Evolutionary trajectories (?)

Tue, 10 May 1994 10:15:34 -0600

Graber seems to state that a net increase in population occurs generally in
societies through the Holocene. This is, as far as we can tell, more or less
true, but I wonder at what conceptualiztion of 'society' is to be used in order
to operate this model (?) Perhaps Bob can answer - at what level of population
agregation does he see this taking place?

Certainly, cultural evolution does not require any particular trajectory
whatsoever. Human response to the total human condition can take many forms,
and is not very highly predictable at a more specific level than the
macrosocial, in my opinion.

I was also very interested also in teh idea that human conceptions of reality
(assuming that we can agree on what that word represents) can be employed in an
evolutionary framework. While I agree that this is absolutely necessary in any
diachronic or synvhronic treatment of human behavior, I have never seen an
adequate theorization of it in terms of evolutionary models. Could this be the
point at which the idea of the mental STATE (hegemony), and other
political/critical models from Marx to Gramsci might be incorporated into
evolutionary theory? Just curious.


Matt Tomaso
Department of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin