miércoles, 5 de junio de 2013
Ibn Khaldun's The Muqaddimah, trans. Franz Rosenthal, ed. N. J: Dawood (Princeton UP, 1969), quoted by Carl N. Degler in The Evolutionary Review (vol. 1, 2010):
Just how far can a medieval Arab historian genuinely connect with contemporary evolutionary theory? Ibn Kaldûn's The Muqaddimah (An Introduction to History) contains a couple of paragraphs that bravely try to envision an evolutionary process:
The animal world then widens, its species become numerous and in a gradual process of creation it finally leads to man who is able to think and reflect. The higher stage of man is reached from the world of monkeys, in which sagacity and perception are found, but which has not reached the stage of actual reflection and thinking. At this point we come to the first stage of man. This is as far as our (physical) observation extends. (75)
By the way, the book reviewed by Degler, Peter Turchin's War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires (2006), sounds far more interesting than Degler's review would lead one to suppose. The crucial role of cooperation for violence against other groups and defense from other groups in human historyand in human evolution is still undertheorized, and of course underestimated as well.