Prof. Edmund Chattoe-Brown publishes a work in Frontiers of Sociology (26 Feb 2019; https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2109.00006)
He asks, “How will sociology eventually face topic of evolution?”
Well, at the moment, sociology does not face up to evolution. In this, it ignores two important points. First, social organization does not explain itself. Second, social organizations are historical, therefore one must account for novelty and genuine change on the macro-level.
Chattoe-Brown proposes that Agent-Based Models may provide paths to packaging evolutionary theory for sociology.
In the next blog, I comment on this article. I place these comments on my blog in order to introduce intrepid students and teachers to the style of the masterworks and commentary available at Smashwords.com. The methodology is synthetic. The results are astounding.
The comments on Chattoe-Brown’s essay start with a question, asking, “What does a sociologist mean by the word, ‘evolution’?”
Is evolution only about genetic changes over time?
Or, does evolution pertain to civilization and history?
What is the logical structure of evolution?
These are good questions.
For example, in economics, there is a clear connection between prices and sales. Is this connection an adaptation? If so, what is the niche?
For example, in sociology, there is a clear connection between “something that makes sense to me” and “the answer to the question, ‘what am I supposed to do?’”. Is this connection an adaptation? If so, what is the niche?
The comments in the next blog track Chattoe-Brown’s argument into the thicket of Agent-Based Models. Institutions behave like individual humans. They try to figure out normal contexts and potentials. Agent-based models allow the inquirer to see parallels between the relational structures of organizations and individuals in community.
The comments touch base with three master-works.
The master-work, The Human Niche, argues that our genus adapts into the niche of triadic relations. If this is so, then humans think in terms of triadic relations, such as the category-based nested form. Do current agent-based models account for this? Yes, they are structured according to category-based nested forms.
The master-work, An Archaeology of the Fall, proposes that our species underwent a fundamental cultural transition during the past 7820 years. The first singularity potentiates unconstrained social complexity. This is precisely what Sociology studies.
The master-work, How to Define the Word “Religion”, opens the door to inquiry into our current Lebenswelt. Clearly, our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in. Sociology investigates our current Lebenswelt.
In the long run, Sociology has no choice but to be evolutionary.
Sociology has a choice as to how to approach evolution. Is it only a biological process? Or does evolution follow a particular logic? If so, then that same logic may apply to social change. The category-based nested form may well be integral to how Sociology finds value in evolutionary concepts.