Human Cultural Evolution Is Completely Immersed in Natural Evolution

Human Cultural Evolution Is Completely Immersed in Natural Evolution

Jan Holmgren (Independent Researcher, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9065-1.ch006
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Human culture is presently setting a disastrous mark on planet Earth, overexploiting its resources, causing global warming, causing mass extinctions. We appear already to be in a new geological period, the Anthropocene. The natural sciences are crucial for the understanding of those processes. Equally important are decisions in human culture to act on the large challenges in humane and rational ways. Whitehead's evolutionary Philosophy of Organism, with the introduction of atomic microfeels, inspires a coherent cosmology characterized by the basic position of human consciousness. The humane aspects (pre-physical, metaphysical) of human culture (e.g. the humanities, the religions, the arts) are shown to be importantly causal in the universe. Human empathy and altruism (loving attitudes) combined with rationalism and truthfulness must be enhanced as central ambitions in human societies, not least in areas like politics and economy. The suggested worldview, accepting complementarity, is named multi-aspect monism (MAM).
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Central to this chapter is the understanding of human consciousness as inspired by its treatment in Whitehead’s philosophy. Hinted at are some consequences for human agents in the universe, with a few implications for the future of human culture and a sustainable planet Earth.

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