Conflict Solutions International (London) - the Meetup Message Board › New Meetup: November International Relations Meet-Up
|A former member||
Announcing a new Meetup for Conflict Solutions International (London) - the Meetup!
What: November International Relations Meet-Up
When: November 29, 2009 2:00 PM
Old Shades Pub
37 Whitehall, SW1A 2BX Westminster
London EC1A 4DD
020 7839 8577
I was thinking of this month’s topic to look the fairly recent paradigm of Evolutionary Psychology and its implication for liberal and feminist theory.
Look forward to some good discussions!
The new Darwinian synthesis is, like quantum physics or molecular biology, a body of scientific theory and fact which is widely accepted by the scientific community; but, unlike them, it is also a way of seeing everyday life. Once truly grasped (and it is much easier to grasp than either of them) it can entirely alter ones perception of social reality.
In an age of science, evolutionary psychology goes a long was to plausibly explain much of our social behaviour. Altruism, compassion, empathy, love, conscience, the sense of justice -all of these things, the things that hold society together, the things that allow our species to think so highly of itself, can now confidently be said to have a firm genetic basis. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, although these things are in some ways blessings for humanity as a whole, they didn’t evolve for the “good of the species” and aren’t reliably employed to that end. Quite the contrary : it is now clearer than ever how ( and precisely why ) the moral sentiments are used with brutal flexibility, switched on and off in keeping with self interest( war is an example of how easily we exclude large groups of people from the reaches of our sympathy); and how naturally oblivious we often are to this switching. In the new view, human beings are a species splendid in their array of moral equipment, tragic in their propensity to misuse it, and pathetic in their constitutional ignorance of the misuse.
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