All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Evolution, Exchange and Coordination: Implications for Organizational Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  Evolution, Exchange and Coordination 27 Endnotes 1. This new paradigm challenges the dominant “Blank Slate” doctrine that has “set the agenda for much of the social sciences and humanities” (Pinker, 2002. p. 6) during the greater part of the 20 th century. Many of the luminaries who helped found their respective fields all attributed human behavior to social conditioning of some sort. For instance, very early, Durkheim (1895/1962) reduced human nature to “the indeterminate material that the social factor molds and transforms,” (p. 106) while Mead later saw it as “almost unbelievably malleable, responding accurately and contrastingly to contrasting cultural conditions” (Mead, 1935/1963. p.280). Geertz (1973) too echoed the sentiment in stressing that: “undirected by culture patterns – organized systems of significant symbols – man’s behavior would be virtually ungovernable, a mere chaos of pointless acts and exploding emotions, his experience virtually shapeless” (Geertz, 1973. p. 46). Those who currently subscribe to the social constructionist paradigm essentially believe that “all of the specific content of the human mind derives from the outside – from the environment and the social world – and the evolved architecture of the mind, consists solely or predominantly of a small number of general purpose mechanisms that are content independent, […] such as ‘learning,’ ‘induction,’ ‘intelligence,’ ‘imitation,’ [and] ‘rationality.’” (Cosmides & Tooby, 1997, The standard social science model, par. 3). This perspective has of course strong moral appeal, as “being able to explain […] all customs and social arrangements as a product of the socialization of children by the surrounding culture” (Pinker, 2002. p. 6) raises wonderful possibilities for the amelioration of the human condition and the elimination of social ills (Wright, 1994; Cosmides & Tooby, 1997; Pinker, 2002). This view of mind and behavior has remained largely unchallenged over the past century. Mounting research from a variety of disciplines suggests it is basically wrong. 2. Given the fairly recent extensive coverage of the tenets and implications of evolutionary scholarship in the popular and academic presses (e.g., Damasio; 1999; Diamond, 1992; Erlich, 2002; Lawrence & Nohria, 2002; Pinker; 1997, 2002; Ridley, 1996; Wright, 1994, 2001) it is puzzling to see such limited interest in this framework from the traditional social science and humanities disciplines. One possible explanation might lie in the misguided assumption held, that because this perspective is originally grounded in Darwin’s theories of Natural Selection, and to a lesser extent Sexual Selection, it must have some affinity with value-laden ideologies like Social Darwinism. On the contrary, it has no pretense at drawing value from observed behavior (i.e., committing a naturalistic fallacy) or in promoting any sort of moral, political or social agenda. In fact, from an axiological standpoint, it is value-free – its goal is merely to explain and predict human behavior. 3. In a true Darwinian sense, the term ‘fitness’ describes the fit between a specialized design feature and its ecological niche. As such, the fittest to survive in a species are those members whose features are best adapted to facilitate reproduction and survival under given environmental conditions. Social Darwinism should not be attributed to Darwin as he never preached ‘the survival of the fittest.’ This adage is more consonant with the social and political ideologies preaching selection of the fittest (i.e., social engineering) for human progress (e.g., eugenics) that emanated from the writings of Spencer or Galton. In fact, Darwin overtly repudiated such invective (see Lawrence & Nohria, 2001; Pinker, 2002). 4. There is abundant evidence of the brain’s ‘content-dependent hardwiring’ throughout the animal kingdom (e.g., frogs’ and rabbits’ bug and hawk-detection mechanisms) (Tooby & Cosmides, 1992). In what concerns humans specifically, Chomsky’s (1975) innate Universal Grammar should have drawn scholars’ attention to the time saving specialized organization of the human brain. However, by the mid-70s the academic discourse of the social sciences was firmly entrenched in the social constructionist paradigm.

Authors: Teboul, JC. Bruno. and Cole, Tim.
first   previous   Page 28 of 38   next   last



background image
Evolution, Exchange and Coordination
27
Endnotes

1. This new paradigm challenges the dominant “Blank Slate” doctrine that has “set the agenda for much
of the social sciences and humanities” (Pinker, 2002. p. 6) during the greater part of the 20
th
century.
Many of the luminaries who helped found their respective fields all attributed human behavior to social
conditioning of some sort. For instance, very early, Durkheim (1895/1962) reduced human nature to “the
indeterminate material that the social factor molds and transforms,” (p. 106) while Mead later saw it as
“almost unbelievably malleable, responding accurately and contrastingly to contrasting cultural
conditions” (Mead, 1935/1963. p.280). Geertz (1973) too echoed the sentiment in stressing that:
“undirected by culture patterns – organized systems of significant symbols – man’s behavior would be
virtually ungovernable, a mere chaos of pointless acts and exploding emotions, his experience virtually
shapeless” (Geertz, 1973. p. 46). Those who currently subscribe to the social constructionist paradigm
essentially believe that “all of the specific content of the human mind derives from the outside – from the
environment and the social world – and the evolved architecture of the mind, consists solely or
predominantly of a small number of general purpose mechanisms that are content independent, […] such
as ‘learning,’ ‘induction,’ ‘intelligence,’ ‘imitation,’ [and] ‘rationality.’” (Cosmides & Tooby, 1997, The
standard social science model, par. 3). This perspective has of course strong moral appeal, as “being able
to explain […] all customs and social arrangements as a product of the socialization of children by the
surrounding culture” (Pinker, 2002. p. 6) raises wonderful possibilities for the amelioration of the human
condition and the elimination of social ills (Wright, 1994; Cosmides & Tooby, 1997; Pinker, 2002). This
view of mind and behavior has remained largely unchallenged over the past century. Mounting research
from a variety of disciplines suggests it is basically wrong.

2. Given the fairly recent extensive coverage of the tenets and implications of evolutionary scholarship in
the popular and academic presses (e.g., Damasio; 1999; Diamond, 1992; Erlich, 2002; Lawrence &
Nohria, 2002; Pinker; 1997, 2002; Ridley, 1996; Wright, 1994, 2001) it is puzzling to see such limited
interest in this framework from the traditional social science and humanities disciplines. One possible
explanation might lie in the misguided assumption held, that because this perspective is originally
grounded in Darwin’s theories of Natural Selection, and to a lesser extent Sexual Selection, it must have
some affinity with value-laden ideologies like Social Darwinism. On the contrary, it has no pretense at
drawing value from observed behavior (i.e., committing a naturalistic fallacy) or in promoting any sort of
moral, political or social agenda. In fact, from an axiological standpoint, it is value-free – its goal is
merely to explain and predict human behavior.

3. In a true Darwinian sense, the term ‘fitness’ describes the fit between a specialized design feature and
its ecological niche. As such, the fittest to survive in a species are those members whose features are best
adapted to facilitate reproduction and survival under given environmental conditions. Social Darwinism
should not be attributed to Darwin as he never preached ‘the survival of the fittest.’ This adage is more
consonant with the social and political ideologies preaching selection of the fittest (i.e., social
engineering) for human progress (e.g., eugenics) that emanated from the writings of Spencer or Galton. In
fact, Darwin overtly repudiated such invective (see Lawrence & Nohria, 2001; Pinker, 2002).

4. There is abundant evidence of the brain’s ‘content-dependent hardwiring’ throughout the animal
kingdom (e.g., frogs’ and rabbits’ bug and hawk-detection mechanisms) (Tooby & Cosmides, 1992). In
what concerns humans specifically, Chomsky’s (1975) innate Universal Grammar should have drawn
scholars’ attention to the time saving specialized organization of the human brain. However, by the mid-
70s the academic discourse of the social sciences was firmly entrenched in the social constructionist
paradigm.


Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 28 of 38   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.