Mankind and the Planet

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Mankind and the Planet, past, present and future Philosophical Speculations

Page 7


The human brain is one of the possibilities actualised in the world. There is another actualised possibility that ranks higher than the human brain. -The term 'human brain' is, of course, used here as an abbreviation and stands for the biologically organised human individual. The biologically organised human individual, however, is evidently part of a more comprehensive biological entity, containing the individual as member in a biologically linked chain and consisting of an indefinite plurality of individuals, connected by the biological institutions of procreation and birth.

 Apart from such conspicuous, biologically real and manifest bonds between individuals, expressed in visible, biological organs and happenings, there is also another link; here, the biological character is not expressed in the organic structure of the individual, although the link is of a biological character. This is the link between individuals, evident in human communities, whether small, large or, finally global in extent. We need to see human society, whether grouped as nations, classes, creeds or any other 'organisation' of supra-individual dimensions as a continuation (in some other respects as a condition) of the biological existence of the individual. Without advocating here  a so-called 'biological theory of society' and, however misleading a simple analogy between  individual  and supra-individual organisation may be, it is undeniable that the group is a biological phenomenon, even though it is not patterned on the model of the individual. - Only the latter assumption constitutes society 'biologism'. 

Any interpretation in the sphere of biology must apply to everything human; the group is a biological phenomenon, even if science is as yet unable to reveal  the pattern or the biological phenomenology of the group fact  - for it is one of the most decisive facts of the human species. It is not normally interpreted biologically, but rather psychologically, i.e.,in terms of conscious opinion or emotion. Sociability, group instincts, love of one's fellow beings, hatred of one's fellow beings, etc., all these are psychological terms for facts that, it must be supposed, have their corresponding meaning in the sphere of biology, just as the higher faculties of the mind have biological significance. Human history, the human social order, human social movements and developments, everything connected with human society needs to be considered as part of the biology of man. Whatever may correspond in the domain of the biological organisation of the single individual that allows them to cooperate as in procreation, must be considered as a manifestation of a biological organisation higher than the brain, in so far as the brain directs the individual only in its isolated behaviour. In short, millions and millions of brains programmed to cooperate constitute a higher biological phenomenon than a single brain by itself.  Society adds qualitatively to the level of the individual.

The emphasis on a biological equivalent of the psychological  side of man's social characteristics is necessary in order to accentuate the circumstance that society is an objective fact and not a matter of opinion or culture; i.e., it is a fact of objective nature.  The objective side of the mind is biological.