Empirical studies involve WEIRD but also unnested (raised outside humanity’s evolved nest) and underdeveloped participants. Assessing human moral potential needs to integrate a transdisciplinary approach to understanding species typicality and baselines, relevant evolutionary inheritances beyond genes, assessment of cultures and practices that foster (or not) virtue, and ecological morality. Human moral reason (nous) emerges from all of these.
The practice of science entails more than just repeated cycles of theory construction, hypothesis generation, and empirical investigation. Broader, metatheoretical levels of conceptualization necessarily condition all aspects of the research process, establishing the very meaning and sensibility of science’s empirical and theoretical activities. When debate arises at these metatheoretical levels, it is the subject of conceptual analysis, not empirical investigation. In this article, we examine the overarching metatheoretical divide that lies at the heart of many key theoretical debates in science: the divide between a Cartesian-Split-Mechanistic research paradigm and a Process-Relational research paradigm. We instantiate this divide in terms of three prominent domains of inquiry within developmental science: the study of epigenesis (including epigenetics); the study of embodiment, specifically embodied cognition; and the study of baselines for human nature and development. We reveal how core issues and theoretical debates within these domains derive from metatheoretical, not theoretical, points of contention.
We hypothesize that once humans began their anthropocentric journey toward feeling superior to non-human forms of life, we also opened the door for similar attitudes toward Nature as a whole and toward other humans as “different” and “lesser” groups of people. This shift from an Indigenous Worldview to what has become our Dominant Worldview may be the foundation for violence against all forms of diversity. Until we learn to understand, respect and reclaim the worldview that operated for most of human history, whether comparing levels of warfare or numbers of fish in the ocean, social/ecological injustices and environmental degradation will continue unabated. We need to return to a more authentic baseline so as to better establish our goals.
The main arguments of my lecture were how humans are failing themselves and devastating earth’s biosphere, at least in part, because they became uncooperative with two key ecological inheritances: raising the young within the human evolved developmental niche and, as part of this, facilitating the development of a deep attachment to, knowledge of and respect for their local landscape of other-than-human entities. Without humanity’s return to these cooperative evolutionary roots, the species will be doomed, along with many other-than-human beings. The now-widespread mental illness of ‘human supremacism’ that results from these missing pieces has spread around the planet and is destroying ecological integrity. The ‘Sacred Money and Markets’ story (SMM) that David Korten criticizes and I briefly discuss is a symptom of these missing pieces of human inheritance. We must return to a Sacred Life and Living Earth story with lifestyles to match.
Most of human history and prehistory was lived in economic poverty but with social and ecological wealth, both of which are diminishing as commodification takes over most everything. Human moral wealth has also deteriorated. Because humans are biosocially, dynamically, and epigenetically shaped, early experience is key for developing one’s moral capital. When early experience is species-atypical, meaning that it falls outside the evolved developmental niche (EDN), which is often the case in modern societies, biopsychosocial moral development is undermined, shifting one’s nature and worldview to self-protectionism. Individuals develop into self-regarding shadows of their potential selves, exhibiting threat-reactive moral mindsets that promote unjust treatment of other humans and nonhumans. Humanity’s moral wealth can be re-cultivated by taking up what indigenous people all over the world know: that a good life, a virtuous life, is a one that is led by a well-cultivated heart, embodied in action that includes partnership with nonhumans. Moral educators can help students to revamp their capacities with self-calming skills, the development of social pleasure and communal ecological imagination.
We think, we feel and we act. These are the fields of life of being, becoming and doing. As of late, my appreciation, awareness and consciousness of all that is around me underwent a major phase transformation from one of eternal chaos to one of infinite ordering. And that which was good, beautiful and true… Read More
Reproduced from: https://www3.nd.edu/~dnarvaez/Triune_Ethics_Theory.htm TRIUNE ETHICS THEORY Triune Ethics Theory: The neurobiological roots of our multiple moralities (2008) (PDF). IN WORD Triune Ethics Moral Identities are Shaped by Attachment, Personality Factors and Influence Moral Behavior (ppt) Also see: Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom (Narvaez; W.W. Norton, 2014) TRIUNE ETHICS ORIENTATIONS… Read More
In the last post, Is our credit creation system the father of all pathogenic human interferences?, I made reference to the pathogenic selves and pathogenic credit creation systems that serve to undermine our sense of belonging and connection to other living systems in our social and planetary spheres of influence. I also described an alternative salutogenic credit creation system that… Read More