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The human body is an inadequate metaphor for society and social evolution

on 11 October 2009 - 6:10pm

The analogy/model of the human body (where all its parts need to work together to make it work) as all the other biological metaphors for guiding or explaining social phenomena, is grossly inadequate because the parts of a biological whole do not have free will, values, ego development, and self-awareness that give human society a level of generative complexity not present at the previous stages of evolutions.


The metaphor of the body for society was first introduced in Rome, 2500 years ago by Menenius Agrippa. Since then, it went through countless re-telling. Today, it may lead to seeking simplistic cures to the ills of the capitalist civilization, for the reasons mentioned above. When it comes to understanding and moving the edge of social evolution, we need to discover/develop scientifically sound models capable to account for the uniquely social phenomena of higher order, generative complexity.