Adam Smith on Human Niche Construction

A recurring theme on this blog has been niche construction—the idea that in evolution a species does not solely adapt to exogenous changes in the environmental conditions of its niche, but rather can Continue reading


“A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 1993. Trans. Roger D. Masters. In Collected Writings of Rousseau (Volume 3) . Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.
In this work Rousseau offers a conjectural history of humanity. It begins in the primeval “state of nature,” in which individuals lead Continue reading

A creation myth for the Anthropocene

Stephen’s post on Lynn White helped me focus on an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while: the need for a new creation myth suited to the Anthropocene.

White’s argument reminds us that creation myths derive their power from their status as fundamental texts within the religious tradition that underlies a society’s moral life; a key strategy for justifying a course of action is Continue reading