PowerPoint Lecture for IPSA Congress, Poznan, Poland
Evolutionary Leadership, Evolutionary Ethics, and Redistribution
Ronald F. White, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Mount St. Joseph University
Mount St. Joseph University
The cornerstone of “welfare liberalism” is the core belief that social justice requires that government limit (Rawls) or even eliminate (Marx) “social distance” between the “most-advantaged” and “least-disadvantaged” individuals and/or nations. Distance is usually measured in terms of the intra-group (and/or inter-group) distribution of “social goods.” While social redistribution relies on voluntary moral exchange whereby the most-advantaged willingly share their social goods (directly or indirectly) with the least-advantaged; political redistribution is executed, coercively, by political regimes via tax code. For Rawls, the justification for social and political redistribution of social goods is the Difference Principle. With a few exceptions, classical liberals who support redistribution, favor voluntary social redistribution, while most welfare liberals also accept political redistribution. Until recent years, there has been very little research on the “nature” of social distance and the social and/or political origins of redistribution. Contemporary Evolutionary Leadership Theory (ELT) and Evolutionary Ethics (EET) provide important insight into the biological origins of both social distance and redistribution. In this presentation I will argue, based on ELT that “social distance” in its various manifestations is the product of a growing mismatch between our modular brains and human culture; most notably, the cultural evolution of leader-follower relationships within stationary, large-scale, political regimes.
•Evolutionary Social Psychology
•Proximate Theories (how)
•Ultimate Theories (why)
•Modular Theory of the Brain
•Proximate Brain Theories
–How the Human Brain Produces Social Feelings, Thoughts, and Behavior.
•Reductionism (neurons, genes)
•Ultimate Brain Theories
–Why the Human Brain Produces Social Feelings, Thoughts, and Behavior. (Cooperation).
–Variation and Natural Selection.
•Groups of Organisms.
•Evolutionary Leadership Theory
•Leadership and Followership
–Pleistocene Hunter-Gatherers (Hominids)
•Leaders, Followers, and the Difference Principle
•Descriptive Ethics v. Prescriptive Ethics
•Proximate Theories of Ethics
–Biology and Social Science
•Ultimate Theories of Ethics
–Mismatch between moral feelings and cultural environments.
•Biological v. Cultural Evolution
–Feelings of Justice (merit, need, equality, utility)
•Distribution and Retribution
–Feelings of Sympathy
•The “Expanding Circle”
–In-Group/ Out-Group Bias
–Ethics of Redistribution
•Cooperation as an Amoral Human Trait
•Realism v. Idealism
•Voluntary v. Involuntary Redistribution : Both the Inner Brains and Outer Brains
–Reason- Who Benefits
•ELT: Cooperation v. Coercion
–Cooperation: Rational cooperation between Leaders and Followers
–Coercion: Emotive Coercion
•Leaders employ fear to force redistribution.
–Emotional Feelings of Sympathy and Feelings of Retribution
•Family and Friends : The Ethics of Familiarity
•Strangers: The Ethics of Unfamiliarity
•Public Policy (Idealism v. Realism)
–Legal Redistribution: Coercion
–Moral Redistribution: Cooperation
•Public policy ought to promote transition from strangers to friends
–Role of moral Leaders
–Role of Media
–Moral Intent (sympathy for the least advantaged)
–Moral Action (policies that work efficiently)
–Moral Action (willingness to accept a social minimum rather than forcefully seize the goods of the most advantaged