VICTOR Z. CHEN

In pursuit of the profound, the innovative, and the visionary

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(Left) With Governor Jim Martin, while holding his book “Revelation through Science”.

(Right) With Jared Diamond and John Cantwell, after our symposium on social evolution.

 

Resistant values guide us to pursue an end purpose as well as prescribe means to doing so. Although I’m not religious, I have a great interest in the diversity of resistant values, including religious predispositions and underlying assumptions (e.g., randomness) in science (as a core component of my research on institutional diversity perspective across societies). I believe all resistant values share a common raison d'être, which explains the comfort we are seeking ultimately. Instead of seeing different resistant values as competing or alternative assumptions of the world, I am synthesizing literatures and working on a holistic and reconciling value system. Such a value system should comfort our anxiety and confusion by explaining the diversity and evolution in resistant values as different components and evolutionary paths of the common denominators billions of us inherited from our common ancestors in East Africa about 50,000 years ago (or more ultimately from the physical world of big bang).

 

To find such common denominators, I am collecting a list of scientific readings on human biological and social universals, to be combined with my original research on global institutional diversity (with Dr. John Cantwell). Please write to me if you have any good scientific readings on these topics and would like to join the discussion.

 

Below is a rough structure to organize all the readings into a unifying theoretical framework of human biological and social universals:

 

 

Source of End

Choice of Means

Phylogenetically Innate

Socioculturally Learned

Present

Innate Self-Interest Rationality

(Zweckrationalität)

Learned Nonself-Interest Rationality

(Wertrationalität)

Absent

Affectual

Nonrationality

Traditional

Nonrationality

 

Source: Wallace (1994) A Weberian theory of human society: Structure and evolution, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

 

 

 

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