“The Vicious Circle Principle of the Evolution of Humankind”
In this talk I’d like to bring to the listeners’ attention that the nature of the development of our species is not as it is normally thought to be. It is not as though we progressed beyond other life forms through developing technology, which then allowed our population to grow. The development of humankind is not linear, but rather circular, in accordance with what I have called the vicious circle principle. According to the principle, “Humankind’s development consists in an accelerating movement from situations of scarcity, to technological innovation, to increased resource availability, to increased consumption, to population growth, to resource depletion, to scarcity once again, and so on.” (Too Smart for Our Own Good, p. 110). This view of our past allows us to better understand how important the human community has been to our survival, and how it is in the community that our morals have their origin.
Craig Dilworth was born in Canada and received his PhD at Uppsala University, Sweden, where he is presently Reader in Theoretical Philosophy. His work has included creating and running various environmental projects, as well as purely academic studies in metaphysics, philosophy of science, human ecology, theoretical physics, theoretical biology and the social sciences. He is the author of two major works in the philosophy of science, Scientific Progress (4th ed. 2008) and The Metaphysics of Science (2nd ed. 2007), as well as a book in human ecology entitled Too Smart for Our Own Good (2009). His latest work is Simplicity (2012), which is in meta-metaphysics, and constitutes a lifelong effort.