October 22, 2008

Psychological Evolution

Future Psychological Evolution

by John E. Stewart

Humans are able to construct mental representations and models of possible interactions with their environment. They can use these mental models to identify actions that will enable them to achieve their adaptive goals. But humans do not use this capacity to identify and implement the actions that would contribute most to the evolutionary success of humanity. In general, humans do not find motivation or satisfaction in doing so, no matter how effective such actions might be in evolutionary terms. From an evolutionary perspective, this is a significant limitation in the psychological adaptability of humans.

This paper sets out to identify the new psychological capacity that would be needed to overcome this limitation and how the new capacity might be acquired. Humans that develop this capacity will become self-evolving organisms - organisms that are able to adapt in whatever ways are necessary for future evolutionary success, largely unfettered by their biological and social past.

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