explanatory truth – truth presupposed to be explanatory. But explanatory truth is a special case of a more general aim – that of seeking valuable truth.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 183.

 

“As far as individual scientists or research teams are concerned, there is only loss and no gain to be had from publishing research aims. AOE transforms this situation, for, given AOE, the act of publishing a new research aim which leads subsequently to successful science is, in itself, to make an important contribution to science. If AOE is ever taken up by the scientific community, it may become necessary to guard against the danger that everyone publishes ideas for research but no one actually does the research!” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 185.

“Scientific facts may be morally neutral. But what may well not be morally neutral are decisions to pursue one set of research aims rather than another, and to make the results of research available to one set of people or organizations rather than another set.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 189.

 

“As Einstein once said, ‘Knowledge exists in two forms – lifeless, stored in books, and alive in the consciousness of men. The second form of existence is after all the essential one; the first, indispensible as it may be, occupies only an inferior position.’” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 190; reference: Einstein, A. 1973. Ideas and Opinions. Souvenir Press. p. 80.

 

“The purposive character of all of life needs to be appreciated simply in order to get into perspective what the basic task of Darwinian theory is, and the task of biology more generally. It is to improve our knowledge and understanding of the great mystery of what may be called double comprehensibility. Our world is riddled with double comprehensibility. The actions of all living things are such that they are open, in principle, to being explained and understood simultaneously in two very different ways: physically and purposively. What is incomprehensible, what needs to be explained, is the double comprehensibility of living things.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 193.

 

“Science needs to change in order to put explicitly into practice what is at present implicit: aim-oriented empiricism. This involves acknowledging that the intellectual aims of science are profoundly problematic, in that they have substantial, highly problematic metaphysical, value, and political assumptions inherent in them. The aims of science need sustained, imaginative, and critical attention as an integral part of science to give us the best hope that they can thereby be improved. Instead of two, at least three domains of scientific discussion need to be recognized: (1) evidence; (2) theory; and (3) aims – the latter being open to both scientists and non-scientists….

“Far more radical changes are required from philosophy. The whole character of philosophy needs to change…. It must become again what it once was, that endeavour which seeks to keep alive awareness of our most urgent fundamental problems…” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 216.

 

“As I have already remarked, the aim of achieving global civilization is inherently problematic. This means, according to aim-oriented rationality, that we need to represent the aim at a number of levels, from the specific and highly problematic to the unspecific and unproblematic. Thus, at a fairly specific level, we might, for example, specify civilization to be a state of affairs in which there is an end to war, dictatorships, population growth, extreme inequalities of wealth, and the establishment of a democratic, liberal world government and a sustainable world industry and agriculture. At a rather more general level we might specify civilization to be a state of affairs in which everyone shares equally in enjoying, sustaining, and creating what is of value in life in so far as this is possible. At a still more general level, civilization might be specified simply as that realizable world order we should seek to attain in the long term….” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 227.

 

“The following three institutional innovations … would help wisdom-inquiry to flourish.

“Natural science needs to create committees, in the public eye, and manned by scientists and non-scientists alike, concerned to highlight and discuss failures of the priorities of research to respond to the interests of those whose needs are the greatest – the poor of the earth – as a result of the inevitable tendency of research priorities to reflect the interests of those who pay for science, and the interests of scientists themselves.

“Every national university system needs to include a national shadow government, seeking to do virtually, free of the constraints of power, what the actual national government ought to be doing. The hope would be that virtual and actual governments would learn from each other.

“The world’s universities need to include a virtual world government which seeks to do what an actual elected world government ought to do, if it existed. The virtual world government would also have the task of working out how an actual democratically elected world government might be created.” Maxwell, Nicholas. 2017. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life. McGill-Queen’s University Press. p. 239.

 

“For example, there is pressure from developmental and evolutionary biology to be able to say that (i) an individual that undergoes substantial changes during ontogeny is still the same individual, whereas (ii) one that reproduces is distinct from any offspring it has. I will argue that the category of substance is too strong to play the inferential role embedded in (i), while the category of process is not. Conversely, the category of process is, like that of substance, not too weak to be able to play the inferential role embedded in (ii).” DiFrisco, James. 2018. “Biological Processes: Criteria of Identity and Persistence.” pp. 76-95. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. pp. 77-8.

 

“Many philosophers of biology accept the arguments of Ghiselin and Hull that species do not belong to the ontological category of classes or kinds at all, but are rather historically extended individuals. On this view, an organism or a population is not an instance of a species in the way in which a piece of gold is an instance of the chemical kind gold, but is rather a part of a species in the way in which one is part of one’s family lineage. This conception of species was inspired by the cladistic classification program, which sought to tie biological classifications more closely to actual evolutionary history. On the cladistic view, species are individual segments in the evolutionary tree between phylogenetic branching points.” DiFrisco, James. 2018. “Biological Processes: Criteria of Identity and Persistence.” pp. 76-95. Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 78; references: Ghiselin, M. 1974. “A Radical Solution to the Species Problem.” Systematic Zoology. 23:536-44; Hull, D.L. 1978. “A Matter of Individuality.” Philosophy of Science. 45:335-60.

 

“In the machine/mechanistic framework, entities are seen as distinct beings disconnected from each other, much like separated boxes. What allows each entity to behave the way it does is its internal structure, not the relations it has to its environment. Apart from providing some essential ‘enabling’ factors (such as a source of power) the environment has no significant bearing on the functioning of the machine parts or on the machine itself.

“The ecological model paints a very different picture of the world, as it does not treat it as a set of disconnected boxes. Rather, entities are seen as interconnected complexes that behave the way they do because of the relations they have to other entities and/or processes in their environment. In this view, the environment always needs to be taken into account when analysing the workings of entities, as it is (part of) what determines how entities behave.” Guttinger, Stephan. 2018. “A Process Ontology for Macromolecular Biology.” pp. 303-320. From: Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 305.

 

“What is shifting in our understanding of the termite (or other organisms, for that matter) is the attribution of the power to do things. We are moving from considering only one thing as the carrier of a certain power to considering a network of entities as the legitimate carrier of that power: it is not just the termite that shapes the mound and has the power to digest, reproduce and survive, but a system of interconnected entities [mound, termites, fungus, etc.] that has to be treated as the centre or origin of these capacities or powers.” Guttinger, Stephan. 2018. “A Process Ontology for Macromolecular Biology.” pp. 303-320. From: Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 311: reference: Turner, J.S. 2002. “A Superorganism’s Fuzzy Boundaries.” Natural History. 111(6):63-7.

 

“In composite systems the organization of the system (and hence the environment of the different parts) starts to play a role in the behaviour of the system and its parts. In a component system the behaviouir of each component is still determined by its intrinsic features, but the organization of the system affects the behaviour of the whole and its parts. In an integrated system the behaviour of each component is no longer intrinsically determined, as the organization of the whole becomes a key determining factor of each component’s capacity to act.” Guttinger, Stephan. 2018. “A Process Ontology for Macromolecular Biology.” pp. 303-320. From: Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 313.

 

“And importantly, the protein is assumed to constantly cycle through the conformations that form its ensemble.

“What makes this new view of enzymes particularly interesting is that this activity of cycling through different conformations is taken to be crucial for the functioning of the enzymes. The idea is that enzymes have the power to stabilize the high-energy transition state of a specific reaction because of the dynamics of their structure. And the enzyme can only cycle through its different states because it is coupled to the environment, that is, to the thermal motion of the bulk water that surrounds it.” Guttinger, Stephan. 2018. “A Process Ontology for Macromolecular Biology.” pp. 303-320. From: Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 316.

 

“The hydrophobic force is interesting for our current discussion because it is not something a single molecule simply possesses, given its intrinsic properties. It is rather a phenomenon that comes about through the interaction of a larger system of (polar and apolar) molecules. It is also not just the mere existence of polar and apolar entities that gives rise to the hydrophobic force. The force only comes about in a context of constant interaction and repulsion; it is a force born out of becoming and not out of simple being.” Guttinger, Stephan. 2018. “A Process Ontology for Macromolecular Biology.” pp. 303-320. From: Nicholson, Daniel & John Dupré (Eds). Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford UP. p. 318.

 

“… persistence is something the organism achieves, not some property or properties that it continues to possess.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. p. 2.

 

“The traditional concern for thing-centred ontology is change…. For a process, on the other hand, persistence requires explanation.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. p. 2.

 

“It is popularly supposed, reflecting the lasting influence of Ernst Mayr, that species are interbreeding groups of organisms. But we need only note that the vast majority of species, and all species for the first 80% or so of the history of life, are asexual to see that this account is seriously limited.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. p. 3.

 

“For a species-as-individual process view, however, there is no problem to address [in criticism about a species as a branch of the phylogenetic tree as a process]. A process is necessarily extended in time, and causal relations between temporal stages, or between spatial parts of temporal stages, are required to provide it with whatever integrity it has. Descent is just such a causal connection. A similar problem arises with regard to ambiguity of boundaries. Species have somewhat vague boundaries both synchronically (hybridization) and temporally (speciation). Again, while this is difficult to align with standard metaphysical accounts of an individual, it is no problem at all for a process. No one expects a thunderstorm or a battle to have precisely delineated boundaries.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. p. 3.

 

“Note here that while not all processes need have either integration or individual status, to have the latter one must have the former. Geological erosion, for example, is a process with no integration, there is no temptation to divide it into distinct individuals.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. p. 4.

 

“It is no trivial matter for an organism to satisfy the conditions of existence, and if the areas of morphospace that make this possible are very limited, natural selection will maintain homogeneous species. Darwin also famously observed the production of organisms far beyond the numbers required to maintain a species. Though this is generally remarked as part of the story of adaptive evolutionary change, it is also important that the stability of the species requires overproduction to compensate for the production of inviable individuals and the random losses of pre-reproductive individuals.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. p. 4.

 

“The difference in these perspectives [extended phenotype vs. niche construction] nicely illustrates the difference between a thing- and a process-centred ontology. The extended phenotype concept extends the boundaries of the object (organism), but these boundaries are still fully determined by that object’s internal, intrinsic properties, and the lineage is just ths sum of these objects. Seeing the organism, or in this case the lineage, as a process, on the other hand, we should expect its limits to be maintained by activities at its boundaries, as a living membrane actively transports numerous molecules to maintain the chemical discontinuity it marks, or the surrounding flows maintain a whirlpool. This is just the difference the niche construction perspective signals from the extended phenotype.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. pp. 4-5.

 

“The first 2.5 billion years of solely unicellular life were apparently characterized by asexual reproduction and promiscuous lateral transfer of genes between sometimes distantly related individuals. It is hard to see why there should be any well-distinguished, species-like sub-processes within this evolving whole. To the extent that there are strong divisions between kinds, this is likely to be because natural selection favours and disfavours particular areas of morphospace.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. p. 5.

“So although eusocial species have the most clear cut supra-organismic level of organization, it is equally clearly a disjoint division into social wholes. Humans may be unique in having a species-wide network of cooperative and group-forming relations, and may therefore reasonably be claimed to be the most fully integrated species we know.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. p. 6.

 

“The extended care found in K-selected species provides an opportunity for a developmental system with multiple inputs in addition to the material of reproduction. These include the environmental inputs made possible by the niche constructing activities of previous and present con-specifics and a wide variety of parental effects.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. p. 7.

 

“Species are a diverse category. Arguably they are ontologically diverse, encompassing both processes and kinds, as profound a diversity as imaginable. More prosaically, even as concrete entities, they differ in very significant respects. If species are what evolve, we should not, for this reason, expect quite general accounts of evolution. The Modern Synthesis specifically, may be more or less true for some kinds of species, but quite inadequate for others.” Dupré, John. 2017. “The metaphysics of evolution.” Interface Focus. 7:20160148. pp. 7-8.

 

“An institution is self-sustaining, salient patterns of social interactions, as represented by meaningful rules that every agent knows and incorporated as agents’ shared beliefs about the ways how the game is to be played.” Aoki, Masahiko. 2007. “Endogenizing institutions and institutional changes.” Journal of Institutional Economics. V.3. Issue 1. April. p. 7.

 

“Once an institution acquires a linguistic or symbolic representation recognized by every agent, it may be regarded to exist as an objective reality. Its validity can be tested by an actual choice. For example, the objectivity of the rule that smuggling will be punished can be tested and experienced by actually violating the rules. On the other hand, unless it also constitutes internal beliefs shared by all the agents, any social rules may be irrelevant to their action choices and thus may not be taken as institutionalized. For example, even when the objective existence of a statutory law in the books is unquestionable, if nobody believes it to be implementable or enforceable, it will not prevail as an institution.” Aoki, Masahiko. 2007. “Endogenizing institutions and institutional changes.” Journal of Institutional Economics. V.3. Issue 1. April. p. 9.

 

“The unenforceable law is hardly qualified to be an institution, but the practice of bribing corrupt law enforcers does quality. In this simple example, there may be at least two equilibria and accordingly two institutions: an institution of the rule of law and an institution of bribery.” Aoki, Masahiko. 2007. “Endogenizing institutions and institutional changes.” Journal of Institutional Economics. V.3. Issue 1. April. p. 11.

“Let us consider the following four prototypes of the domain distinguished by types of players and types of interactive choices. We note for each of them a unique challenge that must be solved in order to sustain interactions (exchanges) and the proto-types of institutions that may arise in response to such challenge….

The economic exchange domain: This is the domain in which transactions of private goods take place. The most primitive type is the domain composed of only two agents who can potentially repeat the transactions over time….

The organizational exchange domain and organizational field….

The political exchange domain. Let us presuppose that this domain in its prototype is composed of two types of agents: the government and multiple private agents….

The social exchange domain. This domain may be conceptualized as the one in which social symbols that directly affect the payoffs of players, such as esteem, emotional rejection, sympathy, benign neglect, and so on, are unilaterally delivered and/or exchanged….” Aoki, Masahiko. 2007. “Endogenizing institutions and institutional changes.” Journal of Institutional Economics. V.3. Issue 1. April. pp. 13-16.

 

“When a certain mode of organization architecture tends to arise and [is] institutionalized in a cluster, we may refer to it as an organizational convention. Theoretically, diverse organizational conventions may be seen to arise as multiple evolutionary equilibria in the domain, called the ‘organizational field.’ In this domain, organizations are formed through the matching of agents having developed certain cognitive orientations, thus leading to distinct clustering of collective cognitive frameworks.” Aoki, Masahiko. 2007. “Endogenizing institutions and institutional changes.” Journal of Institutional Economics. V.3. Issue 1. April. pp. 14-15.

 

“Games are ‘linked’, if one or more players coordinates his/her own choices of strategies across more than one domains so as to gain more pay-off than the sum of payoffs that could be possible from playing separately in each of these domains as stand-alone. The reason for this possibility is that by doing so these players can benefit from externalities such that possible gains in one domain can be transferred to another to sustain some strategic profile that would not be profitable in isolation.” Aoki, Masahiko. 2007. “Endogenizing institutions and institutional changes.” Journal of Institutional Economics. V.3. Issue 1. April. p. 17.

 

“In order to understand how social, political, economic, and organizational factors interact in the formation, sustenance, and evolutionary changes of over-all institutional arrangements, we explicitly considered interdependencies of equilibrium formation across the domains involving each of those factors as a principal characteristic.” Aoki, Masahiko. 2007. “Endogenizing institutions and institutional changes.” Journal of Institutional Economics. V.3. Issue 1. April. p. 30.

 

“Both anatomy and archeology leave little doubt that by circa 2.0 Mya Homo ergaster spent a considerable proportion of its time on open, grassland-dominated terrain, where it routinely engaged in carnivory. This meat was most probably acquired by a combination of confrontational scavenging and active hunting from ambush, both subsequently bolstered by endurance running. Regardless of the method of acquisition, these hominins must have been able to defend themselves and their prey carcasses against a variety of large carnivorans that roamed these landscapes at the time. The effectiveness of this defense is apparent from a reduced life history pace relative to their ancestors, indicative of a reduced risk of extrinsic mortality, which had reached levels comparable to that of arboreal orangutans. Moreover, the precipitous drop in African carnivoran species richness after approximately 1.5 Mya has been ascribed to fierce interference competition from opportunistically carnivorous hominins that pushed other members of the carnivore guild to extinction.” Willems, Erik & C. van Schaik. 2017. “The social organization of Homo ergaster: Inferences from anti-predator responses in extant primates.” Journal of Human Evolution. 109:11-21. p. 12.

 

“… we found that among primates living in wooded habitats, taxa that travel on the ground live in larger groups with more males (both absolute and relative to the number of females) than those that travel through the canopy. A tentative explanation for how they can afford to live in such large groups is that terrestriality reduces the energetic costs of travel associated with climbing in animals of this size range, while making it easier to cover large distances by enabling straight line travel. This would allow individuals to tolerate the lower energy returns in larger groups per unit time or distance traveled due to more intense within-group feeding competition, and thereby reap the benefits of enhanced protection that such larger aggregations offer against the more substantial risk of predation associated with living on the ground. In addition, the greater size and spread of groups of terrestrial species makes it more difficult for dominant males to monopolize mating access to their group’s females, which in turn makes it adaptive for additional males to bear the costs of settling in these groups.” Willems, Erik & C. van Schaik. 2017. “The social organization of Homo ergaster: Inferences from anti-predator responses in extant primates.” Journal of Human Evolution. 109:11-21. p. 16.

 

“To sum up, we can fairly safely infer the following features of the social organization of hominins at the time of the emergence of Homo: i) very large (>=100 individuals) multi-male groups, most likely with initially somewhat reduced fission-fusion dynamics compared to the communities of forest chimpanzees, ii) socially tolerant (and presumably bonded) yet more sexually dimorphic males that are able to cooperate: at least under high risk conditions, and iii) male-biased predator defense in the form of joint counter-attacks, made more effective than in any extant non-human primate through the intelligent use of weapons. This suite of anti-predatory features was to serve as an important exaptation for the subsequent evolution of H. ergaster who, uniquely among primates, moved into the niche of social carnivore.” Willems, Erik & C. van Schaik. 2017. “The social organization of Homo ergaster: Inferences from anti-predator responses in extant primates.” Journal of Human Evolution. 109:11-21. p. 17.

 

“A second upshot from life in very large multi-male groups is that individuals can find potential (i.e. sufficiently unrelated) mating partners within their social unit, so that strict dispersal of at least one sex as typical in primates is no longer observed.” Willems, Erik & C. van Schaik. 2017. “The social organization of Homo ergaster: Inferences from anti-predator responses in extant primates.” Journal of Human Evolution. 109:11-21. p. 18.

 

“Confrontational scavenging and cooperative hunting may also have favored the development of male-female friendships into opportunistically monogamous pair bonds. Because of the historical male bias in joint counter-attacks against predators, meat acquisition was a predominantly male activity, and female mating preferences will have adapted to this by not only rewarding good protector males, but also successful and generous scavengers and hunters. Sexual selection will thus have further reinforced male cooperative behaviors, and may have provided a first evolutionary incentive for males to proactively start provisioning females, most probably at safe and central locations close to established sleeping sites.” Willems, Erik & C. van Schaik. 2017. “The social organization of Homo ergaster: Inferences from anti-predator responses in extant primates.” Journal of Human Evolution. 109:11-21. p. 19.

 

“In conclusion, life on the open savanna must have required effective defense against large carnivoran predators. In non-hominin primates, active defense involves large group size and coordinated counter-attacks by multiple males, occasionally made more effective by the use of weapons. These are therefore characters that can safely be inferred for H. ergaster. These very large and male-bonded groups probably later became the communities or macro-bands of foragers. Living in such large groups, especially given opportunities for the frequent sharing of valuable foods and combined with unpredictable ovulation, may readily give rise to intersexual friendships, as well as loss of natal dispersal. If these characters are also inferred for H. ergaster, then we can see the contours of the social organization of modern mobile foragers emerge over time, with home based and grandmothering as the only unknowns in terms of their first appearance.” Willems, Erik & C. van Schaik. 2017. “The social organization of Homo ergaster: Inferences from anti-predator responses in extant primates.” Journal of Human Evolution. 109:11-21. p. 19.

 

“… empirically under-constrained fields like the origins of life….

“There is ample scope for historical and philosophical work on origins-of-life studies to explore broad questions such as: (1) whether and to what extent origins-of-life concepts, hypotheses, and principles fit together logically, methodologically, theoretically, and empirically; (2) how and to what extent diverse empirical methods can provide evidence to support or refute claims about origins, including traditional questions of explanation and confirmation; (3) what are the scope and limits of origins-of-life studies in relation to other sciences, including traditional questions about reduction and emergence.” Mariscal Carlos, Barahona A, Aubert-Kato N, et al. 2019. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report.” Orig Life Evol Biosph https://doi.org/10.10070s11084-019-09580-x. p. 2.

 

“It is possible that there is no defensible basis for assuming a clear, widely accepted dividing line between life and non-life. If this is true, there are several potential alternatives.

“1. Life’s essence. One path may be to capture the aspects of life that come closest to the essence of life.

“2. Life as consensus. Others argue ‘life’ means different things for the public than it does for scientists (and even among different kinds of scientists), making a consensus more a matter of sociology than scientific discovery.

“3. Life is defined by its participation in the biosphere. Another pragmatic approach, which cuts across efforts, is to adopt a view of life from the perspective of a biosphere. From this point of view, rather than conceiving of organisms as living, one might better view organisms as ‘alive’ derivatively due to being part of a living biosphere.

“4. Life will be defined when we see it again. Some may suggest skepticism or caution, urging continued research in the hopes of discovering or creating an accepted second instance of life.

“5. A ‘theory’ of life is needed, rather than a definition. Some authors challenge the entire project of seeking a ‘definition’ of life and instead suggest the goal is to develop a ‘theory’ of life.

“6. No definition is required. These pragmatic approaches have been championed by researchers like Szostak. This family of approaches takes the task of science as being divorced from philosophical definitions. These authors prefer general characteristics, operational definitions, or stipulative definitions over precise formal definitions.

“7. There is no such thing as life. The most extreme accounts are provided by eliminativists, who maintain there is no objective category as ‘life,’ though they may still accept pragmatic approaches to origins-of-life research.” Mariscal Carlos, Barahona A, Aubert-Kato N, et al. 2019. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report.” Orig Life Evol Biosph https://doi.org/10.10070s11084-019-09580-x; reference: Szostak, JW. 2012. “Attempts to define life do not help to understand the origin of life.” J Biomol Struct Dyn. 29:599-600. p. 3.

 

“Scharf et al. point out three overlapping questions relevant to the origins of life: (1) universal, (2) historical, or (3) synthetic. Each of these is the project of some origins-of-life research, although this is rarely made explicit.

“‘Universal’ explanations focus on necessary steps in the origins of life. Scientists seek such steps when they wish to understand universal processes in biology or the evolution of life itself….

“The second type of explanation is ‘historical’ and refers to the path life on Earth could have taken from its inception. These explanations are contingent on knowledge of Earth history….

“Synthetic explanations are the least constrained of the three types. They seek to show how life could possibly come to be and are somewhat analogous to existence proofs in mathematics: they show that something is possible by demonstrating it. Thus, synthetic explanations include experimental demonstrations of plausible prebiotic synthesis of biomolecules, the experimental construction of protocells, and many applications of synthetic biology as well as computational demonstrations of phenomena in evolution or self-organization.” Mariscal Carlos, Barahona A, Aubert-Kato N, et al. 2019. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report.” Orig Life Evol Biosph https://doi.org/10.10070s11084-019-09580-x. p. 4; reference: Scharf, C, et al. 2015. “A strategy for origins of lie research.” Astrobiology. 15:1031-1042.

 

“For example, primitive cells may have lacked the strong digital heredity we now see in the form of genes, though there may have been an ancestor-descendant relationship that allowed for weak Darwinian processes. Whether one chooses to label such proto-biological processes as ‘Darwinian’ may depend on their perceived similarity to current processes. In any event, some form of purely chemical (i.e., non-shape complementarity or information-based) evolution may have preceded more familiar Darwinian ones.” Mariscal Carlos, Barahona A, Aubert-Kato N, et al. 2019. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report.” Orig Life Evol Biosph https://doi.org/10.10070s11084-019-09580-x. p. 9.

 

“… the number of peer-reviewed publications on the subject of origins of life has increased from about 50 to 400 per year between 1993 and 2011, and cross-disciplinary interaction has increased enormously among researchers from different disciplines as well.” Mariscal Carlos, Barahona A, Aubert-Kato N, et al. 2019. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report.” Orig Life Evol Biosph https://doi.org/10.10070s11084-019-09580-x. p. 11.

 

“… we can roughly split the history of origins-of-life studies into two parallel strands. The first deals with the development of origins of life as a research topic within empirical fields, primarily chemistry, Earth science and biology, while the second traces the development of theoretical questions relating to the origins of life, crossing between the fields of physics, evolutionary theory and computer science….

“The first strand can be divided into several [historical] phases:

“(1) The pre-systematization of biology period,

“(2) the post-systematization of biology period,

“(3) the chemistry period,

“(4) the molecular biology period, and

“(5) the informatics period.” Mariscal Carlos, Barahona A, Aubert-Kato N, et al. 2019. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report.” Orig Life Evol Biosph https://doi.org/10.10070s11084-019-09580-x. p. 11.

“A related question is why life is made of the particular set of building blocks that it is. Various computational works have shown that there are many more possible amino acids, intermediary metabolites or nucleosides than those used by life, and moreover, that the set used by life appears to be adapted to provide ‘optimal’ coverage of the space of properties that such building blocks would be expected to have. Given the huge diversity of possible prebiotic molecules, it seems conceivable that the earliest ancestors of life were not made of the same chemical building blocks as modern life at all. If this idea is entertained, it would mean there are a very large number of chemical systems which require exploration to fully understand why life is constructed the way it is, and optimization and contingency deserve greater scrutiny than the simple products of abiotic chemistry.” Mariscal Carlos, Barahona A, Aubert-Kato N, et al. 2019. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report.” Orig Life Evol Biosph https://doi.org/10.10070s11084-019-09580-x. p. 23.

 

“In summarizing theoretical and modeling approaches to the origins of life, we draw attention to two common themes. The first is the notion of circularity, that is that components of living systems are both causes and effects of themselves. ‘Circularity,’ rather than more technical terms such as ‘closure to efficient causation’ or ‘operational closure,’ emphasizes that this basic idea is a common theme across many approaches to understanding the origins of life. The second is open-endedness, or the notion that life is not constant over time but always has the capacity for innovation or increasing complexity.

“These two themes are to some extent in tension: circularity suggests constancy over time while open-endedness suggests change.” Mariscal Carlos, Barahona A, Aubert-Kato N, et al. 2019. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report.” Orig Life Evol Biosph https://doi.org/10.10070s11084-019-09580-x. p. 24.

 

“Philosophical issues included: (1) the nature of life, where we outlined several approaches that serve as alternatives to the traditional quest for a definition of life. [sic for punctuation] (2) the explanatory project of origins-of-life research, in which we argued universal (true for origins everywhere), historical (descriptions of life’s origin on Earth), and synthetic (possible ways of originating life) research programs overlap, are all interesting scientifically, but are not equivalent or directly transferable. (3) the research strategies for origins-of-life research, typically thought of as either top-down (inferring from current life to LUCA) or bottom-up (starting from non-life and working out how to get life started), which face different epistemological problems and require distinct philosophical commitments. (4) the metabolism-first vs. reproduction-first debate, which we challenged as presuming too much about the nature of life. (5) the nature of evolution prior to LUCA, which was certainly different from contemporary evolution, although we questioned whether the difference was greater than some of the vastly diverse processes we see in life today. (6) the nature of entities prior to LUCA, which are sometimes thought of as loose communities, though whether such communities can serve as ancestral requires rethinking the nature of ancestors; (7) the challenges of origins-of-life which are common to multidisciplinary sciences: competing research programs, diverse standards of evidence, and communicating across disciplinary divisions. (8) the development of new theories or tools, which offer opportunities for new avenues of research, but may also constrain others.” Mariscal Carlos, Barahona A, Aubert-Kato N, et al. 2019. “Hidden Concepts in the History and Philosophy of Origins-of-Life Studies: a Workshop Report.” Orig Life Evol Biosph https://doi.org/10.10070s11084-019-09580-x. p. 25.

 

“Mainstream theories of habits therefore tend to fall on one or the other side of traditional mind-body dualism. But the complex nature of habits resists being reduced to either side of this dualism: they are too flexible to be mere automatisms, yet they also unfold in a spontaneous manner that does not require constant intentional control. It is therefore no surprise that habits have become an important theme for new approaches to cognitive science that explicitly aim to overcome mind-body dualism.” Ramirez-Vizcaya, Susana & T. Froese. 2019. “The Enactive Approach to Habits: New Concepts for the Cognitive Science of Bad Habits and Addiction.” Front Psychol. 10:301. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00301. p. 4.

 

“Within this broad and diverse collection of perspectives, at least not only four distinct but also intersecting lines of research can be identified.

“One has to do with the phenomenological study of habitual body memory, which takes the work of Husserl, Bergson, and Merleau-Ponty as its main theoretical background. According to this line of research, habitual body memory is a know-how sedimented in the lived or subjective body that is constantly re-actualized and ‘gives shape to an individual style of experiencing’, acting, and interacting with the world….

“A second line of research intersects with the first and is related to the above-mentioned debate between Dreyfus and McDowell on skilled perception and action. Drawing mainly from phenomenology and psychology, philosophers have started to more systematically explore the relation of habits with attention, conscious awareness and control, intentions, autobiographical remembering, and explicit reasoning…. this body of literature usually does not make a distinction between skills and habits, but put them in the same category, or regard skills as particular kinds of habits.

“A third line of research draws from Material Engagement Theory (MET) and the distributed and extended cognition frameworks, emphasizing the active role that built environment plays in habitual actions and practical skills….

“Here we will concentrate on a fourth line of research, the enactive approach to habits, because it has the potential to integrate all of these strands into a conceptual framework that is particularly well positioned to overcome the dualism inherent in mainstream research.” Ramirez-Vizcaya, Susana & T. Froese. 2019. “The Enactive Approach to Habits: New Concepts for the Cognitive Science of Bad Habits and Addiction.” Front Psychol. 10:301. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00301. pp. 5-6.

 

“In contrast to the traditional atomistic view on habits, this enactive perspective suggests ‘a topology of regional identities’ coexisting within the same individual and giving rise to an integrated ‘life/mind system’ or self.” Ramirez-Vizcaya, Susana & T. Froese. 2019. “The Enactive Approach to Habits: New Concepts for the Cognitive Science of Bad Habits and Addiction.” Front Psychol. 10:301. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00301. pp. 9-10.

 

“During the economic transition from foraging to farming, the signal of a major demographic shift can be observed in cemetery data of world archaeological sequences. This signal is characterized by an abrupt increase in the proportion of juvenile skeletons and is interpreted as the signature of a major demographic shift in human history, known as the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT).” Bocquet-Appel, Jean-Pierre. 2011. “When the World’s Population Took Off: The Springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition.” Science. July 29. 333:560-1. P. 560.

 

“The world’s population on the eve of the emergence of agriculture is estimated to have been around 6 million individuals as against almost 7 billion today, multiplying by 1200 in just 11,000 years.” Bocquet-Appel, Jean-Pierre. 2011. “When the World’s Population Took Off: The Springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition.” Science. July 29. 333:560-1. P. 561.

 

“This signal is characterized by a relatively abrupt increase in the proportion of 5- to 19-year-old juveniles in cemeteries during the economic transition from foraging to farming…. This expresses an increase in the input into the age pyramids of the corresponding living populations with an estimated increase in total fertility rate of two births per woman….

“The increase in natural maternal fertility, through a reduction in the birth interval, is mainly determined by the energy balance and the relative metabolic load. It implies a positive return of the postpartum energy balance, which occurred earlier in farming than in foraging societies due to the energy gain from the high-caloric food of sedentary farmers compared to the low-caloric food of mobile foragers, coupled with a decrease in the energy expenditure of carrying infants.” Bocquet-Appel, Jean-Pierre. 2011. “When the World’s Population Took Off: The Springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition.” Science. July 29. 333:560-1. P. 560.

 

“When compared with the Contemporary Demographic Transition (CDT) as described for Western industrialized societies, the NDT was its mirror image. In the CDT, the decline in mortality was followed by a decline in fertility, but in the NDT, increased fertility was followed by increased mortality. The CDT is slowing the growth of the world population, but the NDT was its springboard. In both cases, however, the time lag between the two stages produced an interval in which fertility exceeded mortality and resulted in a rapid increase in the population.” Bocquet-Appel, Jean-Pierre. 2011. “When the World’s Population Took Off: The Springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition.” Science. July 29. 333:560-1. P. 561.

 

“This ‘original’ [Veblen and others at the end of the nineteenth century] institutional economics did not limit human behavior as the homo economicus model did, but assumed a broader approach to the psychological nature of the individual [beyond the rational choice assumption].” Caballero, Gonzalo & David Soto-Onate. 2015. “The Diversity and Rapprochement of Theories of Institutional Change: Original Institutionalism and New Institutional Economics.” Journal of Economic Issues. 49(4):947-977. p. 949.

 

“Veblen considered institutions to be ‘settled habits of thought [that are] common to the generality of men.’” Caballero, Gonzalo & David Soto-Onate. 2015. “The Diversity and Rapprochement of Theories of Institutional Change: Original Institutionalism and New Institutional Economics.” Journal of Economic Issues. 49(4):947-977. p. 951; reference: Veblen, Thorstein. 1919. The Place of Science in Modern Civilization and Other Essays. Huebsch. p. 239.

 

“Durkheim considered ‘an institution all the beliefs and modes of behavior instituted by the collectivity,’ and he referred to sociology as the ‘science of institutions, their genesis and their functioning.’” Caballero, Gonzalo & David Soto-Onate. 2015. “The Diversity and Rapprochement of Theories of Institutional Change: Original Institutionalism and New Institutional Economics.” Journal of Economic Issues. 49(4):947-977. p. 951; reference: Durkheim, E. [1895]1982. The Rules of Sociological Method. The Free Press. p. 45.

 

“The main theoretical approach of NIE [New Institutional Economics] adopted the Northian notion of institutions, presenting institutions as the rules that determine transaction costs and efficiency gains. This is the most commonly accepted definition of institutions in NIE. Institutions are the rules of the game in a society, together with their enforcement arrangements. This includes both formal rules, such as laws and constitutions, and informal rules, such as conventions and norms.” Caballero, Gonzalo & David Soto-Onate. 2015. “The Diversity and Rapprochement of Theories of Institutional Change: Original Institutionalism and New Institutional Economics.” Journal of Economic Issues. 49(4):947-977. p. 961; reference: North, Douglass. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge UP.

 

“Here we conceive of institutions as human-generated regulators of social interaction, and adopt a working definition of institutions as systems of interrelated rules which prescribe particular roles and regulate social relations. Examples of institutions would be Marriage, Descent and Inheritance systems, Codified Legal Systems, Parliaments, and Banking etc. A distinction is often made between formal and informal institutions. Formal institutions are equated with written rules, and enforcement is by a disinterested third party… Informal institutions on the other hand are often unwritten, and tend to be socially enforced, perhaps by interested parties.” Currie, Thomas, P. Turchin, J. Bednar, P. Richerson, G. Schwesinger, S. Steinmo, R. Wacziarg & J. Wallis. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.” pp. 201-236. In: Wilson, D.S. & A. Kirman (Eds). Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for economics. MIT Press. p. 3.

“Here [population level rules or social group rules (Smaldino 2014)] we distinguished social norms–what individuals learn socially or individually–from institutions that operate at the group level. This distinction is hardly necessary for very simple norms/institutions where the whole institution is common knowledge. Road right-of-way rules are an example. Virtually everyone knows and obeys the rules. For this reason, perhaps, people tend to use the two words interchangeably. The distinction becomes important when an institution involves multiple roles. If we take the example of ‘money’; virtually everyone more than a few years of age knows how to spend it and save it. However, there have to be highly specialized workers at mints who know how to strike coins and print bills and the institution makes it very difficult for ordinary people to learn to mint or print, backed up by a specialized anti-counterfeiting police force to punish deviants. Bankers know how to create money by making loans, and central bankers know how to regulate the national money supply. Currency brokers specialize in trades involving foreign currency. No individual knows enough to operate all the roles concerned. All anyone has to know is how to operate his, or her assigned role in the institution.” Currie, Thomas, P. Turchin, J. Bednar, P. Richerson, G. Schwesinger, S. Steinmo, R. Wacziarg & J. Wallis. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.” pp. 201-236. In: Wilson, D.S. & A. Kirman (Eds). Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for economics. MIT Press. p. 3.

 

“Institutions understood as a set of rules for behavior are a subset and an integral component of culture, as they are transmitted via communication processes and social learning. This view of culture allows us to examine both the processes involved in the origin, maintenance and spread of specific cultural traits, and the complex ways different cultural traits and individuals can interact to produce emergent properties at the population level, and then the effects of these population-level properties.” Currie, Thomas, P. Turchin, J. Bednar, P. Richerson, G. Schwesinger, S. Steinmo, R. Wacziarg & J. Wallis. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.” pp. 201-236. In: Wilson, D.S. & A. Kirman (Eds). Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for economics. MIT Press. p. 4.

 

“Another theoretical contribution from evolutionary biology that may be a productive way to organize investigations into institutional change is the use of Tinbergen’s ‘Four Whys’. For example, if we are to ask why a society has a particular institution, there are a number of levels at which we can address such a question. There are the Historical (Phylogenetic) aspects of institutions: How and when did the institution emerge? What is the history of transmission of the institution and the other cultural traits that are associated with it? Did it emerge by repurposing existing institutions? There are then the Functional aspects of the institution: What does the institution do, what is its purpose? Why was it selected? A particularly important issue here is the issue of institutions that we build to solve collective action problems. These are often costly within groups, yet have a selective advantage between groups. We can also address the Mechanistic aspects of how the institution works from day-to-day; the roles people play, and how the rules are reinforced. Such issues would deal directly with the issues about how background culture, values, etc. or other institutions are processed to produce individual and collective behaviour. It would also deal with the psychological mechanisms that underpin this, including how culture can affect the cognition of individuals. Finally, we can also address the Developmental aspects of institutions about how people become incorporated into institutions during their lifetime (taking up roles, learning the rules).” Currie, Thomas, P. Turchin, J. Bednar, P. Richerson, G. Schwesinger, S. Steinmo, R. Wacziarg & J. Wallis. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.” pp. 201-236. In: Wilson, D.S. & A. Kirman (Eds). Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for economics. MIT Press. pp. 6-7.

 

“What happened in all three societies [US, UK & France in 19th century] is that the number of corporations increased dramatically. The new institution created a kind of open economic entry that changed the dynamics of markets and of industries. But it also changed the dynamics of political competition. If the government actually adhered to the rule, they had to allow entry into a wide variety of economic activities. That meant that groups could form economic organizations to compete politically. Political competition could not be sustained without economic competition. In Britain, rules about forming political parties preceded general incorporation, in the United States the rules governing economic organizations came before changes in the rules about forming political parties. To be sustainable, both institutional changes had to occur. If the political system could close off entry to parts of the economy, then a governing political coalition could use those economic rents to affect the political interests of different groups and maintain control of the polity. If some groups in the economic system enjoyed rents from limited competition, then those groups would use those rents to affect and limit political competition.” Currie, Thomas, P. Turchin, J. Bednar, P. Richerson, G. Schwesinger, S. Steinmo, R. Wacziarg & J. Wallis. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.” pp. 201-236. In: Wilson, D.S. & A. Kirman (Eds). Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for economics. MIT Press. p. 10.

 

“In reality the links between institutions and culture may exhibit varying degrees of interconnectedness. At one extreme these elements may form a highly integrated, functionally organized system; while at the other different aspects may interact and influence each other in a looser way, more like an ecosystem.” Currie, Thomas, P. Turchin, J. Bednar, P. Richerson, G. Schwesinger, S. Steinmo, R. Wacziarg & J. Wallis. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.” pp. 201-236. In: Wilson, D.S. & A. Kirman (Eds). Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for economics. MIT Press. p. 11.

 

“Although it is useful to see how culture and institutions are linked, an evolutionary perspective also draws attention to the possibility of these features becoming mismatched. Culture and institutions both undergo evolutionary changes and may do so in ways that lead them to be uncoupled. Changes in ecological factors (e.g. adoption or development of new subsistence practices), the social environment (e.g. changes in population, or the composition/behaviour of neighbouring groups), or drift-like processes leading to changing cultural values may make existing institutions less appropriate than before, eventually leading to the need to realign or change the rules. For example, changes in subsistence practices in sub-Saharan Africa (particularly the adoption of cattle) is argued to have proceeded [preceded?] the change from matrilineal to patrilineal forms of inheritance because passing on wealth (in the form of cattle) provides an evolutionary advantage to investing in your own sons. Another example, would be that attitudes towards ‘gay marriage’ in the UK and USA shifted before formal legal changes were instituted. The reverse is of course also possible, and is the motivation behind much legislation.” Currie, Thomas, P. Turchin, J. Bednar, P. Richerson, G. Schwesinger, S. Steinmo, R. Wacziarg & J. Wallis. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.” pp. 201-236. In: Wilson, D.S. & A. Kirman (Eds). Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for economics. MIT Press. pp. 11-12.

 

“The new economic institutions put in place were the second round of institutional change [first round: uniform adoption of democratic and republican institutions of government and the widespread adoption of near universal white male suffrage by the 1820s followed by high spending and poor finance for infrastructure]. Eleven of the twelve states adopted new procedures for issuing government debt and for chartering corporations through general incorporation acts. These institutional innovations were American inventions. Today, hard budget constraints and transparent corporate forms with secure stockholder rights are both important institutional determinants of successful economies, but are not institutions that are closely associated with one another by default. Wallis investigated how and why these two important institutional reforms occurred at precisely the same time. The institutional inventions were not independent, but part of an institutional solution that forced legislatures and taxpayers to deliberately raise taxes when they made infrastructure investments. Government borrowing was only one of the ways that states had financed infrastructure, however, and closing off the possibility that legislatures would create privileged economic corporations as a way to induce private groups to provide public services was an integral part of the elimination of taxless finance. In more general terms, Americans consciously decided to limit their legislature’s discretion to manipulate the economy.

“This example illustrates how changes in one institution (here a shift to democratic governance in the 1820s) can lead to a reaction in another institution (the tax system in the 1830s).” Currie, Thomas, P. Turchin, J. Bednar, P. Richerson, G. Schwesinger, S. Steinmo, R. Wacziarg & J. Wallis. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.” pp. 201-236. In: Wilson, D.S. & A. Kirman (Eds). Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for economics. MIT Press. p. 15; reference: Wallis, John. 2005. “Constitutions, Corporations, and Corruption: American States and Constitutional Change, 1842 to 1852.” The Journal of Economic History. 65(01):211-256.

 

“In terms of the evolution of large-scale, complex societies the argument goes that in order for groups to get larger societies [they?] have to develop institutions that bind smaller sub-units together in a coordinated manner. For example, it is argued that having official positions of leadership (e.g., ‘chiefs’) helps make decision-making more efficient, and is an innovation that enabled previously autonomous villages to become united into larger political units.” Currie, Thomas, P. Turchin, J. Bednar, P. Richerson, G. Schwesinger, S. Steinmo, R. Wacziarg & J. Wallis. 2016. “Evolution of Institutions and Organizations.” pp. 201-236. In: Wilson, D.S. & A. Kirman (Eds). Complexity and Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for economics. MIT Press. p. 18.

“Some of the lessons coming out of our institutional analyses in Nepal and elsewhere show that resource users who have relative autonomy to design their own rules for governing and managing common-pool resources frequently achieve better economic (as well as more equitable) outcomes than when experts do this for them.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 319.

 

“Farmers in old and established systems tell researchers that they do not know much about the origin of the rules they use. In Bali, for example, rules are encoded in a sacred religious system and are monitored and enforced by priests.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 320.

 

“Even when those closely involved in governing and managing a resource do have relative autonomy to devise their own rules, they cannot foresee all the outcomes that a change in rules produces. They have to learn over time by tinkering with rules so as to cope with diverse biophysical systems, including rainfall patterns, soil, geology, as well as with the cultural and economic systems in which they live.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 321.

 

Strategies are the plans made by individuals in a situation as to what actions they plan to undertake so as to achieve outcomes given their information about the basic structure of the situation. Norms and rules both contain prescriptions – the musts, must nots, and mays of deontic logic.

Norms are prescriptions about actions or outcomes that are not focused primarily on short-term material payoffs to self. A participant who holds a truth-telling norm gains an internal reward for telling the truth even when material payoffs would be greater when telling a lie. While norms can emerge entirely internal to an individual, most norms are acquired in the context of a community in which the individual frequently interacts….

Rules are linguistic statements containing prescriptions similar to norms, but rules carry an additional, assigned sanction if forbidden actions are taken and observed by a monitor. For rules to exist, any particular situation must be linked to a rule-making situation and some kind of monitoring and sanctioning must exist. In effect, rules are the result of implicit or explicit efforts to achieve order and predictability among humans by creating classes of persons (positions) who are then required, permitted, or forbidden to take classes of actions in relation to required, permitted, or forbidden outcomes or face the likelihood of being monitored and sanctioned in a predictable fashion.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. pp. 321-2.

 

“We build on game-theoretical language to create a systematic way to classify generic rules and thus join formal theorists in the assumption that any human interaction is composed of seven working parts: Actors in positions choosing among actions at particular stages of a decision process in light of their control over a choice node, the information they have, the outcomes that are likely, and the benefits and costs they perceive for these outcomes… So, in our effort to bring some order to the massive number of specific rules that one could analyze in any particular action situation, we have clustered rules into seven broad types based on the seven working parts of a game or of an action situation.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 323.

 

“We start by identifying the set of positions or anonymous slots that are filled by actors and to which specific action sets are assigned at junctures in a decision process. Position rules create these positions and they may also state whether there is a defined number, no limit, a lower limit, or an upper limit on the number of actors who hold a position. Boundary rules – frequently called entry and exit rules – define (1) who is eligible to enter a position, (2) the process that determines which eligible actors may enter (or must enter) positions, and (3) how an individual may leave (or must leave) a position. Choice rules specify what a participant occupying a position must, must not, or may do at a particular point in a decision process in light of conditions that have, or have not, been met at that point in the process.

Aggregation rules determine ‘who is to decide’ which action or set of activities is to be undertaken. Crawford and Ostrom describe the different generic forms that aggregation rules can take depending on whether a decision of a single actor or of multiple actors needs to be weighted differently or not, and when rules define outcomes in cases of non-agreement. Information rules affect the level of information available to actors about actions and the link between actions and outcomes. Information rules authorize channels of information flow among actors, assign the obligation, permission, or prohibition to communicate to actors in positions at particular decision nodes, and the language and form in which communication will take place. Information rules are particularly important in generating information about past actions of actors to that other actors can know who is, or is not, trustworthy.

Payoff rules affect the benefits and costs assigned to actors in light of the outcomes achieved and the actions chosen by the actors. An example of a set of payoff rules is the pay schedule that is used by a government agency or by a private firm to assign salaries to actors in particular positions. Finally, scope rules determine which outcomes may, must, or must not be affected within a situation. Scope rules are especially useful for those situations where establishing rules that monitor actions of players might be more difficult or sensitive than monitoring outcomes. For instance, rules that specify a limit on particular types of pollutants in a smokestack limit outcomes, but do not focus on the variety of actions that might produce those outcomes.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. pp. 323-4; reference: Crawford, S.E.S. & E. Ostrom. 2005. “A grammar of institutions.” In: Ostrom, E (ed.) Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton UP. pp. 137-174.

 

Default position condition No formal positions exist.

Default entry condition Anyone can enter.

Default choice condition Each player can take any physically possible action.

Default aggregation condition Players act independently. Physical relationships present in the situation determine the aggregation of individual moves into outcomes.

Default information condition Each player can communicate any information via any channel available to the player.

Default payoff condition Any player can retain any outcome that the player can physically obtain and defend.

Default scope condition Each player can affect any state of world that is physically possible.”

Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 324.

 

“In evolving human-based rule systems, rule configurations within an action situation can change as a result of many self-conscious or unconscious mechanisms, including trial-and-error efforts, especially in collective-action processes.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 325.

 

“Mechanisms for change in rule configurations can be roughly divided into relatively self-conscious and unconscious processes of change.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 325.

 

“Among examples of self-conscious processes that are frequently mentioned in the literature are those driven by imitation. Imitation of rules used by others can lead to rule evolution over time, especially if the farmers from multiple irrigation systems in a region regularly interact in a local market or other regular meeting place.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 325.

 

“Imitation of entire rules systems that are thought of as ‘successful’ can also take place at the constitutional choice level, such as the case of the adoption of the US National Parks’ law system by the Costa Rican nascent national park system. Other self-conscious processes of change in rule systems include some cases of external development interventions, such as when external aid support is conditioned to changes in local institutions based on foreign views of fairness, productivity, democracy, or development itself.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 326.

 

“Rapid changes in the biophysical characteristics of a resource can lead resource users to mobilize enough incentives to organize and self-consciously reform their governance rule systems to new conditions. However, when changes are slow over space or time, and confounded with seasonal and other biophysical variables, users might find themselves unconsciously adapting to shifting conditions in an effort to maintain certain levels of productivity, equitable distribution, or sustainability. Competitive processes can also lead some users to self-consciously favor some institutional arrangements over others. Similarly, conflict over the interpretation of rules is also a process that frequently leads to self-conscious change. If there are regularized procedures for hearing conflict and reaching solutions that are accepted by actors as legitimate, rules may be added, taken away, or modified as a result of such procedures. In common-law settings, one can expect those disadvantaged by current rules to challenge them and even continue to challenge initial decisions against them until they gain an interpretation favorable to their situation. Most self-conscious processes of change are based on the ability of humans to learn, such as when members of a rural fishing community organize to modify rules to control levels of exploitation based on past experiences.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 326.

 

“Unconscious processes of change include forgetting, like when there is a very large number of rules and no one ‘remembers’ them all without extensive research, or when laws are never practiced. The same phenomena are observed when certain taboos disappear through language loss, cognitive dissonance, technological change, or non-enforcement. These mechanisms can slowly erode rule systems, which then wither away and eventually can be replaced by new practices and norms of behavior. [“Forgetting’ might also constitute a strategic move that advantages some actors with the hope that others may have forgotten this rule and not challenge them for breaking it.”]

“For sociocultural anthropologists, other unconscious processes of rule changes include sociocultural epistasis. This form of change takes place when the semiotic overlap of one idea necessarily implies a subsequent idea, even though both ideas might not necessarily be related. Nevertheless, through cultural epistasis both ideas are continually associated and carried along in processes of change.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 326.

 

“Our dependence on language to communicate and the inherent ambiguity of language can lead to a number of unconscious processes of rule change as well. Rules are composed of mere words and, as Vincent Ostrom has frequently pointed out, words are not always understood by everyone with the same meaning. A guard may not understand the rules the same way as users. A guard, for example, may interpret rules that place heavy costs on the guard in contrast to those rules that involve low costs. Babbling equilibrium problems are widespread, even among scholars studying rules and norms systems!” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 327; reference: Ostom, Vincent. 1997. The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies: A Response to Tocqueville’s Challenge. University of Michigan Press.

“In general, one would expect the rules structuring operational interactions within similar types of situations – such as smaller irrigation systems in a region – to change toward more productive outcomes when:

” most actors affected have some voice in proposing rule changes and making decisions about rule changes;

” most actors within systems have sufficiently large payoffs at stake that they are willing to invest in the transaction costs of searching, debating, and learning about better options;

” actors with the largest stakes have an interest broadly congruent with increased productivity for the system (this will tend to occur in an irrigation system when the richest farmers are located toward the tail end, are dependent on the others to contribute resources toward the maintenance of the system, or when big differences in the wealth and power of the farmers are not present);

” internal processes within systems have generated substantial variety in the rules used to structure interactions within different systems, leading to a range in performance in regard to agricultural productivity, maintenance of the physical capital, and distribution of income to actors;

” actors are in a social and economic environment where they can learn from successes and failures of others (such as regular meeting places where farmers gossip about the problems they are facing, where officials who are charged with helping farmers learn how to get better productivity from their systems, and there are federations of local water associations who meet annually);

” the actors have developed regular procedures for reviewing their experience over time, revising rules and procedures when they evaluate that they could be improved, and recording their changes so that they gain a good history of what they have tried and what results they obtained;

” the systems are in a political environment that encourages local autonomy, but also provides oversight regarding corruption and accountability as well as conflict resolution; and

” biophysical disturbances happen frequently enough so that actors learn how to cope with them rather than occurring only occasionally, leaving farmers unprepared.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. pp. 335-6.

 

“Developing better tools to study the evolution of institutions is one important step we can take to reduce emphasis on institutional monocropping that currently dominates much of social science thinking as well as that of development agencies.” Ostrom, Elinor & X. Basurto. 2011. “Crafting analytical tools to study institutional change.” Journal of Institutional Economics. 7(3):317-343. p. 337.

 

“Veblen did not provide a single and substantive account of the sources of variation of social institutions, but he did offer several hints and insights. For instance, he wrote: ‘The growth of culture is a cumulative sequence of habituation’ but ‘each new move creates a new situation which induces a further new variation in the habitual manner of response’ and ‘each new situation is a variation of what has gone before and embodies as causal factors all that has been effected by what went before’.” Hodgson, Geoffrey. 2003. “Darwinism and Institutional Economics.” Journal of Economic Issues. March. 37(1):85-97. p. 89; reference: Veblen, Thorstein. 1919. The Place of Science in Modern Civilization and Other Essays. NY: Huebsch. p. 241.

 

“The progress which has been and is being made in human institutions and in human character may be set down, broadly, to a natural selection of the fittest habits of thought and to a process of enforced adaptation of individuals to an environment which has progressively changed with the growth of community and with the changing institutions under which men have lived.” Veblen, Thorstein. 1899. The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study in the Evolution of Institutions. NY: Macmillan. p. 188; quoted in Hodgson, Geoffrey. 2008. “How Veblen Generalized Darwinism.” Journal of Economic Issues. June. 42(2): 399-405. pp. 402-3.

 

“Institutional change, while amenable to rational-choice analysis and, retrospectively, to critical-juncture and path-dependency analysis, is also, and importantly, ecological. Stability, like change, is an emergent property of institutions, which tend to stabilize after change in a manner analogous to allopatric speciation. EI [evolutionary institutionalism] is more than metaphorically biological in that institutional behaviors are driven by human behaviors whose evolution long preceded the appearance of institutions themselves.” Fuerstenberg, Kai. 2016. “Evolutionary institutionalism: New perspectives.” Politics and the Life Sciences. Spring. 35(1):48-60. p. 48.

 

“Humans attempt to use their perceptions about the world to structure their environment in order to reduce uncertainty in human interaction.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 6.

 

Heiner’s article points to the source of institutional competence and the difficulty of the decision problem. The human agent in the face of such a gap will construct rules to restrict the flexibility of choices in such situations. We know these rules as institutions. By channeling choices into a smaller set of actions, institutions can improve the ability of the agent to control the environment.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 14; reference: Heiner, Ronald. 1983. “The Origin of Predictable Behavior.” American Economic Review. 73(4):560-95.

 

“The beliefs and institutions that humans have devised only make sense as an ongoing response to the various levels of uncertainty that humans have confronted and continue to confront in the evolving physical and human landscape. While the deep underlying source of institutions has been and continues to be the effort by humans to structure the environment to make it more predictable, this effort can and frequently does make for increased uncertainty for some of the players.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. pp. 14-5.

 

“But if uncertainty associated with the physical environment has declined, a consequence has been a vastly more complex human environment.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 16.

 

“All organized activity by humans entails a structure to define the ‘way the game is played,’ whether it is a sporting activity or the working of an economy. That structure is made up of institutions–formal rules, informal norms, and their enforcement characteristics.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 48.

 

“Belief systems embody the internal representation of the human landscape. Institutions are the structure that humans impose on that landscape in order to produce the desired outcome. Belief systems therefore are the internal representation and institutions the external manifestation of that representation.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 49.

 

“Imperfect models of the complex environment that the politician (and constituent) is attempting to order, institutional inability to get credible commitment between principal and agent (voter and legislator, legislator and policy implementer), the high cost of information, and the negligible payoff to the individual constituent of acquiring information all conspire to make political markets inherently imperfect. Surely this conclusion should not be surprising. After all, the basic separation between the polity and the economy has always, even among confirmed libertarians, left a residual of activities to be undertaken by government because of the inherent difficulty that arose from the public good attributes, free riding, and costly (and asymmetric) information of certain types of activities.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. pp. 54-5.

 

“Bargaining strength and the incidence of transaction costs are not the same in the polity as in the economy, otherwise it would not be worthwhile for groups to shift the issues to the political arena. Thus the selection process is one in which the high transaction cost items gravitate to the polity.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 55.

 

“Throughout most of history and indeed in much of the present world economies have been perceived by the players as zero sum games in which the acquisition of skills and knowledge has as its objective doing better at the expense of others. The institutional matrix has reflected the bargaining strength of those able to make or change the rules. Their perceptions with respect to the gains to be made by redistributive versus productive activities will shape the rules of the game and the resultant opportunity set…. The transition from a belief system built to deal with the uncertainties of the physical environment to one confronting the opportunities of the human environment involves a change in perceptions from a zero sum game to a positive sum game and is a critical turning point in the process of economic change.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. pp. 63-4.

 

“There are four fundamental stumbling blocks which were implicit in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations but have been ignored by modern neo-classical economists because they involve explicit institutional analysis.

“1. There is the movement from personal to impersonal exchange. Such a move has posed, and still does pose, a fundamental obstacle to realizing the potential envisioned by Adam Smith when he viewed the wealth of nations as being a function of the size of markets. The necessary institutional changes required to realize the gains from large-scale (and impersonal) markets require fundamental rethinking at odds with our genetic heritage.

“2. Adam Smith’s specialization and division of labor–the necessary condition for achieving such markets–is really specialization of knowledge. The problem of integrating this dispersed knowledge at low costs of transacting is one that is not completely solved by a price system. It requires novel institutional and organizational connections to overcome the public goods attributes, externalities, and information asymmetries that prevent the price system from fully integrating distributed knowledge.

“3. All well-functioning factor and product markets must be structured to provide incentives for the players to compete at those margins, and those margins alone, that induce growing productivity. Only then do we realize Smith’s beneficent results. Moreover, in a dynamic world with changing technology, information costs, and politics there is nothing automatic about the structure changing in response to these changing parameters to continue to produce efficient markets.

“4. Well-functioning markets require government, but not just any government will do. There must be institutions that limit the government from preying on the market. Solving the development problem therefore requires the crafting of political institutions that provide the necessary underpinnings of public goods essential for a well-functioning economy and at the same time limit the discretion and authority of government and of the individual actors within government.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. pp. 84-5.

 

“… the major reason for the growth of services is that resources are devoted to transacting. Transaction costs are the costs involved in exchange and as specialization and division of labor have increased, so has the number of exchanges, each of which has entailed devoting resources to that exchange. Banking, insurance, finance, wholesale and retail trade, as well as a good part of government activity are all part of the transaction sector. And then inside the firm there are ever increasing numbers of accountants, lawyers, and others devoted to facilitating exchange in the complex economic world of impersonal exchange. The movement from personal to impersonal exchange always increases total transaction costs but the consequence is a drastic reduction in production costs, which more than offset the increased resources going into transacting–and was responsible for the dramatic growth of modern economies.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 91.

 

“All rights accorded to citizens–whether personal, economic, religious, civil, or political–imply limits to the behavior of political officials. The key to political order is the establishment of credible bounds on the behavior of political officials. Citizen rights and the implied bounds of government must be self-enforcing for political officials in that transgressing them would jeopardize a political leader’s future. The creation of a shared belief system in a society reflects the development of social norms with respect to the legitimate limits of behavior of political officials.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 107.

 

“The establishment of a state with the coercive ability to enforce property rights (at low cost) results in a state with the ability to use that coercive authority to exploit its citizens, as Madison reminded us a long time ago.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 119.

 

“Trade will make the individual better off only if the increased uncertainty due to specialization is more than compensated for by the reduction in uncertainty resulting from the availability of wider variety.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 121.

 

“The mechanisms for contract enforcement appear to have had their beginnings in internal codes of conduct of fraternal orders of guild merchants, which were enforced by the threat of ostracism. These codes evolved into merchant law and spread throughout the European trading area; gradually they became integrated with common and Roman law and enforcement was eventually taken over by the state.

“The last point is critical. The economic, institutional structure was made possible by the evolution of polities that eventually provided a framework of law and its enforcement. Such a framework is an essential requirement for the impersonal exchange that is necessary for economic growth. The development was a long process of (some) polities gradually shifting from extortion to trading ‘protection and justice’ for revenue. The initial impetus for this development was the desperate search for additional revenue; but as noted above, obtaining revenue could take several forms–confiscation or debt repudiation on the one hand or the trading of property rights and their enforcement for revenue on the other.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. pp. 132-3.

 

“Centralized political control limits the options, the alternatives that will be pursued in a context of uncertainty about the long-run consequences of political and economic decisions. The lack of large-scale political and economic order created the essential environment hospitable to economic growth and ultimately human freedoms. In that competitive decentralized environment lots of alternatives were pursued; some worked, as in the Netherlands and England, some failed, as in the cases of Spain and Portugal, and some, as in France, fell between these two extremes. But the key to the story is the variety of the options pursued and the increased likelihood (as compared to a single unified policy) that some would turn out to produce economic growth. Even the relative failures in western Europe played an essential role in European development.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. pp. 137-8.

 

“It was the dynamic consequences of the competition among fragmented political bodies that resulted in an especially creative environment. Europe was politically fragmented; but it had both a common belief structure derived from Christendom and information and transportation connections that resulted in scientific, technological, and artistic developments in one part spreading rapidly throughout Europe. To treat the Netherlands and England as success stories in isolation from the stimulus received from the rest of Europe (and to a lesser degree Islam and China) is to miss a vital part of the explanation. Italian city states, Portugal, and Germanic states all fell behind the Netherlands and England; but banking, artistic development, improvements in navigation, and printing were just a few of the obvious contributions that the former states made to European advancement.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 138.

 

“While the degrees of freedom of princes varied, one option available to them was to grant privileges–property rights–in return for revenue. As trade and commerce grew beyond the bounds of the town or manor, merchants found that the private costs of protection could be reduced by a larger coercive authority and were willing to pay princes to provide protection. In order to prevent loss of revenue (from evasion) rulers granted rights to alienate land or to allow inheritance, thereby establishing more secure and efficient property rights. Towns were granted trading privileges in return for annual payments; alien merchants were granted legal rights and exemptions from guild restrictions in return for revenue. Guilds received exclusive rights of monopoly in return for payments to the Crown.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 141.

 

“… but it was the wool export trade in the thirteenth century that was the backbone of augmented Crown revenue. Eileen Power describes the exchange between the three groups involved in the wool trade: the wool growers as represented in Parliament, the merchants of the staple, and the Crown. In an agreement the merchants achieved a monopoly of the export trade and a depot in Calais, Parliament received the right to set the tax, and the Crown received the revenue.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 143; reference: Power, Eileen. 1941(1965). The Wool Trade in English Medieval History. Oxford UP.

“There are transaction costs in

“1. measuring the multiple valuable dimension of a good or service;

“2. the protection of individual property rights;

“3. the integration of the dispersed knowledge of a society;

“4. the enforcement of agreements.” North, Douglass. 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton UP. p. 158.

 

“The crucial link between heterogeneity and leadership-entrepreneurial action is determined by the shape of the collective goods production function. Differently shaped functions induce different kinds of actions. Accelerating and decelerating curves determine the dynamics of collective action at different stages and induce different strategies depending on stage. Hence there are phases of collective action that have different properties. In certain stages, entrepreneurs may have the incentive to act either to provide a collective good or to absorb the costs of organizing people to do that. The bottom line is that relatively small groups of people are often at the core of action.” Aligica, Paul. 2014. Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms and Beyond. Oxford UP. p. 7.

 

“Polanyi argued that the success of science was mainly due to its ‘polycentric organization.’ In such organizational systems, participants enjoy the freedom to make individual and personal contributions, and to structure their research activities in the way they consider fit. Researchers’ efforts don’t usually dissipate in unproductive directions because they share a common ideal, that is, their freedom is utilized to search for an abstract end goal (objective truth)…. Polanyi argued that the same analysis applies to art, religion, or the law, because these other activities are also polycentric in nature and driven by certain ideals (beauty, transcendent truth, and justice).” Aligica, Paul. 2014. Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms and Beyond. Oxford UP. pp. 39-40.

 

“Polanyi added the argument of moral relativism, that is, the idea that justice itself is an ideal one can only hope to approach by means of a gradual trial-and-error process.” Aligica, Paul. 2014. Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms and Beyond. Oxford UP. p. 41.

 

“Lon Fuller remarked that many problems that judges are called to settle are polycentric in the sense that disputes often involve many decision centers and the network of cause-and-effect relationships is not understood very well. This makes any decision not only more difficult but also a source of unintended consequences….

“Given this existing complexity, Fuller asked the following question: Which issues should be settled in court, which should be settled by political means, and which should be left to the market? As a general rule of thumb, Fuller argued that when there are many parties affected by an issue, the probability of judicial error increases because of the impossibility of avoiding unintended consequences. For that reason, there should be a threshold, defined by the level of polycentricity in a system, beyond which courts should not rule, but leave the matter instead either to markets or to the political process.” Aligica, Paul. 2014. Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms and Beyond. Oxford UP. pp. 41-2; reference: Fuller, Lon. 1978. “The Forms and Limits of Adjudication.” Harvard Law Review. 92(2):353-409.

 

“Positive anarchy studies overlap to a certain extent with the literature on polycentricity, as anarchism involves by definition multiple centers of decision-making. The connection between the two fields has two aspects. On one hand, one can view some of the positive anarchy studies as studies of the dangers of polycentricity, of how multiple centers of decision-making can degenerate into social chaos. Although anarchy presupposes multiple centers of decision-making, not all anarchic systems are instances of polycentricity. It is important to keep in mind that polycentricity involves multiple centers of decision-making within an accepted set of rules. In other words, only certain variants of anarchy are polycentric, as these variants are peaceful precisely because rules exist and function (albeit in the absence of a single enforcer having a monopoly on force).” Aligica, Paul. 2014. Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms and Beyond. Oxford UP. p. 54.

 

“A tentative list such as the following advances the argument by highlighting nonnecessary conditions and thus maps varieties of polycentricity. First, related to decision centers and how they work:

“(A) Common/shared goals and (A2) individual goals.

“To these conditions one should add P1 and P2 conditions:

“(P1) Active exercise of diverse opinions and preferences and (P2) autonomous decision-making layers.

“Second, related to the charactteristics of the institutional/cultural framework (the overarching system of rules):

“(B1) Territorial jurisdiction of decision centers or (B2) nonterritorial jurisdiction of decision centers.

“(C1) Agents directly involved in rule design or (C2) rules designed by outsiders.

“(D1) Consensus or (D2) individual decisions or (D3) majority rule.

“To these conditions one should add the (P3) condition:

“(P3) Incentives compatibility: alignment between rules and incentives

“Last but not least, related to the spontaneous order process–how the mutual adjustments and evolutionary competition works, and how information flows in the process:

“(E1) Free entry or (E2) merit-based entry or (E3) spontaneous entry.

“(F1) Free exit or (F2) constrained exit.

“(G1) Public information or (G2) private information.” Aligica, Paul. 2014. Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms and Beyond. Oxford UP. p. 61.

 

“Our theoretical framework for understanding the evolution of social norms and institutions is provided by cultural multilevel selection (CMLS). Because the benefits of ultrasocial institutions are only felt at larger scales of social organization, and costs are born by lower-level units, fragmentation into lower-level units often leads to a loss of such institutions. For example, when a territorial state fragments into a multitude of province-sized political units, ultrasocial institutions such as governance by professional bureaucracies or education systems producing literate elites may be gradually lost (as happened, e.g., in parts of western Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire). Costly ultrasocial institutions can evolve and be maintained as a result of competition between societies: societies with traits that enable greater control and coordination of larger numbers will outcompete those that lack such traits. Although societies can compete in many ways, here we focus entirely on warfare. Thus, our theoretical prediction is that selection for ultrasocial institutions and social complexity is greater where warfare between societies is more intense.” Turchin, Peter, T.E. Currie, E. Turner, & S. Gavrilets. 2013. “War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies.” PNAS. October 8. 110(41):16384-89. pp. 16384-5.

 

“It appears that the diffusion of MilTech [military technology] and its effect on warfare intensity did indeed create an important selective force favoring the emergence of larger-scale societies.” Turchin, Peter, T.E. Currie, E. Turner, & S. Gavrilets. 2013. “War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies.” PNAS. October 8. 110(41):16384-89. p. 1386.

 

“Our model provides a possible explanation of how history and geography can interact in enabling the spread and persistence of ultrasocial institutions. For example, the presence of agriculture is partly due to the suitability of external environmental conditions, and partly due to the development and spread of agricultural techniques and technologies through population expansion and cultural transmission. Military technology spreads via cultural transmission, yet the most important aspect of this factor was that the location of its initial development was on the ecological boundary of the Eurasian steppe (which itself was due to a historical contingency–availability of wild horses for domestication).” Turchin, Peter, T.E. Currie, E. Turner, & S. Gavrilets. 2013. “War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies.” PNAS. October 8. 110(41):16384-89. p. 16387.

 

“Many nonhuman animals show some but not all aspects of theory-of-mind, self-awareness, culture, reciprocal altruism, planning, and so on. Whereas an outcome-based science stresses differences, a focus on process brings equal attention to commonalities.” De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari. 2012. “A Bottom-Up Approach to the Primate Mind.” pp. 1-10. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 4.

 

“Monkeys are highly socially adept animals. The most commonly studied monkey in behavioral neuroscience is the Japanese macaque. Their troops tend to consist of around 30-40 individuals and are governed by a strict social hierarchy based on dominance. It has been well described how an alpha male dominates each group and how the dominance is maintained and succeeded over decades. This hierarchy emerges between each pair of monkeys through their competitive interactions. Once a dominance relationship is established between two monkeys, the submissive monkey accepts the relationship until the dominant monkey loses his position. The hierarchy is robust, meaning it endures for long periods. However, when there is no competitive situation–that is, when no food or ovulating females are available–the hierarchy becomes relatively vague and relaxed, and the monkeys experience little social stress. This suggests that their hierarchical social structure evolved to provide social solutions under competitive circumstances. Grooming between individuals is another form of adaptive social behavior that reduces social stress due to complex social hierarchy. It is reported that grooming seems to work as a currency circulating within the group.” Fujii, Naotaka & A Iriki. 2012. “Social Rules and Body Scheme.” pp. 48-64. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 50.

 

“From these observations, we concluded that monkey social behavior could be understood as a function of modulation of behavioral suppression. Under conflict conditions, balancing forwardness and deference is the most important factor for managing social risk. This appears to be why monkeys have evolved to carefully manage their behavioral mode depending on social context. If one monkey suppresses his desires in a competitive situation, the other can satisfy his desires instead, and the physical and social risks that overt fighting could entail, both to the individual competitors and to the troop, are greatly mitigated.” Fujii, Naotaka & A Iriki. 2012. “Social Rules and Body Scheme.” pp. 48-64. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 54.

 

“We are proposing body-scheme-based social-rule representation in monkeys….

“For now, body-scheme-based rule representation is just a hypothesis, and the evidence for it, being so-far limited to monkeys, cannot readily be expanded to human rule representation and social brain function…. For example, we proposed that tool use, which modulates body scheme, may have acted as a catalyst for developing a more robust theory of mind via a more flexible way of representing the relationship between the self, external objects, and fellow social agents.” Fujii, Naotaka & A Iriki. 2012. “Social Rules and Body Scheme.” pp. 48-64. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 64.

“We now know that chimpanzees and bonobos cooperate in a wide range of situations in the wild and that they show a fair amount of plasticity in their cooperative behaviors across a range of ecologies. For example, both bonobos and chimpanzees have long-term relationships in which they support each other through grooming, coalitionary support, and food sharing. In addition, male chimpanzees have been observed to regularly hunt monkeys and patrol their territory borders in groups.

“The variety, frequency, and adaptability of Panin cooperation, along with the reduced role of kinship in explaining it, raise many questions regarding the underlying motivation and cognitive skills that allow for (or constrain) these species’ cooperative behavior.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 177.

 

“Tolerance is such a powerful constraint that even pairs who are expert at the cooperation task will not succeed when they perceive food as monopolizable.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 181.

 

“The species differences found in B. Hare et al. suggest that bonobos and chimpanzees differ in their ability to cooperate as a result of tolerance constraints on chimpanzees. Thus, understanding the mechanism allowing for these species differences in tolerance will help us to understand how ape cooperation evolves…. Wobber, Hare, et al. found that when a pair of chimpanzee males are unable to share food, they show an increase in testosterone but not cortisol in anticipation of being released together into a room full of food. This response is consistent with being primed for a competitive social interaction and avoidance of physical contact. In contrast, male bonobos who are unable to share show a dramatic anticipatory increase in cortisol but not testosterone. This response is consistent with a coping style that promotes social interactions in the face of competition that might reduce stress (i.e., play and sociosexual behavior).” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 181; references: Hare, B. et al. 2007. “”Tolerance allows bonobos to outperform chimpanzees on a cooperative task.” Current Biology. 17:619-623; Wobber, V., R. Wrangham & B. Hare. 2010. “Bonobos exhibit delayed development of social behavior and cognition relative to chimpanzees.” Current Biology. 20:226-230.

 

“Taken together, the results show how tolerance can constrain cooperation even in individuals who understand a great deal about the cooperative problem they must solve… Therefore, one of the first changes that had to occur to promote human levels of cooperation in our own species’ evolution was an increase in tolerance (i.e., likely bringing it beyond what is seen in either Panin in terms of within-group tolerance).” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. pp. 181-2.

 

“Considerable controversy remains around the question of what degree chimpanzee hunting (or any other form of cooperation) depends on coordinated and intentional collaboration or a simpler cooperative mechanism, such as joint action, in which multiple individuals pursue the same goal independently but simultaneously without awareness of their partners’ role in their success.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 182.

 

“All subjects had previously learned they could open the door to enter the adjacent room to retrieve food, but they had never been shown they could open the door for another chimpanzee. Instead of pulling the rope out of the food platform and failing to retrieve the food, the subjects spontaneously opened the door for their partner and waited until the partner arrived before they pulled in the platform together successfully. In a control in which the two rope ends were placed close together so that the subject did not need help in retrieving the food, the subjects did not release their partner from the room. Therefore, chimpanzees do spontaneously show an appreciation of the role of another individual in their success solving a novel instrumental task.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. pp. 182-3.

 

“Initial experiments examining chimpanzee food-sharing preferences support the view that much sharing that is observed in their natural interactions occurs in attempts to reduce the cost of harassment and does not result from a preference for sharing.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 184.

 

“Motivationally it is possible, if not likely, that bonobos voluntarily share because they prefer to eat socially rather than alone. However, it may also be that bonobos share out of concern for the other bonobo. Regardless of the underlying motivation, it remains striking that bonobos would voluntarily prefer to share food with non-kin, non-group members in any context.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 188.

 

“Whether a cooperative relationship is based on mutualism or a more altruistic exchange, there must be a mechanism by which cooperation is maintained. However, it has been suggested that reciprocal altruism will be rare in nature because of the high rate of discounting and a lack of inhibitory control in animals. It has also been suggested that humans have a unique motivation to pay a cost in order to punish a cooperator who defects. It may be that calculated reciprocity and active punishment play important roles in allowing for unique forms of human cooperation.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 188.

 

“Subjects preferred to open the door for a partner if the choice of that partner on the previous trial had led to success. Likewise, they switched partners on a trial following failure. Perhaps most remarkably, in the six-trial test session conducted as much as a week after the introduction, subjects almost exclusively chose the more skillful partner.

“This study demonstrates that chimpanzees form and then remember a reputation about the cooperative skill level of different individuals for a significant period of time. Social memories of this kind could provide a foundation for reciprocal relationships. It also suggests that chimpanzees are capable of maintaining cooperative relationships through shunning (i.e., simply avoiding unreliable partners). This highly effective, low-cost form of punishment does not require physical contact that can lead to injury. Instead, in a fluid fission-fusion society, individuals can completely escape the dilemma of the second-order cost of punishment by simply avoiding problematic conspecifics in favor of beneficial social partners.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 189.

 

“Overall the picture regarding nonhuman ape reciprocity remains cloudy…. … it is still possible that future experiments will find evidence for contingent reciprocity (and perhaps even calculated reciprocity, since Panins have low discounting rates, are skilled at simple arithmetic, and have shown impressive inhibitory control in a number of cooperative tasks.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 190.

 

“However, based on the current evidence, it seems most likely that symmetry within chimpanzee relationships is based on attitudinal reciprocity or long-term relationship factors that cut across currencies. Even if calculated reciprocity is demonstrated, it likely plays a minor role in maintaining cooperation within Panins.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 190.

 

“… we now know that a major constraint on cooperation is tolerance. Almost certainly during human evolution there was a major shift in tolerance levels that allowed for more forms of joint activity that could then develop into collaborative endeavors.” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 191.

 

“We suspect that it is not a tendency to act altruistically that makes humans unique. Instead, it seems more likely our species is unusually cooperative because of our flexible ability to avoid high-cost helping (i.e., harmful to reproductive success) while recognizing the potential benefit of mutualistic endeavors–particularly low-cost acts that can have beneficial reputational effects (i.e., evolutionarily neutral or positive). After all, there is no puzzle to explain when mutualism or no-cost cooperation evolves–particularly when it can have beneficial effects for the actor. Instead, the puzzle is why we do not see more-complicated forms of it more often when we look outside human behavior. It also raises the question of whether human cooperation really can ever be characterized as altruistically motivated when even the strictest demonstrations cannot rule out reputation effects (i.e., even in ‘anonymous’ experiments, subtle social cues suggesting that a subject’s actions are being watched shape our cooperative tendencies, while subjects can always brag about how cooperative they were in experiments when they go home).” Hare, Brian & Jingzhi Tan. 2012. “How Much of Our Cooperative Behavior is Human?” pp. 175-193. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. pp. 192-3.

 

“In humans, males have to keep a constant eye on their partner, otherwise they risk being cuckolded and may in fact unwittingly end up raising the offspring of other males. Such ‘mate guarding’ is also popular, to some extent, among chimpanzees, but only in humans has it become particularly prolonged–in some cases lasting a life-time. Among primates, humans have the clearest tendency to maintain strong male-female pair bonds and as such are referred to as collaborative breeders. As mentioned above, this likely derives from the necessity of rearing multiple children at one time.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 291.

 

“The burden of having multiple children at one time may have facilitated group living and mutual support in early hominids.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 292.

 

“Simple male-female bonds and collaborative breeding by parents who defend a common territory are features of many species in the animal kingdom, in particular among birds and mammals. The uniqueness of human families lies in collaborative breeding among individuals of at least three generations: the grandparents and the parents of offspring.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 292.

 

“The chimpanzee way of education has been referred to as ‘education by master-apprenticeship,’ or ‘bonding and identification-based observational learning.’ The most important master for the infant is the mother. The mother and the infant are constantly together, at least for the first four years of life, until the infant i[s] weaned. Chimpanzee mothers do not teach: they do not hand the infant a good stone tool, they do not demonstrate the behavior specifically for the benefit of the infant, nor they do mold the hand of the infant who tries to use a tool.

“Nonetheless, chimpanzee mothers make very good models for infants to learn from. An infant will copy its mother following intensive observation of her behavior. The mothers are highly tolerant toward their infants: they allow infants to watch from close range, and even to take freshly cracked nuts from their anvil. Later on, infants start paying attention to other members of the community as well, particularly older individuals.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 294.

 

“Once you recognize the chimpanzee way of education you can appreciate the unique features of human education. The latter has at its core humans’ collaborative rearing of young by multiple elder individuals in addition to the mother. From the beginning, the teacher is not limited to the mother. The father, the grandparents, elder brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, and so forth, can all contribute. Through collaborative efforts of the three generation[s] to raise young, supported by a broad social network, each community member may at times take on the role of the teacher.

“Active teaching is, of course, a fundamental feature of the human approach to education. This includes unique behaviors such as social praise, scolding, verbal instruction, and molding, among others. Moreover, there are many subtle variants of, for example, social praise, such as nodding or smiling. Human children in turn seem to have a strong desire to be socially praised.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 294.

 

“Chimpanzee mothers never scold their infants. They never hit them, nor do they ever neglect them. In the first three months of life, the infant always clings to the mother, and the mother embraces the infant. It may be a little-known fact that chimpanzee infants never cry at night–only humans do. Chimpanzee infants have no need to cry to attract attention, because they are constantly held in the mother’s embrace.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 295.

“While maintaining such direct gazes, humans smile. Smiling, easily recognized, is the facial expression that involves pulling back the lips horizontally and lifting them up at both ends. There are similarities and differences between the primate silent-bared-teeth face and the human smile…. Chimpanzees are also capable of smiling, and adopt the expression in similar contexts to humans. Human infants perform neonatal smiling: newborns spontaneously smile during their sleep with their eyes closed. Neonatal smiling disappears in the first two to three months of life and is replaced by social smiling (performed with the eyes open). Our work has shown that neonatal smiling is also found in chimpanzee infants. Both human and chimpanzee infants thus show neonatal smiling, followed by a subsequent shift to social smiling.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 298.

 

“In terms of the mother-infant relationship, humans are the only hominoid in whom mother and infant are physically separated from each other for extended periods, from right after birth.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 298.

 

“The ancestors of humans left the forest behind to expand their niche into the savanna, encountering for the first time considerable temperature differences between day and night. Nights could be very cold indeed; as a result, human infants are equipped with much thicker layers of fat than other primates. Fat constitutes only about 4 percent of body weight in chimpanzee infants; in humans it is around 20 percent….

“Having so much fat is also helpful in terms of energy supply. A large brain needs a lot of energy in comparison to other organs. To keep the brain adequately functioning, it is important to have a stable supply of energy. Human babies are unique in having very rich fat stores. This is probably due to the two reasons outlined above: keeping warm and constantly supplying the brain with energy.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. pp. 298-9.

 

“Only human infants can take the stable supine posture.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 299.

 

“Humans also changed their reproductive strategy. They were able to rear multiple children at one time through the collaboration between male-female pairs, grandparents, and others. Human infants are physically separated from the mother and can assume the stable supine posture. Infants separated may need a lot of communication that replaces body contact. The stable supine posture facilitated face-to-face communication, vocal exchange, and also the manipulation of objects already during the early phases of development.

“It is not well recognized that the supine posture made our hands free. Human infants can stand on their feet at around one year of age. However, well before this ability to assume the bipedal upright posture, the stable supine posture makes our hands free to manipulate various objects, such as rattles.” Matsuzawa, Tetsuro. 2012. “What is Uniquely Human? A View from Comparative Cognitive Development in Humans and Chimpanzees.” pp. 288-305. In: De Waal, Frans & P.F. Ferrari (eds.) The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds. Harvard UP. p. 300.

 

“Furthermore, there is a debate about the degree of choice individuals within a society possess in selecting their institutions. The structural (cultural) view – common in sociology and old institutionalism – emphasizes that institutions transcend individual actors and are immutable cultural features of societies that determine behavior. In contrast, the agency (functionalist) view – common in economics and neoinstitutionalism – emphasizes that individuals create institutions to serve various functions.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 12-13.

 

“Instead, the present perspective recognizes that institutions are not monolithic entities but are composed of interrelated but distinct components, particularly rules, beliefs, and norms, which sometimes manifest themselves as organizations. These institutional elements are exogenous to each individual whose behavior they influence. They provide individuals with the cognitive, coordinative, normative, and informational micro-foundations of behavior as they enable, guide, and motivate them to follow specific behavior.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 14.

 

“Rather, I develop a particular notion of transactions and view them as the basic units of institutional analysis.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 15.

 

“There is therefore a fundamental asymmetry between institutional elements inherited from the past and technologically feasible alternatives.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 17.

 

“Transaction cost economics asserts that institutions are formed to reduce transaction costs; the institutions-as-rules approach considers institutions as determinants of transaction costs. The equilibrium perspective I propose allows actors to attempt to improve their lot while simultaneously recognizing that the resulting institution is an equilibrium that determines the transaction costs facing each actor.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 18.

 

“There is no one-to-one mapping between the observable components of institutions (rules and organizations) and unobservable ones (beliefs and norms). The same rules and organizations can be components of institutions that differ in their beliefs and norms, implying that we cannot study institutions inductively based on their observable components.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 20.

 

An institution is a system of social factors that conjointly generate a regularity of behavior. Each component of this system is social in being a man-made, nonphysical factor that is exogenous to each individual whose behavior it influences. Together these components motivate, enable, and guide individuals to follow one behavior among the many that are technologically feasible in social situations. I often refer to such social factors as institutional elements. The institutional elements that this work focuses on are rules, beliefs, and norms as well as their manifestation as organizations. An institution is a system of rules, beliefs, norms, and organizations that together generate a regularity of (social) behavior. Each of these elements satisfies the conditions stated previously.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 30.

 

“They [organizations] have a dual nature: they are components of institutions and they constitute institutions. Organizations are institutional elements with respect to the behavior we seek to understand, but they are institutions with respect to their members’ behavior. Organizations also differ from other institutions in that the associated rules, beliefs, and norms lead to differential behavior toward members and nonmembers.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 31.

 

“A major fault line in institutional analysis separates those who adopt an agency perspective of institutions from those who adopt a structural perspective. According to the former, individuals shape institutions to achieve their goals; according to the latter, institutions transcend individual actors.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 40.

 

“The agency perspective places the individual decision maker at the center of the analysis. It studies institutions as reflecting the objectives of the individuals who established them. Institutions therefore reflect the interest of their creators and are postulated not to endure beyond the conditions that led to their emergence. Politicians, for example, aspire to create rules that best serve their political and economic objectives. If either the objectives or the political process of rule formation changes, so will the resulting rules….

“The structural perspective emphasizes that institutions shape rather than reflect the needs and possibilities of those whose behavior they influence. Institutions structure human interactions, mold individuals, and constitute the social and cultural worlds in which they interact. Institutions therefore transcend the situations that led to their emergence; beliefs, internalized norms, and organizations are part of the structure in which individuals interact, and this whole is larger than the sum of its parts.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 40-1.

 

“Saying that in any institution someone’s action must have an external effect implies that transactions are central to institutions. A transaction is defined here as an action taken when an entity, such as a commodity, social attitude, emotion, opinion, or information, is transferred from one social unit to another. These social units can be individuals, organizations, or other entities (such as God or the spirits of ancestors) that are considered actors by those whose behavior we study. Transactions can thus be economic (such as the provision of a pecuniary reward), political (such as a vote in the Congress), or social (such as the provision of social approval); transactions can involve inflicting pain or sharing emotions (such as the expression of sympathy).” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 45-6.

 

“One’s behavior is influenced by another’s past, present, or future action only if such transactions are involved. A necessary condition for one’s behavior to be influenced by man-made nonphysical factors exogenous to him is that something (such as money, praise, or a penalty) reflecting someone else’s behavior was, is, or is expected to be transferred to him. Institutionalized internalized beliefs and norms reflect transactions. They reflect the socialization process through which one’s world view, identity, and norms were developed and beliefs (in, e.g., holy scriptures and creation myths) were formed. Similarly, institutionalized behavioral beliefs are about transactions, because they are concerned with one’s response to another’s behavior.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 46.

 

“When an institution generates behavior in a transaction, we can refer to the transaction as central. For ease of exposition, I concentrate on institutions that generate behavior in central transactions, but the analysis applies equally to cases in which the regularity of behavior relates to actions other than transactions (e.g., smoking or diets)…. Potential transactions are actions that can be taken to transfer an entity between individuals, thereby directly affecting the well-being or information of at least one of them. If the threat of punishment by a court, for example, is sufficient to deter cheating, no transaction will take place between the court and the individual, who is induced to respect the law by his belief in the court’s response. The potential transaction that induces this behavior is an auxiliary transaction.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 47.

 

“Noting the importance of auxiliary transactions also provides a more nuanced view of organizations. Organizations are the arenas in which actions in auxiliary transactions take place. As such, organizations fulfill multiple roles. They produce and disseminate rules, information, and knowledge, perpetuate beliefs and norms, and influence the set of feasible beliefs in the central transaction.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 48.

 

“Organizations are institutional elements vis-a-vis the central transaction under consideration, but they are also institutions – systems of rules, beliefs, and norms exogenous to each individual whose behavior they influence – that generate behavior among the organization’s members. Whether we consider an organization an institution depends on the issue being studied. In Chapter 3, for example, understanding the behavior in the central transaction requires first understanding why members of a merchants’ community were motivated to retain their membership and transact in information.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 50.

 

“The distinction between organizations and institutions highlights the role of symbols and signs (such as contracts, bills of exchange, the marriage ceremony, and shaking hands) in the functioning of institutions. They are means to communicate one’s social position to the relevant organizations (and individuals).” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 52.

 

“Because different transactions can be linked to the same central transaction, rules, beliefs, internalized norms, and organizations can take many forms, which reflect the related intertransactional linkages. A borrower may repay a loan, for example, because he is motivated by the belief that if he does not, he will be fined by the court, beaten by a Mafia thug, or ostracized by the community.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 52.

 

“This failure [simple reputation mechanism modeled as an exchange of protection in return for tax payment by each merchant] reflects two interrelated factors. First, the ruler could discriminate among merchants. Because protection of rights was a private good rather than a public one, a ruler could respect the rights of some merchants but not others. Second, unless merchants could credibly commit to retaliate collectively, it was optimal for the ruler to abuse the rights of some merchants once trade had expanded, because expansion reduced the value of the future tax payment of each individual merchant.

“In the absence of appropriate organization and the implied intertransactional linkages, this threat, however, could not have been credible at the efficient level of trade for two reasons. First, collective punishment requires coordination. Second, rendering a threat of collective punishment credible required that all (or sufficiently many) merchants must be motivated to participate. Providing such motivation, however, presented a problem. Paradoxically abusing the rights of some merchants fostered the ruler’s ability to commit to respect the rights of the remaining merchants, whose future tax payments became more valuable to him. The enhanced ability of the ruler to commit undercuts the credibility of the threat of collective punishment.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 92-3.

 

“Interestingly, size matters here [the German Kontor or local merchant organizations in individual towns], just as it did for the Maghribis. Among the Maghribis, too small a coalition would have reduced the credibility of the punishment by increasing the cost of inflicting it, whereas too large a coalition would have undermined the information flows required for the credibility of the punishment. Similarly, for the Hansa to be effective, it had [to] be sufficiently large to ensure that the German merchants would not be marginal.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 109.

 

“… although the establishment of the German Hansa enabled Northern European trade to flourish, once organized the Hansa’s concern was not efficiency but profitability. In its constant efforts to preserve trade rights and supremacy, the Hansa crushed other traders’ groups, without consideration of their comparative efficiencies. Thus a merchant guild that had facilitated trade in the late medieval period was transformed into a monopolistic organization that hindered trade expansion during the pre-modern period.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 122.

 

“Institutionalized rules are a useful device because they provide the cognition, information, and coordination required for choosing behavior.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 134.

 

“The king’s strength comes not from his army but from the beliefs held by each member of the army that everyone else will obey the king’s orders and that the best response is also to obey.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 136.

 

“Nash equilibrium requires that individuals correctly anticipate one another’s behavior, and hence they do not encounter behavior that refutes their expectations.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 139.

 

“Studying the institutions within ourselves amounts to studying particular intertransactional linkages. Considering the institutional ramification of social exchange amounts to examining the linkage between social and economic transactions; studying norms amounts to examining the ‘transaction’ between an individual’s superego and his ego or id.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 145.

 

“… a useful feature of game theory is that it allows us to study all intertransactional linkages – economic, coercive, social, and normative – simultaneously using the same analytical framework.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 147.

 

“The only social rules that can be institutionalized are ones that, if they are expected to be followed and to specify the morally appropriate course of action, are indeed followed and are not refuted by the outcomes these rules, beliefs, and norms generate.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 151.

 

“An institution is reproduced when the rules and beliefs that enabled, guided, and motivated an individual’s actions are not refuted by observed behavior or outcomes. Thus, observed behavior and outcomes confirm the rules and beliefs that enabled, guided, and motivated the original behavior, as expectations are consistent with outcomes.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 161-2.

 

“… the need for coordination implies that individuals continue to follow past patterns of behavior, even under conditions of observed marginal parametric change. They do so because they face a situation in which rationality alone is insufficient to select a behavior (because of multiple self-enforcing outcomes). They therefore rely on institutionalized rules to guide them. Under these circumstances, behavioral rules learned in the past are the best predictor of future behavior, even when some individuals and organizations have the ability to coordinate on new behavior. For many reasons, such coordination may fail to transpire even when it is beneficial. Sunk costs associated with coordinating change, free-rider problems, distributional issues, uncertainties, limited understanding of alternatives, and asymmetric information may hinder coordination on new behavior.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 165.

 

“But once a particular pattern of behavior has been institutionalized, individuals tend to rely more on habits and routines than on reason and calculations. We follow institutionalized behavior habitually because of the scarcity of cognitive resources.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 166.

 

“Venice was able to maintain political order in a changing economic environment and to mobilize resources to sustain its economic prosperity even following the decline of its trade with the Far East. Throughout its history, its members’ social attachments to the clan structure gradually declined. In contrast, in Genoa political order often broke down, contributing to the city’s economic decline, and the social and political importance of clans grew.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 171.

 

“Furthermore, institutions shape individuals in ways that tend to reinforce these institutions by making the cost of deviation from the behavior these institutions generate emotionally or socially costly. Institutionalized behavior and the associated outcomes lead to reinforcing norms, senses of entitlements, identities, self-images, thinking patterns, and ideologies. Regularities of behavior tend to become the normatively appropriate and fair way to behave; they gain legitimacy, lead to the development of congruent personalities, and are incorporated in individuals’ identities.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 181.

 

“Exploring the properties of the social elements that make up an institution is the central focus of this argument. These properties imply a fundamental asymmetry between institutional elements inherited from the past and technologically feasible alternatives.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 187.

 

“The intertemporal relationships among institutions that the fundamental asymmetry implies affect the contemporaneous relationships among institutions. The environmental, coordination, and inclusion effects imply that institutions will cluster in institutional complexes. Within a complex, institutions complement one another, reflect the influences of the same coordinating factors, or share the same institutional elements….

“Institutional complexes differ from each other along various dimensions such as the following: which institutions are grouped within the same complex, the degree of institutional complementarities within it, the extent to which a particular element is shared by many institutions, whether coordination is based on explicit decision-making organizations, what combination of reward and punishment provides motivation, and what the objectives are of those who administer it.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 205.

 

“Social scientists have long recognized the problem in creating a powerful yet limited government, one that is given sufficient power to institute behavior but is prevented from abusing its power.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 219.

“Genoa’s economy was based mainly on piracy (including organized large-scale raids). Later its economy was based on ‘privileged’ long-distance trade, an important source of growth and prosperity in the premodern world. This trade was privileged in the sense that the Genoese merchants benefited from commercial privileges abroad, in the form of ports, quarters, customs reductions, and legal rights that reduced the risk and costs associated with trade and provided the merchants with a competitive advantage over other merchants.

“Rulers along the Mediterranean shores gave privileges to political units whose naval and military forces merited their support or neutrality… As a result, to gain privileges abroad and achieve commercial success, merchants depended on their state’s ability and motivation to provide the necessary military power.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 221-2.

 

“The idea of ruling cities through podestas also reflects institutional learning. During the first half of the twelfth century, Italian communes experimented with relying on a single administrator to manage their affairs. After Barbarossa’s attempt to control the Italian cities failed, many communes continued to nominate civil officials, called rectores, dominatores, and podestas, to act as administrators. These administrators, who were bound by the law, had police and judicial authorities. In this respect, they were similar to the dictators of ancient Rome. In the 1190s Emperor Henry VI used nonlocal imperial vicars, or podestas, to administer Italian cities on his behalf and secure his control.

“In Genoa the consulate, which was dominated by the Manecianos – Genoa’s elite – agreed to accept an imperial podesta, and the Maneciano and the Carmadino clans participated in the conquest of Sicily. Subsequent events, however, reflect the divergence in interests between the emperor, who aspired to control Genoa through his podesta, and the Genoese, who wanted to retain their independence. During the Sicilian campaign, the imperial podesta died. Without consulting the emperor, the Genoese nominated another podesta. The emperor refused to recognize this podesta and threatened to treat Genoa as a rebellious city. Unintimidated, the Genoese successfully confronted the emperor; they continued to nominate their own podesta and to use a podesta even when the emperor did not require them to do so.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 238.

 

“Three conditions needed to be met to ensure interclan cooperation and political order as an equilibrium outcome without subjecting the city to a dictatorship. First, the podesta had to be militarily deterred from attempting to become a dictator and gaining political control. Second, the podesta had to be deterred from siding with one clan against another. Third, the podesta had to deter each clan from challenging another in a larger set of situations than otherwise would be the case. In other words, the podesta should reinforce interclan cooperation.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 239.

“The strategy combination associated with these beliefs [to keep the clans from attacking each other] is a subgame perfect equilibrium, if the reward to the podesta, his military strength, and the other parameters are such that the following conditions bold. First, the podesta is sufficiently weak militarily and his wage sufficiently high that he is better off getting paid than colluding. Second, the podesta is sufficiently strong and clans are sufficiently equal in terms of military strength that he is better off fighting against a clan that attacked another than colluding, but only if the clan that was attacked also fights. Third, the podesta’s strength and the relative strength of the clans is such that each clan would fight alongside the podesta if attacked, and each clan would find it optimal not to challenge….

“Neither the podesta himself nor his relatives (to the third degree) were allowed to socialize with the Genoese, buy property, marry, or manage any commercial transactions for themselves or others in Genoa. The podesta, as well as the soldiers who came with him, had to leave the city at the end of the term and agree not to return for several years. To avoid developing special relations with any clan, each of which dominated a particular part of the city, the podesta rotated his residence among different quarters until special housing was built for him.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 240, 242.

 

“Both the predator-ruler and the neo-Hobbesian perspectives assume that the existence of a state implies that it has a monopoly over coercive power. Genoa’s historical experience highlights the limits of this premise.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 249.

 

“This relative decline of a kin-based organization of society began in the medieval period and reflected the actions of the church, an interest-based social structure. For ideological or self-serving reasons, the church, from as early as the fourth century, weakened European kin-based social structures. This was achieved by such policies as prohibiting marriages among kin (sometimes up to the seventh degree), encouraging the donation of one’s inheritance to the church, advocating consensual marriages, and condemning practices that enlarged the family, such as polygamy, divorce, and remarriage.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 252.

 

“By the late medieval period, kin-based social structures were no longer at the center of European institutional complexes. The rise of alternative, non-kin-based social structures in such forms as communes, guilds, fraternities, and universities is a hallmark of this time, reflecting the already substantial relative decline of kin-based social structures.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 252.

 

“When the Maghribi and the Genoese merchants first began trading in the Mediterranean, it was common in both groups for a trader’s son to start operating independently during his father’s lifetime. The father would typically help the son until the son was able to operate on his own. After the father’s death, his estate was divided among his heirs, and his business dissolved….

“During the thirteenth century, the Genoese traders adopted the family firm, the essence of which was a permanent partnership with unlimited and joint liability. This organization preserved family wealth undivided under one ownership, with the trader’s son joining the family firm….

“Among the Genoese traders, individualistic cultural beliefs motivated merchants to increase the security of the employment they offered their agents. The family firm seems to have been the manifestation of this desire. In the Genoese family firm, several traders combined their capital to form an organization with an infinite life-span and a lower probability of bankruptcy. Agency relationships were now with the organization rather than with individual merchants.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 298-9.

 

“Collectivist cultural beliefs constituted part of the Maghribis’ collective enforcement mechanism and induced investment in information, segregation, horizontal economic interactions, and stable pattern of wealth distribution. The endogenous partition of society restricted economic and social interactions to a small group and facilitated in-group communication and economic and social collective punishments. Collectivist cultural beliefs led to institutions based on the group’s ability to use economic, social, and, most likely, moral sanctions against deviants.

“Individualistic cultural beliefs constituted a part of the Genoese’ second-party enforcement mechanism. These beliefs induced a low level of communication, a vertical social structure, economic and social integration, and the transfer of wealth to the relatively poor. These manifestations of individualistic cultural beliefs weakened the dependence of each individual on any group, limiting the ability of each group to use economic, social, and moral sanctions against individual members. Individualistic cultural beliefs led to institutions based on legal, political, and (second-party) economic organizations for enforcement and coordination.

“Each of the two systems has different efficiency implications. The collectivist system is more efficient in supporting intra-economy agency relations and requires less costly formal organizations (such as lawcourts), but it restricts efficient inter-economy agency relations. The individualistic system does not restrict inter-economy agency relations, but it is less efficient in supporting intra-economy relations and requires costly formal organizations.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 300-301.

 

“Under the community responsibility system [institutions during the 12th and 13th centuries for local communes], a local, community court held all members of a different commune legally liable for default by any one involved in contracts with a member of the local community. If the defaulter’s communal court refused to compensate the injured party, the local court confiscated the property of any member of the defaulter’s commune present in its jurisdiction as compensation.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 310.

 

“The [Champagne] fairs were not organized as a meeting place for individual merchants from different localities but as a meeting place for traders from different communities, who often had their own places of residence, storage facilities, permanent representatives, and scribes, as well as a consul who had legal authority over members of its own community at the fairs. Although the authorities of the fairs contracted with rulers in the surrounding areas to secure the right of passage for merchants and safeguarded their property rights at the fair, they relinquished legal rights over the merchants once they were there. One was subject to the laws of his community, not the laws of the locality in which a fair was held. Law was personal rather than territorial.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 334.

 

“By the second half of the thirteenth century, the ease of falsification and the difficulty of verification seem to have hindered the operation of the community responsibility system in England. Based on evidence from the important English fair of St. Ives, Moore concludes that during the thirteenth century the community responsibility system ‘worked well enough in many cases, but it could be cumbersome and time consuming, both for the creditor and the court: it usually seems to have involved long disputes over whether or not the original debtor and/or the men actually bring sued for the debt were truly members of their town, community or guild, with everyone scurrying to disclaim responsibility for the obligation.’” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 339; reference: Moore, Ellen. 1985. The Fairs of Medieval England. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies.

 

“Evidence from Italy suggests that increasing social mobility between communities undermined the effectiveness of the community responsibility system, which critically depends on a community’s ability to locally punish its members. Treaties from late thirteenth-century Florence reflect that in Italy this ability had been eroding and defaulters were fleeing their communities. The response was to move away from personal law and toward territorial law.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 340.

 

“Where the state stepped in to provide an effective alternative, economic institutions moved closer, albeit slowly, to the enforcement system that prevails today, in which individual liability is the rule, much impersonal exchange is supported by the legal system, and collective responsibility is consensual and contractual. The asymmetry in the ability to provide alternative institutions within and outside polities created the institutional distinction between national and international trade.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 346-7.

“This history [the shift from the community responsibility system to territorial legal systems] calls into question the conventional wisdom that the rise of the European state was a precondition for the rise of markets. The community responsibility system suggests the importance of the opposite line of causation: the institutional demand created by the market influenced the development of state-governed, law-based institutions. When and where the state could respond to this challenge while being constrained from abusing rights, markets subsequently prospered.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 347.

 

“Other scholars have responded to the problem of institutional selection by considering it as a ‘second-order coordination’ problem, the problem of coordinating on one equilibrium. This coordination is provided by such mechanisms as leadership, culture, authority, bargaining, negotiation, and collective decision-making organizations.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 354.

 

“Institutions are shaped by a society’s social and cultural heritage, and they contain norms and internalized and behavioral beliefs. These norms and beliefs, in turn, reflect the cognitive models, knowledge, and coordination that were generated through a historical process of interactions, socialization, learning, experimentation, and leadership. Institutions also determine social positions and manifest themselves in formal and informal organizations, such as communities, ethnic groups, schools, firms, political lobbies, and bodies for collective decision making.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 380.

 

“For markets to function, property rights must be secure, but we have to know the context to recognize potential predators. For example, the government, the local elite or bureaucracy, the police, the army, the neighbors, or even relatives are possibilities.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 382.

 

An institution is a system of social factors that conjointly generate a regularity of behavior. These factors are social in being man-made, nonphysical factors that are exogenous to each individual whose behavior they influence. The various social factors that constitute an institution – in particular, rules, beliefs, norms, and organizations – motivate, enable, and guide individuals to follow one behavior among the many that are technologically feasible in social situations.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. pp. 382-3.

 

“A transaction is an action taken when an entity, such as a commodity, social attitude, or piece of information, is transferred between individuals or other social units and has an external effect on the recipient. Institutional elements generating behavior in the central transaction of interest (e.g., economic exchange) reflect the actual and expected behavior in auxiliary transactions. The institutional elements influencing behavior in auxiliary transactions imply the norms and beliefs that enable, motivate, and guide behavior in the central transaction. Behavior and expected behavior in auxiliary transactions make institutionalized rules commonly known, render particular beliefs possible and relevant, and lead individuals to internalize particular norms. These rules, beliefs, and norms, in turn, constitute the institutional elements that conjointly generate behavior in the central transaction.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 383.

 

“Organizations specify, store, and distribute rules; facilitate the internalization of norms; and link the central transaction to auxiliary ones.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 384.

 

“Norms render institutionalized behavior robust to environmental changes, while the scarcity of cognitive resources and attention transforms institutionalized behavior into habits.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 384.

 

“But there is much to suggest that the late medieval institutional development had direct impact on later institutions. The modern business corporation grew out of the traditional legal form of the corporation, as developed for medieval guilds, municipalities, monasteries, and universities. The operation of the late medieval corporations led to the development of particular knowledge, laws, and other institutional elements that manifested in current practices such as trading in shares, limited liability, auditing, apprenticeships, and double-entry bookkeeping. European commercial law, insurance markets, patent systems, public debt, business associations, and central banks were developed in the context of medieval institutions.” Greif, Avner. 2006. Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. Cambridge UP. p. 394.

 

“And one of their [early humans’] most significant improvements in food procurement was recorded at Klasies River Mouth, in archaeological deposits dated from 75,000 to 55,000 years ago.

“Klasies River Mouth lies in a zone of vegetation that today’s South Africans call fynbos (literally, ‘fine bush’). Included among the plants of the fynbos is a flower called watsonia, a member of the lily family. Like its relative the gladiolus, it has a sizable corm, or bulb, which in the case of watsonia is edible. When fynbos vegetation is deliberately burned off, watsonia grows back with its density per acre increased five to ten times. It seems that the occupants of the region had discovered that fact, because some archaeological layers at Klasies River Mouth have dense accumulations of burned watsonia and other fynbos plants.

“What is exciting about this discovery is that it reveals the people of that era to have had what economists would call a delayed-return strategy. Rather than restricting themselves to plants or game whose harvest yielded immediate food, the occupants of Klasies River Mouth were willing to invest labor in activities that would yield no food until the next growing season.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 7.

 

“The difference [two types of hunting-gathering groups] hinges on whether a group of foragers has, or does not have, permanent social groups larger than the extended family.

“In Kelly’s words many foragers–including the Netsilik and Caribou Eskimo of the Canadian Arctic, the Hadza of Tanzania, and the Basarwa of Botswana/Namibia–once manifested ‘only those social groups that are cultural universals, present in every society, and nothing more’ These societies had both nuclear families and extended families, but the extended families rarely persisted beyond the death of the parental pair. Most significantly, families were not grouped into larger units of the type anthropologists refer to as clans or ancestor-based descent groups.

“Other foraging societies, however, did feature larger units, each of which contained many families. The Aborigines of Australia had many levels of units beyond the family. Foragers with lineages, subclans, and clans often do have higher population densities than clanless foragers and have moved beyond the informal ways in which extended families can be organized. Essentially they created large groups of people who claimed to be related, whether this was true of not. For this purpose they used language to extend their terms for different kinds of relatives to a much larger group of people.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 15-6; reference: Kelly, Raymond. 2000. Warless Societies and the Origin of War. University of Michigan Press.

 

“Why would the creation of multigenerational lineages and clans during the late Ice Age have escalated the use of art, music, dance, and bodily ornamentation? The answer is, although one is born into a family, one must be initiated into a clan. That initiation requires rituals during which clan secrets are revealed to initiates, and they undergo an ordeal of some kind. To be sure, even clanless societies have rituals, but societies with clans have multiple levels of ritual, requiring even more elaborate symbolism, art, music, dance, and the exchange of gifts.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 16.

 

“Once again we see clanless foragers creating a network of mutual aid, cooperation, and food sharing far larger than their home territory. They did this not with expensive gifts but with language and the magic of the name.

“The !Kung therefore show us one of the adaptive contradictions of clanless foraging society, expressed in these three points:

“1. Having no unit larger than an extended family allowed for great flexibility. As resources waxed and waned, camps could move and families could aggregate or disperse within their own n!ore as needed.

“2. On the other hand, there were times when survival depended on being able to leave one’s n!ore and seek the hospitality of unrelated neighbors. Under these conditions, having no kin group larger than the extended family put one at a disadvantage.

“3. The !Kung dealt with this contradiction by creating two extensive networks of honorary kinsmen: hxaro partners and !gu!na namesakes. For the !Kung both networks were egalitarian. Later in this book, we will see agricultural societies turn both gifts and magic names into sources of inequality.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 34-5.

 

“Men engaged in high-risk big game hunting and were expected to share with everyone. Any big game killed would be presented to the whole camp; a refusal to do so would bring supernatural punishment and social retribution.

“Game was eaten immediately because the Hadza, unlike some of the Ice Age foragers we saw earlier, did not smoke or store meat. Like the !Kung, they were immediate return strategists whose meat-sharing built social bonds. Meat and honey made up only 20 percent of the Hadza diet by weight, but no other foods did as much to strengthen the fabric of society.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 36.

 

“When a society feels the need for a larger, multigenerational group of allies, lineages and clans can be an even better solution than the seal-sharing partners of the Netsilik or the name-sharing partners of the !Kung… At certain times in the past, therefore, the genealogical groupings seen in large foraging camps may occasionally have turned into multigenerational social units.

“In the case of the !Kung, such larger units might later have dissolved back into their constituent extended families when conditions changed for the worse–when, for example, the !Kung were driven into the Kalahari Desert by more powerful neighbors. Archaeologists should therefore be alert to the possibility that some Ice Age foragers developed lineages or clans for a time, only to lose them when conditions deteriorated.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 37.

 

“For apes the highest priority is sex, followed by food and defense. Chimps are extremely promiscuous, and males compete constantly for mates. Males are willing to share portions of monkeys that they have killed, but they do not like to share females….

“For human foragers, on the other hand, food is the first priority, followed by defense and sex. Marriage–a food-getting partnership rather than a hormone-driven sexual liaison–has replaced the promiscuity of ape society. For example, we have seen that two Eskimo husbands could share the same wife without displaying the jealousy and violence of male chimpanzees.

“Precisely because human marriage is an economic partnership, it showed great flexibility from the beginning. No traditional forager would accept the argument that marriage must be restricted to one man/one woman in order to ‘preserve the family.’ Traditional Eskimos, for example, knew that a family could be one man/one woman, or one man/two women, or one woman/two men, or even two men/two women. Far from threatening the institution of the family, this flexibility strengthened it by allowing it to adjust to any economic situation.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 38.

 

“Early hunting-and-gathering society discussed so far had its own distinctive character. All, however, featured a set of common principles, a few of which we list here.

“1. Generosity is admirable: selfishness is reprehensible.

“2. The social relationship created by a gift is more valuable than the gift itself.

“3. All gifts should be reciprocated; however, a reasonable delay before reciprocating is acceptable.

“4. Names are magic and should not be casually assigned.

“5. Since all humans are reincarnated, ancestors’ names should be treated with particular respect.

“6. Homicide is unacceptable. A killer’s relatives should either execute him or pay reparations to the victim’s family.

“7. Do not commit incest; get your spouse from outside your immediate kin.

“8. In return for a bride, the groom should provide her family with services or gifts.

“9. Marriage is a flexible economic partnership; it allows for multiple spouses and variations.

“In addition to these principles, which imply no inequality among members of society, we also encountered some premises that allowed for a degree of inequality. They were as follows:

“10. Men have the capacity to be more virtuous or ritually pure than women.

“11. Youths should defer to seniors.

“12. Late arrivals should defer to those who were here first.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 54-5.

 

“Another widespread principle is that in life there are no accidents; everything happens for a reason. If you fall ill, it is because you have offended a spirit. If you die, it is because someone has worked witchcraft on you. Failed hunts are the outcome of hunting magic done wrong. Failed harvests are the result of rituals incorrectly performed.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 55.

 

“Anthropologist Roy Rappaport, who experienced firsthand the power of the sacred in New Guinea society, has provided us with a framework for the study of religion. Rappaport argues that all religion consists of three components. First are the ultimate sacred propositions, beliefs considered irrefutable despite the fact that there is no empirical evidence to support them. These propositions direct the second component, ritual, which must be performed repeatedly and correctly in order to achieve its goals. If done correctly, ritual induces the third component, an awe-inspiring experience. Because this experience deeply stirs the emotions of the participants, it verifies the sacred propositions in a way that cold, hard logic could not.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 57; reference: Rappaport, Roy. 1999. Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity. Cambridge UP.

 

“To be sure, our ancestors had an incredible knowledge of plants and animals, but their most important intelligence was social intelligence. Their classifications often include not only every living human they come into contact with but every ancestor, including some who were supernatural. The result is that foragers can create larger societies, larger networks of sharing and cooperating individuals, than those of any of their primate relatives.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 58.

 

“When we look at hunters and gatherers, we see a dominance hierarchy as clear as that of chimpanzees. It is, however, a hierarchy in which the alphas are invisible supernatural beings, too powerful to be overthrown by conspiracy or alliance, and capable of causing great misfortune when disobeyed. The betas are invisible ancestors who do the bidding of the alphas and protect their living descendants from harm. The reason human foragers seem, superficially, to have no dominance hierarchy is because no living human can be considered more than a gamma within this system.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 59.

 

“The distinction between achieved prestige and hereditary nobility is an important one. We will refer to it again in the context of agricultural societies, especially those of Southeast Asia and New Guinea. Achieving renown by hosting a feast builds on egalitarian society’s long-standing love of generosity. Turning debtors into servants or slaves builds on society’s long-standing dislike of failure to reciprocate gifts or repay loans. Making the master-servant relationship hereditary dilutes the ‘personal freedom’ of Rousseau’s hypothetical State of nature. For a slave, that freedom is erased entirely.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 83.

“Such transformations from egalitarian to ranked were based on a first principle of social logic: our trading partners are honorary kinsmen. This is the principle that allows them to enter our territory with impunity. The principle is reinforced when I marry my trading partner’s daughter. Trade, which began as reciprocal exchanges of gifts, then expands to include bride-price transactions. I am now free to emulate my wealthier relatives and even borrow from them in emergencies.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 85.

 

“Among the Etoro tribe [New Guinea], anthropologist Raymond Kelly discovered a ‘hierarchy of virtue’ whose premises followed from Etoro cosmolgy. The steps in logic were as follows:

“1. Generosity is a highly virtuous behavior.

“2. Men provide society with both meat and semen; that is, they contribute life force.

“3. Women accept meat and semen, receiving life force rather than giving it.

“4. Hence, men are more generous and, by logical extension, more virtuous than women.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 94; reference: Kelly, Raymond. 1993. Constructing Inequality: The Fabrication of a Hierarchy of Virtue among the Etoro. University of Michigan Press.

 

“There were four types of gifts among the Siuai [Solomon Islands]: the usual reciprocal gifts between relatives and friends; bride-price and dowry exchanges between the relatives of a bride and groom; coercive gifts, used to enforce social obligations; and competitive gifts, used to humiliate rivals.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 116-7.

 

“Because it required so many genetic changes to convert teosinte into truly productive maize, highland Mexico took longer than the Near East to produce sedentary, achievement-based villages with clans or descent groups. Once that type of society had arisen in Mexico, however, it displayed many of the same social institutions as the Near East: men’s houses, ancestor ritual, intervillage raiding, interregional exchanges of shell valuables, and ways of recognizing prominent individuals after death.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 143-4.

 

“The lineages within each Western Pueblo clan varied in prestige, and within each village one clan tended to be ritually prominent. The specific clan that stood out, however, varied from village to village. What prevented a permanent elite from emerging was the fact that the clans, the secret ritual societies, and the managers of the kivas had such independent constituencies that, in effect, power was shared.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 161.

 

“… foragers often had ad hoc, un-scheduled rituals, held whenever resources permitted a large group to live together. In contrast, sedentary agriculturalists were able to hold scheduled, calendrical rituals at the same time every year.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 163.

 

“Achievement-based societies fissioned, or gave rise to daughter communities, all the time. The archaeological record is full of periods when a handful of villages appeared in a region, grew, split, and sent junior segments off to found new villages, while senior segments remained at the parent community.

“Although certain clans were treated as the ritual leaders of the village, that did not give them the secular power to prevent fissioning. A hierarchy of ritual authority was little more than a hierarchy of virtue, and the larger an achievement-based society became, the harder it was for such a hierarchy to hold it together–especially if a sizable group considered its position in the hierarchy unfairly subordinate.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 170-1.

 

“Life in these Siouan-speaking villages [Mandan and Hidatsa societies] was an endless search for xo’pini, a supernatural essence or life force that lay at the heart of success and renown. Some anthropologists have translated xo’pini as ‘power,’ but it reminds us more of the magical, electric life force that the ancient Polynesians called mana. Xo’pini could be acquired either from a supernatural being or from a person of renown.

“According to the age-old principle of reciprocity, one could not acquire xo’pini without paying a price. Often the price was self-inflicted suffering, such as the cutting off of the final joint of one’s own finger or the suspension of oneself by skewers through the flesh. Suffering could lead to visions in which a spirit or sacred animal revealed one’s destiny.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 173.

 

“From among the male elders [of the Mandans], one brave warrior was chosen to be the community’s War Leader, and one consummate ritual expert ws chosen to be Peace Leader. To avoid resentment, these two leaders were drawn from opposing moieties. The Peace Leader outranked the War Leader until the village suffered an enemy attack, at which time their relationship would be reversed.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 178.

“Mandan life allowed for social advancement without the emergence of a hereditary elite. On the individual level, one could accumulate xo’pini through fasting, self-torture, offering flesh, purchasing sacred bundles, sponsoring ceremonies, accumulating ritual knowledge, or displaying bravery in scalping and coup counting. On the community level, however, War Leaders and Peace Leaders were chosen from opposing moieties–each clan owned the rights to its sacred bundles and rituals, and the elders led by consensus.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 179.

 

“Individuals in Avatip [a community of Manambu in Papua New Guinea] were grouped into lineages, lineages were grouped into subclans, and subclans were grouped into clans. Political leaders were drawn from the ranks of clan elders and possessed only secular power; they rose to prominence by winning debates against rivals. Ritual authority, on the other hand, lay in the hands of men called simbuks, each of whom was the head of a laki (one ceremonial division of a ritual cult).

“Each simbuk desired to pass on the office to his oldest son in order to preserve all his cult’s ritual secrets….

“One of the greatest sources of tension in Avatip society was the rivalry between secular and ritual leaders. Subclans struggled to grow in population , because if their numbers declined it became harder to win debates. Secular leaders, who battled for years to achieve fame as debaters, envied the simbuks who inherited their office while still in their 20s, an age when most debaters were still nonentities.

“Occasionally a simbuk would pick up debating skills, becoming a leader in both the secular and ritual spheres. Such men were so envied that they ran the risk of being murdered.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 188.

 

“… some Kachin societies had a history of shifting back and forth between hereditary privilege and equality. Archaeologists refer to such repeated shifts as ‘cycling.’

“The world first learned of Kachin cycling from anthropologist Edmund Leach, who spent time in the northern Burmese district of Hpalang during the early 1940s. The Kachin themselves used the term gumlao to refer to societies in which all social units were considered equal. When such units became ranked relative to one another, they used the term gumsa.

“Instead of practicing long-fallow, slash-and-burn agriculture in the highlands [as did the Kachin], the Shan were supported by permanent wet-rice paddies in the riverine lowlands. Shan agriculture was so productive that it could support princely states with lineages of aristocrats, commoners, and slaves. While the Kachin sacrificed to spirits of the earth and sky, Shan rulers had been converted to Buddhism….

“For several generations the family of the saohpa, or Shan prince, of a district called Mong Hkawm sent noble Shan women to marry the Kachin leaders who controlled the jade mines of the hill region. Sometimes a dowry of wet-rice land accompanied the bride. The Kachin chief reciprocated with raw materials for sumptuary goods.

“One effect of this intermarriage, according to Leach, was that it encouraged the shift from gumlao to gumsa. Having a Shan wife raised the prestige of a Kachin leader and encouraged him to model his behavior on that of a Shan prince. Incipient Kachin chiefs might convert to Buddhism, dress like a Shan, and adopt Shan ritual and symbolism…

“While ambitious Kachin leaders considered Shan-like behavior a mark of prestige, it only increased their followers’ resentment and hastened their overthrow. The result was an inherently unstable situation in which hereditary inequality was repeatedly created, lasted for a few generations, and then collapsed.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 192, 197, 198.

 

“In [anthropologist] Friedman’s scenario the creation of hereditary rank takes place when one lineage convinces all the others that the village nat [spirit] is its ancestor. That move converts one Kachin social unit into a chiefly lineage, descended from the nat who rules the whole territory. At this point the Kachin revise their cosmology to allege that their most highly ranked lineage is descended from Madai, while their lower-ranking lineages are descended from the lesser nat Thunder.

“Friedman was aware that the most difficult task facing a would -be chiefly lineage was making its privileges palatable to others. In his scenario that palatability was based on a familiar premise, one we saw earlier among achievement-based societies like the Siuai of Bougainville: if one was extraordinarily successful, it meant that one had a special relationship with a supernatural being.

“In Kachin society the lineages that worked the hardest and produced the greatest surplus could sponsor the most prestigious sacrifices and feed the most visitors. Their fellow Kachin, however, did not attribute such success to hard work; they believed that one only obtained good harvests through proper sacrifices to the nats. Wealth was seen not so much as the product of labor (and control over others’ labor) as the result of pleasing the appropriate celestial spirits. The key shift in social logic was therefore from ‘They must have pleased the nats’ to ‘They must be descended from higher nats than we are.’

“Once one lineage was seen s having descended from the nats that ruled a region, it made sense that that lineage should control the region’s lands. It was also entitled to receive tribute from other lineages, because it alone could intercede on society’s behalf with the highest nats.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 198-9.

“We have used the building of men’s houses as an indicator of village societies where leadership was based on achievement. This enables us to use the decline of the men’s house and the rise of the temple as an indicator of societies with some degree of hereditary leadership. In the societies we have examined, the transition from the men’s house to the temple seems to have been associated with the decreasing importance of ordinary people’s ancestors and the increasing importance of the celestial spirits in the chief’s genealogy.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 207.

 

“The central concept of chiefly power was a life force the Polynesians called mana. Goldman defines mana as an odorless, colorless, invisible, supernatural energy that pervades people and things….

“A second source of power in Polynesia was tohunga, a term usually translated as ‘expertise’….

“A third of Goldman’s sources of power was toa. While toa referred to a durable tree known as ‘ironwood,’ it was also a metaphor for bravery and toughness. Toa was applied to warriors in general, and especially to those who distinguished themselves in battle…

“All chiefly Polynesian societies relied on a combination of mana, toa, and tohunga. The emphasis, however, was different from island to island. In the case of the Maori and Tikopians, chiefs relied on a combination of sacred authority and genealogical seniority. On Samoa and on Easter Island, chiefs relied more heavily on political expertise and military force. In Tonga and Hawaii, which had the highest levels of social inequality, chiefly families utilized the entire playbook: sacred authority, genealogical seniority, military force, and political and economic expertise.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 208-9; reference: Goldman, Irving. 1970. Ancient Polynesian Society. University of Chicago Press.

 

“When we examine the underlying principles of rank society in Panama, we see many parallels to the concepts of mana, toa, and tohunga in Polynesia. For example, the Panamanians believed in purba, an individual’s invisible, immortal essence….

“Then there was niga, an aura of power that was generated by acts of bravery in battle and public works in the interests of society. Chiefs had more niga than commoners, but all had enough niga to improve their position if they worked to do so.

“Finally there was kurgin, the innate talent for a craft. Kurgin varied from individual to individual and could be enhanced with training. We are struck by how similar these Panamanian principles of life force, bravery, and expertise were to those displayed by rank societies elsewhere in the world.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 220-1.

“In Bemba [society in Cauca valley in Colombia from the 16th century] social logic a child was formed from the blood of a woman. Since a man could not pass on his blood, there was no continuity between father and child….

“The paramount chief was chosen from among the sons of the highest-ranking women of the Crocodile clan.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 224-5.

 

“Chiefs were the offspring of elite mothers, but the Bemba also created fictional ties between a new chief and his male predecessors. Upon his inauguration the new chief inherited his predecessor’s title, insignia, rights, and duties. Eventually he became so identified with past chiefs–to the point of assuming their names and histories–that it became difficult to tell whether he was referring to events in his own life or the lives of his predecessors. He was aided in this process by assistants who memorized the oral histories of 25 to 30 former chitimukulus.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 225-6.

 

“Parts of the Third World continued to build men’s houses well into the twentieth century–but not so in Mexico and Peru. In those two countries there came a time when achievement-based society gave way to hereditary rank. Once that happened, society’s leaders began to have temples built. Temples and small ritual houses coexisted for a while, but the latter eventually disappeared.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 229.

 

“The Apa Tani [group from the Assam-Burmese foothills of the Himalayas] differed from their neighbors in having three types of land: clan land, village land, and private land. Virtually all the wet rice terraces they created were private, and as such they became a source of private wealth. In the social logic of the Apa Tani, the fact that a family had invested labor in converting a bog to a rice paddy made it their private creation. Apa Tani families also owned granaries, bamboo groves, and garden plots of different kinds. Clan land, on the other hand, was set aside for public buildings, cemeteries, pastures for animals, and forest resources.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 256.

 

“To convert an unproductive swamp to productive rice paddies, however, impressive labor is needed. There are check-dams to be built, canals to be dug, terraces to be contoured, and water to be trapped by raising field borders….

“Privatization, however, undermined long-standing principles of corporate ownership. It relegated clan land to areas of low productivity and converted some slaves from agricultural laborers to a form of capital that could be sold to buy land….

“The Apa Tani [a rank society], however, show us that endless blood feuds are not inevitable. Instead of applying the principle of social substitution and taking revenge on their prisoners, the Apa Tani turned them into profit. This behavior created a logical contradiction: the desire for wealth now trumped clan loyalty and the principle of social substitution.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 257, 258.

 

“Temples, as we have seen, went on to replace men’s houses in several parts of the New World. In the cases we have examined, the transition was accompanied by evidence for hereditary inequality. This fact does not surprise us because we have seen that as chiefly elites emerge, they begin to dedicate buildings to the highest celestial spirits in their cosmos.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 260.

 

“In terms of Irving Goldman’s three sources of power, we believe that ritual and religious authority was most heavily stressed in the Southern Mesopotamian ‘Ubaid. The shift from men’s house to temple relegates clan ancestors and lesser spirits to the background and brings deities or celestial spirits to the foreground. It is in the interest of the aristocracy that temples be built for the highest deities, to whom they owe their right to lead society.

“To continue with Goldman’s sources of power, expertise was probably second only to religious authority. Seals and seal impressions in clay suggest the emergence of officials whose expertise lay in controlling the movement of commodities. Fishermen, leather workers, alabaster carvers, Halaf potters, and ‘Ubaid potters all suggest expertise at crafts. The creation of secular public buildings implies councils or assemblies with the expertise to share the burden of decision making.

“Without the defensive walls, ditches, watchtowers, and burned elite residences that we saw in the north, we cannot be sure how important Goldman’s third source of power–military prowess–was to Southern Mesopotamia.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 295; reference: Goldman, Irving. 1970. Ancient Polynesian Society. University of Chicago Press.

 

“Archaeologist Colin Renfrew has called attention to some interesting differences among the prehistoric European rank societies of 5,000 to 3,5000 years ago. Some of these societies, he notes, produced impressive public monuments but left almost no evidence for the personal aggrandizement of their leaders. Other European societies filled the graves of their leaders with objects of wealth and rank but left fewer impressive public monuments. Renfrew wisely decided not to regard these as alternative types of societies; he treated them as two extremes of a continuum and called them ‘group-oriented’ and individualizing.’” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 295; reference: Renfrew, Colin. 1974. “Beyond a Subsistence Economy: The evolution of Social Organization in Prehistoric Europe.” In: Moore, Charlotte (ed.) pp. 69-85. “Reconstructing Complex Societies: An Archaeological Colloquium.” Supplement to the Bulletin of the American schools of Oriental Research. Cambridge, US.

 

“In Mesopotamia our impression is that while the north and south shared many institutions, the societies in the north were more individualizing and the societies in the south more group-oriented.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 296.

 

“In most of the world’s chiefly societies rank formed a continuum from the chief to the lowliest free citizen. Under the right conditions, however, rank societies sometimes made the transition to stratification. This amounted to drawing an invisible line across the continuum, thereby establishing a sharper break between the rulers and the ruled.

“Social strata were usually kept separate by a behavior anthropologists call class endogamy. That simply meant that members of each stratum were only supposed to marry their peers.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 313.

 

“Further power sharing resulted from the premise that, within any group of siblings, the females were thought to possess more mana than the males. Thus while the office of Tui Tonga went to a man, he was outranked by his sister, who was known as the Tui Tonga Fefine. She was treated like a queen throughout Tonga, and her firstborn daughter, the Tamaha, also outranked her uncle. Gifford reports that even the most powerful Tui Tonga, who was carried from place to place on a litter and had the power to mutilate his subjects, allowed the Tamaha to place her foot on his head.

“This inequality between noble brothers and sisters provided logical contradictions when selecting a spouse. That is, the firstborn son of the Tui Tonga could be outranked by the firstborn sons of the Tui Tonga Fefine and the Tamaha. To avoid such problems, Patrick Kirch reveals, the Tui Tonga Fefine might be married to a Samoan or Fijian chief who was outside the Tongan system. Another strategy was to marry the Tamaha to a secular chief like the Tui Haa Takalau, whose lineage was separate from that of the sacred Tui Tonga.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 321; reference: Kirch, Patrick. 1984. The Evolution of the Polynesian Chiefdoms. Cambridge UP.

 

“The second transformation created true social strata. Like Tonga, early Hawai’i had a continuum of rank from high chiefs, to lesser chiefs, to landed gentry, to landless commoners, and so on. What the Hawai’ian chiefs did was eliminate the landed gentry by declaring all garden land the property of major chiefs. The result was two de facto strata, the ali’i (hereditary nobility) and the maka’ainana (commoners), with a gap between them that had formerly been bridged by the landed gentry. From that point on, Hawai’ian chiefs would use garden land to reward their allies and deny their rivals.

“Hawai’i’s creation of a landless commoner class reminds us that the worst inequality results not from the granting of new privileges to the people on top but from the removal of existing privileges from the people on the bottom.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 333-4.

 

“For a substantial period of time–centuries, in some cases–a series of rival rank societies [as a general rule in transitions to kingdoms] competed with one other. Despite moments of political unification, the long-term outcome was a stalemate. Eventually the aggressive leader of one rank society (often a highly motivated usurper) gained an unforeseen advantage over his neighbors. He pressed his advantage relentlessly until he had subdued all his rivals. He turned their chiefdoms into the provinces of a society larger than any previously seen in the region. To consolidate power, he broke down the old loyalties of each province and replaced them with an ideology stressing loyalty to him. He rewarded priests who were willing to verify his genealogical credentials and revise his group’s cosmology, ensuring his divine right to rule.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 347.

 

“In many hierarchical societies the ruler symbolized order in a world plagued by disorder. Hawai’i was no exception. The inauguration of each new ruler was preceded by a period of deliberate chaos, during which his subjects violated all ritual taboos…. After sufficient time had elapsed, the new ruler would appear and restore order, reinstating all taboos.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 348.

 

“The entire process of creating a Hunza monarchy [Pakistan mountainous region] may have taken 150 years, beginning with Mayori’s slaughter of rival factions and climaxing with the territorial expansion of Ghazanfar Khan (1824-1865) [following his father’s expansion of the irrigation system to enlarge farming area which brought in new immigrants]. This is further evidence that the transition from chief to king is a process rather than an event, with a long succession of rulers contributing to the final outcome.

“Like the Hawai’ian and Zulu cases seen earlier, the unification of the Hunza required one aggressive lineage to achieve an advantage over its rivals. The ultimate advantage in this case was an irrigation system, turning barren tracts into fields controlled by the mir. Three significant consequences were (1) a reduction in the authority of clan elders and lineage heads, (2) the replacement of supernatural legitimacy by true political power, and (3) the triumph of centralized control over ethnic loyalties. The result was a monarchy with a royal lineage, wealthy nobles; a bureaucracy including a vizier, heads of districts, heads of villages, tax collectors, and multilingual diplomats, and a commoner workforce consisting of peasant farmers, herders, and slaves.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 358.

 

“Instead, all four kingdoms arose through the forced unification of a group of competing rank societies. It would seem that competition among chiefs, like the confrontations that produce an alpha chimp, was one of the engines driving the process….

“In Hawai’i, Natal, Madagascar, and the Hunza valley one of the competing societies eventually gained an advantage. That advantage could be new weaponry, new military strategy, a new irrigation system, or thousands of new rice paddies.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 362.

 

“The eagerness of kings to incorporate foreigners into their labor force [at formation of Zulu kingdom in early 1800s by Shaka] was greater than society’s ability to tolerate their ethnic differences. Second-class citizenship was the result.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 363.

 

“We note that the Coosa [confederacy in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia]–and the famous League of the Iroquois, for that matter–were not the first chiefly societies in their regions. By the time those confederacies arose, there had probably been rank societies in North America for more than 1,000 years. We suspect that once a particular type of society has existed for a while and the template for its organization is understood, more alternative routes to its creation are possible–including voluntary routes….

And many archaeologists suspect that the Coosa and the Iroquois formed their confederacies only after Spanish, French, or English colonists came to be seen as a threat.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 364.

 

“Borrowing an equation from the zoological literature on predator-prey relations, Spencer demonstrates that as a chief reaches the limit of the resources he can extract from his followers, and the growth curve of his society goes from steeply rising to horizontal, one of three things must happen. Such chiefs must either:

“1. Step up demand for resources from their own subjects, which may lead to revolt.

“2. Intensify production through technological improvement, which will likely increase wealth but not necessarily sociopolitical complexity.

“3. Expand the territory from which they get their resources, which will probably require the subjugation of neighbors.

“When alternative 3 is chosen, and the expanded territory grows beyond the limits that a chief can administer through the usual methods, he is compelled to make changes in administration and political ideology, and a state begins to form. That change is less likely with alternatives 1 and 2.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 364-5; reference: Spencer, Charles. 1998. “A Mathematical Model of Primary State Formation.” Cultural Dynamics. 10:5-20.

 

“The archaeological record makes it clear that the Zapotec [a first generation state in Oaxaca valley] had three different strategies for territorial expansion. The region of Sola de Vega, 40 miles southwest of Monte Alban, was so sparsely occupied that it could be annexed simply by sending in colonists. The Ejutla region, 30 miles south of Monte Alban, appears to have been taken over peacefully, possibly as the result of strategic marriage alliances among noble families…

“Yet another strategy was required by the region of Cuicatlan, 50 miles to the north of Monte Alban….

“The leaders of Cuicatlan’s villages chose not to surrender their autonomy to the Zapotec. Unfortunately for those leaders, their population was organized only as a rank society. Monte Alban’s more experienced warriors made short work of Cuicatlan and left behind a wooden rack displaying the skulls of 61 local victims.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 372.

 

“… the movement of the Zapotec to the fortified summit of Monte Alban set off a chain reaction among its neighbors to the northwest. Soon the leaders of these valleys were concentrating their supporters on defensible summits as well.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 373.

 

“A chain reaction, similar to the one described earlier for the Zapotec and Mixtec, rippled through the Maya lowlands. Once first-generation kingdoms had begun to form, neighboring societies hastened to nucleate in order to avoid being taken over. The largest early kingdoms in the Maya lowlands were headed by Calakmul and Tikal, two cities located 80 miles apart.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 389.

“The Zapotec, the Moche [coastal river valleys in today’s northern Peru], and the Maya all created monarchies out of rank societies. They did so in the absence of European visitors and without any template for what a monarchy should look like. It is therefore significant that these ancient societies did it much the way that the Hawai’ians, Zulu, Hunza, and Merina did it: by forcibly uniting a group of rival societies.

“All these cases began with societies that already possessed a degree of hereditary inequality. The engine that drove kingdom formation was competitive interaction among multiple elite actors. The balance was tipped when one of the actors achieved a competitive advantage. Whether set in the temperate highlands, the coastal desert, or the tropical forest, the process was similar. It was independent of environment or ethnic group.

“Our three New World monarchies had something else in common. Once having created the apparatus of a kingdom, they expanded against neighboring groups. Expansion was facilitated by the fact that many groups could not defend themselves against the centralized control and military strategy of a newly formed monarchy. As a result, many pristine New World kingdoms reached their maximum size early in their history.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 392-3.

 

“For most of the societies we have seen so far, the alphas in the dominance hierarchy were supernatural spirits or deities; the betas were ancestors, and the most highly ranked living humans were gammas. The Egyptian monarchy is the first we know of in which the ruler was, in effect, one of the supernatural alphas.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 412.

 

“Like protohistoric Hawai’ian chiefs, the Egyptian kings controlled all land, all important resources, and all foreign trade. The economy of Egypt depended on the distribution of raw materials and goods through the king and his agents. This applied not only to gold from Nubia, cedar from Lebanon, wine from the Levant, and spices from Eritrea but also to locally produced commodities such as wheat, barley, cattle, and linen. The word for merchant (swy.ty) was unknown before dynasty 18, and even then it was applied mainly to temple officials who had been granted special permission to engage in foreign trade.

“To be sure, there were local markets in which surplus crops, birds, fish, and wild game could be bartered. Such free enterprise, however, remained marginal to the top-down, command economy of the ruler. Working through the governor of each hesp, the king demanded his cut of every cereal harvest, every domestic herd, and every fisherman’s catch. The vast resources brought to his storehouse were used to support the huge staff below him.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 413.

“Amenhotep IV and his supporters hit upon a plan to reduce the growing power of the priests. He changed his name from Amenhotep to Akhnaten and officially embraced the worship of Aten, the Sun Disk, an updated version of Re. He moved his court from Luxor and created a new capital downstream at Akhetaten, known today as the archaeological site of Tell el-Amarna.

“Under Akhnaten, Egypt became briefly monotheistic. Only the worship of the Sun Disk was appropriate. Akhnaten disenfranchised the priests of Amun, closed their temples and those of other deities, confiscated their temple lands and gold mines, and directed their resources to himself as the head of the cult of Aten.

“It was once common to hear scholars praise Akhnaten as a ‘visionary’ who ‘created monotheism.’ In White’s analysis he was just a shrewd politician who, by tweaking the premises of Egyptian society, prevented the priestly establishment from continuing to encroach upon the divine ruler’s power. Akhnaten’s strategy anticipated the actions of later kings such as Henry VIII, who defied the Vatican, bypassed powerful priests and bishops, and made himself head of a new Church of England.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 415-6; reference: White, Leslie. 1948. “Ikhnaton: The Great Man vs. The Culture Process.” Journal of the American Oriental Society. 68:91-114.

 

“One of the most frequent scenarios for the rise of a second-generation state is for an outlying province to break the grip of its overlords and emerge as a monarchy in its own right. The irony of this scenario is that the rebellious province has usually acquired its knowledge of statecraft by studying those very overlords. [in tracing the rise of the Asante in today’s Ghana when taking over from a previous kingdom – Denkyira]” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 434-5.

 

“Adams’s survey of the Uruk region covered some 300 square miles. During the ‘Ubaid 1 period (about 7,000 years ago) there were only three villages in the survey area. During ‘Ubaid 2 (about 6,500 years ago) the number had increased to seven. The number of villages remained steady at seven through ‘Ubaid 3 (6,400 to 6,200 years ago). About 6,000 years ago, during ‘Ubaid 4, the number of communities in the survey area rose to 11. The largest were towns in the 25-acre size range; the smallest were two- to three-acre villages.

“A significant jump in population took place during the Uruk period. The number of communities rose to 18 in the Early Uruk period and surged to 108 by the Late Uruk period.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 458; reference: Adams, Robert McC. 1965. Land Behind Baghdad: A History of Settlement on the Diyala Plains. University of Chicago Press.

“Archaeologist Marcella Frangipane believes that she can recognize four alternative scenarios for this period [in which there are cultural artefacts of southern Mesopotamian origin found in northern Mesopotamian ruins], which we paraphrase as follows.

“1. Some northern communities continued to develop on their own terms.

“2. Others borrowed individual strategies from Southern Mesopotamia (including accounting practices) but essentially created their own distinctive political centers.

“3. Some northern communities were actual colonies of Southern Mesopotamian people, founded from scratch in formerly unoccupied places.

“4. In some cases people from Southern Mesopotamia directly interfered in the lives of established northern communities. This interference varied from placing a trade enclave in the midst of a settlement to taking over by military force a northern community.

“We are struck by how similar these alternatives are to the scenarios we saw in the highlands of Oaxaca.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 465; reference: Frangipane, Marcella. 2001. “Centralization Processes in Greater Mesopotamia: Uruk ‘Expansion’ as the Climax of Systemic Interactions among Areas of the Greater Mesopotamian Region.” pp. 307-347. In: Rothman, Mitchell (ed.) Uruk Mesopotamia and Its neighbors. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.

 

“Achievement-based and rank societies tended to respond to theft or assault at the level of the individual, family, clan, or village. For the Sumerians, most crimes were treated as crimes against the state.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 476.

 

“Many economic historians see in the temple estates [of Sumer] the germ of a capitalist society. Early Dynastic temples were profit-making, surplus-accumulating, money-lending, interest-charging corporations, and foreclosure on loans may have driven thousands of needy farmers into servitude. Temple managers unwittingly showed the Sumerian aristocrats how to do the same thing.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 477.

 

“For societies that believed in reincarnation, paternity was not a concern. Babies were seen as recycled ancestors, and all children born into a polygamous marriage were considered full siblings.

“The logic of Sumer was different. Men were seen as ‘planting a seed’ in the woman, and because of the male-oriented system of inheritance, the origin of this seed was a major concern. A woman who lost her virginity before marriage, committed adultery, or took two husbands had created intolerable doubt about paternity. The state intervened to protect what it saw as a husband’s rights but phrased it in terms of good and evil to make it appear that it was carrying out the will of a deity.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 479.

 

“The Polynesians had mana, the Merina hasina, and the Egyptians ma’at. For their part, the Sumerians had me and nam.

“Me, sometimes translated as ‘order,’ referred to the rules that the gods had established so that society would run smoothly. In the words of epigrapher Benno Landsberger, me ‘emanated from gods and temples in a mystic manner, was imagined as a substance, was symbolized by emblems, and could be transferred from one god to another.’ The task of a human ruler was to make sure that the rules of his city’s god were obediently carried out, and that the society he commanded was sufficiently orderly. Much of the order was achieved by appointing overseers for every activity and keeping extensive written documents.

“Nam has been translated as ‘fate,’…. Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 481: reference: Landberger, Benno. 1974. “Three Essays on the Sumerians.” Sources and Monographs: Monographs of the Ancient Near East. Vol. 1, Fascicle 2. Los Angeles: Undena Press.

 

“The me, or divine rules of society, however, were established by gods and not by kings. The ruler’s duty was to see that a pious and orderly society was maintained.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 482.

 

“While the nome [the Greek word for Egyptian provinces with capital cities which is used for Sumerian provinces/cities] is not a perfect analogy, we prefer it to the term ‘city-state,’ which has often been applied to Sumerian provinces. This term strikes us as an inappropriate comparison to the Classical Greek city-state, or polis. We are not convinced that the polis, whose leaders were elected by the populace, closely resembles any other society of the ancient world.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 484.

 

“Other authors, including Postgate, portray that part of the world [Mesopotamia] as going through repetitive cycles of strong centralization, separated by political breakdown and regional autonomy.

“We find the latter portrayal more convincing. Rather than making Mesopotamia unique, it makes it comparable both to Egypt (with its cycles of centralized Kingdoms and decentralized Intermediate periods) and to ancient Mexico and Peru.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 499; reference: Postgate, J. Nicholas. 1992. Early Mesopotamia: Society and Economy at the Dawn of History. Routledge.

 

“Many societies had hereditary aristocracies. Prior to Sumer, however, few created such economic inequality within the commoner stratum. The growing privatization of land, combined with the charging of high interest on loans, undercut the safety net provided by the traditional descent groups of earlier societies.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 500.

 

“Debt slavery was widespread in rank societies. Private ownership of land was not. It was a defining feature of Mesopotamian society, one that might even have begun during the late Uruk period. The first step was to remove land from circulation and assign it to the city’s most important temple….

“Sumerian kings often claimed to be loved by a patron deity. Appointing their heirs to take care of the gods’ estates was thus only logical…

“It was on such temple estates that Sumerian record-keeping, standard weights and measures, the renting of land at interest, and the accumulation of capital for use by temple merchants were perfected. The lessons were not lost on the aristocracy, which soon established its own private estates.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 501.

 

“Economic historian Michael Hudson considers the Sumerian temple the forerunner of the corporation. The wealth of the palace estates encouraged other aristocrats to see how much land they could pry away from commoner descent groups. Lacking the clout of the royal family, the aristocrats relied on extending loans at interest rates of up to 33 percent. As we have seen, many commoners used their personal freedom as collateral and wound up becoming serfs. Reform-minded rulers tried to prevent this from happening, but as Hudson points out, private wealth eventually grew strong enough to undermine royal power. One outcome was real estate as we know it.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 501: reference: Hudson, Michael. 1996. “Privatization: A Survey of the Unresolved Controversies.” pp. 1-32. In: Hudson, Michael & B. Levine (eds) Peabody Museum Bulletin no. 5. Harvard UP.

 

“The Aztec wanted to integrate other ethnic groups into their society, so they brought back foreign idols and built temples to foreign gods in Tenochtitlan. One of the reasons the Aztec had such an extensive pantheon, in fact, was that it grew by accretion as more and more deities were added. It was only logical to the Aztec that each society would have its own deities and ancestors. There was no forced conversion in Mexico until the Spaniards arrived, bringing with them the Inquisition.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 518-9.

 

“Oral histories report that the Chimu kings [pre-Inca kingdom in same area as previous Moche kingdom in coastal Peru; 1050-1450 CE] practiced a strategy called ‘split inheritance.’ Upon the death of a ruler, his residential compound and any territory he had conquered were retained in his name and administered in perpetuity by a special bureaucracy. The new ruler inherited his office but not his predecessor’s property: he was therefore forced to build his own compound and conquer new territory, which would in turn be administered in his name. Just as the need to take captives for his inauguration forced an Aztec ruler to extend his conquests, split inheritance forced a Chimu ruler to add lands to Chimor.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 527-9.

 

“… four Chimu imperial policies, from which we can infer the logic of subjugation and administration:

“1. Level 2 centers were provided with large public areas and stored enough food to host state-sponsored rituals and feasts. Such feasts were designed to communicate the generosity of Chimu overlords.

“2. Level 2 centers were also located near long-established routes for the acquisition of valued resources, including the ores needed for making metal tools and sumptuary goods, as well as the spiny oyster shells used in so many rituals.

“3. In two of the Level 2 centers–Manchan and Tucume–local nobles and Chimu provincial lords seem to have lived side by side, using residential compounds built in different styles. This strategy of joint rule was borrowed by the later Inca.

“4. Level 3 centers show much less imperial interference, perhaps because the Chimu believed that indirect rule was less likely to disrupt the productivity of the local population.

“The Chimu empire lasted until roughly A.D. 1460. Unlike the earlier empires discussed in this chapter, it did not collapse as the result of internal factionalism or the revolt of its colonies. It was conquered by Peru’s fourth-generation empire, the Inca, who expanded out of the southern highlands.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 530.

 

“Contrasting with ayni [reciprocal labor exchange among commoners] was mit’a, or unreciprocated labor. Each citizen of the [Inca] empire owed the government a period of labor service each year. Buildings, agricultural terraces, irrigation canals, and roads were all built with mit’a labor, which the Inca preferred over tribute in goods.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 533.

“The Spaniards arrived in 1532 and quickly took advantage of the civil war. They captured Atahualpa in Cajamarca, determined to ransom him for gold. Despite Atahualpa’s captive status, his supporters overtook and assassinated Huascar [his brother]. The conquistador Francisco Pizarro then ordered the execution of Atahualpa, leaving the Inca without a ruler.

“The Spaniards harvested all the gold and silver objects from the sand layer in Cusco’s Aucaypata and stripped the gold from the Great Ushnu and the Coricancha. They then began to search for the mummies of past Inkas, whose mystique made them a threat to Spanish rules. By 1559 they had located and burned the majority of the royal mummies.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 542.

 

“There is a reason we have emphasized the generation to which each kingdom or empire belonged. Fourth- and fifth-generation kingdoms were not created in the same way as first-generation kingdoms. All later generations of kingdoms and empires were able to borrow strategies and institutions from their predecessors.

“The creators of first-generation kingdoms had no template to follow. They did not know that they were creating a new type of society; they simply thought that they were eliminating rivals and adding subordinates. Only later did they discover that they had created a realm so large that they would need new ways to administer it.

“Once a template existed, however, there were many alternative routes to the creation of the next kingdom. We doubt that the founders of the first kingdom in each region had as many options, and our suspicions are supported by some remarkable similarities in the way that first-generation states were created.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 543-4.

 

“The logic of small-scale foragers has its own first principles. The following would be typical:

“There is an invisible life force within us.

“Certain spirits, places, and objects are sacred.

“Individuals differ in virtue.

“Generosity is one of those virtues.

“Older, initiated people tend to be more virtuous than younger, uninitiated people.

“Later arrivals in a territory are obliged to defer to earlier arrivals.

“Our way of life is inherently superior to that of our neighbors….

“The secondary premises that grew out of the first principles were not as widely shared as the latter. For example, most foragers agree that humans differ in virtue, but they frequently disagree on which specific behaviors make individuals more virtuous. Such variations are the raw material for ethnic diversity, long-term social change, and greater inequality.

“Some foragers, for example, considered sharing so important that they declined to store food lest they be accused of hoarding. Such behavior is often associated with immediate-return economic strategies. Other foragers had delayed-return strategies that allowed for drying, smoking, and storing food, and even some modest engineering of the environment. To avoid accusations of hoarding, they threw feasts at which foods were shared….

For its part, feasting conferred increased respect on the host. A commitment to reciprocity meant that unreciprocated generosity could translate into debt. Gift-giving could either keep the playing field level, or be manipulated to achieve the opposite result.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. pp. 548-9.

 

“In parts of the Ice Age world foragers went beyond exchange and food sharing. The archaeological evidence suggests that some of them created large, permanent groups of people who considered themselves related, whether it was true or not.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 549.

 

“Most clanless foragers worked hard to treat everyone as equals. This ethic usually persisted within one’s clan but did not always extend to other clans. Some clans, for example, felt a sense of intellectual property and sought to keep their rituals secret from others.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 549.

 

“An interesting aspect of achievement-based society is the not-infrequent link between raiding and exchange. The tee cycle of the Enga shows us that war could be changed from blood feuds to a means of profiting from war reparations. The escalation of mokas, potlatches, and feasts of merit shows us that competitive exchange could fill the vacuum left by the colonial suppression of raiding.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 551.

 

“In those cases where rank society did develop out of achievement-based society, there were many preexisting inequities that could serve as raw material. Included were the differences in prestige between Big Men and rubbish men; between people who had climbed the ritual ladder and those who had not; between the clan that arrived first and everyone else; and between the man chosen for success by a demon and lesser men.

“Another strategy for achieving rank was the aforementioned use of debt, which turned needy clan members into servants and neighbors into slaves. Debt could result from exorbitant bride price, loans to aspiring Big Men, excessive war reparations, or the desperate cries of impoverished kinsmen. It was a route built on the principle that failure to repay a gift or loan made one less virtuous.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 554.

 

“One of the interesting facts of hereditary rank was that it could be created even by hunters and gatherers such as the Nootka. Neither slavery nor aristocracy, in other words, had to wait until agriculture had arisen.” Flannery, Kent & J. Marcus. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Harvard UP. p. 554.

 

“The simple point is that institutions are to humans what hives are to bees. They are the structures within which we organize ourselves as groups. You know when you are inside one, just as a bee knows when it is in the hive. Institutions have boundaries, often walls. And, crucially, they have rules.” Ferguson, Niall. 2012. The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die. Penguin. p. 12.

 

“Public sector balance sheets can and should be drawn up so that the liabilities of governments can be compared with their assets. That would help clarify the difference between deficits to finance investment and deficits to finance current consumption. Governments should also follow the lead of business and adopt the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. And, above all, generational accounts should be prepared on a regular basis to make absolutely clear the inter-generational implications of current policy.”

“If we do not do these things – if we do not embark on a wholesale reform of government finance – then I am afraid we are going to end up with the bad, but more likely second scenario. Western democracies are going to carry on in their current feckless fashion until, one after another, they follow Greece and other Mediterranean economies into the fiscal death spiral that begins with a loss of credibility, continues with a rise in borrowing costs, and ends as governments are forced to impose spending cuts and higher taxes at the worst possible moment. In this scenario, the endgame involves some combination of default and inflation. We all end up as Argentina.” Ferguson, Niall. 2012. The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die. Penguin. pp. 46-7.

 

“But public sector models of risk management were next to non-existent [leading up the financial crisis of 2007]. Because legislators and regulators acted with an almost complete disregard for the law of unintended consequences, they inadvertently helped to inflate a real estate bubble in countries all over the developed world.” Ferguson, Niall. 2012. The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die. Penguin. p. 58.

 

“The rule of law has many enemies. One of them is bad law.” Ferguson, Niall. 2012. The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die. Penguin. p. 59.

 

“Public debt – stated and implicit – has become a way for the older generation to live at the expense of the young and the unborn. Regulation has become dysfunctional to the point of increasing the fragility of the system. Lawyers, who can be revolutionaries in a dynamic society, become parasites in a stationary one. And civil society withers into a mere no man’s land between corporate interests and big government. Taken together, these are the things I refer to as the Great Degeneration.” Ferguson, Niall. 2012. The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die. Penguin. p. 151.

 

“The lack of standard definitions has led to inconsistency regarding which mutualisms are considered to be symbiotic. In this volume, symbiotic mutualisms are defined as those in which there is prolonged physical intimacy between partner species.” Bronstein, Judith. 2015. “The study of mutualism.” pp. 3-19. In: Bronstein, Judith (ed.) Mutualism. Oxford UP. p. 7.

 

“Many researchers have been reluctant to call an interaction a mutualism unless they have evidence that the species have shared a long coevolutionary history, or have at least some level of obligate dependence. For more generalized, facultative, and/or ephemeral mutualisms they have felt more comfortable with other terms, including symbiosis, cooperation, and facilitation. This has added another layer of confusion, since each of those terms has a different and widely accepted definition of its own.” Bronstein, Judith. 2015. “The study of mutualism.” pp. 3-19. In: Bronstein, Judith (ed.) Mutualism. Oxford UP. p. 7.

 

“Facilitation is an interaction in which the presence of one species alters the environment in a way that enhances growth, survival, or reproduction of a second, neighboring species.” Bronstein, Judith. 2015. “The study of mutualism.” pp. 3-19. In: Bronstein, Judith (ed.) Mutualism. Oxford UP. p. 7.

 

“Most commonly, mutualism is used to denote interspecific benefit, whereas cooperation is used somewhat more vaguely to denote benefits in a within-species context. However, as we have seen, cooperation (or protocooperation) has also been used to refer to the subset of mutualisms that are not obligate. Other researchers have referred to all forms of mutualism as cooperation,….” Bronstein, Judith. 2015. “The study of mutualism.” pp. 3-19. In: Bronstein, Judith (ed.) Mutualism. Oxford UP. p. 8.

 

“Conversely, various subsets of interactions within species have sometimes been referred to as mutualisms. In particular, intraspecific interactions in which cooperation is an incidental result of individually selfish behaviors have been dubbed ‘byproduct mutualisms.’ This is particularly confusing since the same phenomenon describes some (interspecific) mutualisms as well.” Bronstein, Judith. 2015. “The study of mutualism.” pp. 3-19. In: Bronstein, Judith (ed.) Mutualism. Oxford UP. p. 8.

 

“In the most common scheme [of the nature of mutualism benefits], almost all benefits fall into one of just three categories. Transportation includes movement of partners themselves, but also movement of partners’ gametes, as when animals transfer pollen between flowers on different individuals. Protection involves the provision of defense against the biotic and abiotic environment. It includes aggression toward or consumption of the partner’s enemies, as in ant protection mutualisms, as well as conferring resistance to enemies, as in the case of certain endophytic fungi that render the plants they inhabit distasteful or even fatal to herbivores. Finally, nutrition is shorthand for the provision of one or more limiting nutrients to the partner. Algae provide photosynthate to their fungal associates in lichens. Rhizobium bacteria produce fixed nitrogen for host plants, mycorrhizal fungi provide host plants with phosphate, and so on.” Bronstein, Judith. 2015. “The study of mutualism.” pp. 3-19. In: Bronstein, Judith (ed.) Mutualism. Oxford UP. p. 9.

 

“At one time in was common to categorize mutualisms based on specificity and degree of mutual dependence. Thus, they were termed specialized (each species has a single partner species) or generalized (each species is associated with multiple partner species), and either obligate (each species cannot survive and/or reproduce without its partner) or facultative (each species performs better in the partner’s presence but experiences some success without it).” Bronstein, Judith. 2015. “The study of mutualism.” pp. 3-19. In: Bronstein, Judith (ed.) Mutualism. Oxford UP. p. 10.

 

Mutualism refers to all mutually beneficial, inter-specific interactions, regardless of their specificity, intimacy, or evolutionary history. Appropriate modifiers can group sets of mutualisms, according to characteristics such as these:

“• Degree of dependency: mutualism ranges from obligate to facultative for each of the two partner species.

“• Degree of specificity: mutualism can range from specialized (at the extreme, species-specific) to generalized, for each of the two partner species.

“• Degree of physical integration: mutualism is symbiotic when the two partners are in intimate physical contact, often physiologically integrated, for most or all of their life cycles. All other mutualisms are non-symbiotic or non-persistent. Thus, some but not all mutualisms are symbiotic, and some but not all symbioses are mutualistic. The great majority of symbioses involve large, long-lived