Mar 01, 2017 6:51pm
I suspect one of the factors contributing to deflationary language in ethics, law and science is that we needed a rational, empirical means of decidability in matters concerning rule, organization and extra-familial cooperation.
(Note that legal realism, contractualism and truth telling (science and it’s precursors) coincided with conquest and colonization of non-kin groups. Myth (context driven means of decidability) doesn’t scale past regulating/adjudicating tribal and familia affairs; Natural Law does because it serves as the only universally decidable means of adjudication between heterogeneous peoples.)
On the institutional level, the West was blessed with a geography that produced a high frequency of warfare in a manner that made institutional monopolies evolutionarily disadvantageous. An institution was able to survive if it wasn’t conflated with the current power structure (think of the Church and it’s relation to political power during the Middle Ages). In othewords, the incentive for institutions was to secure their existence by remaining autonomous/separated from the institutions of rule scince there was constant and frequent shifts in political power—the opposite of China.
These are just loose thoughts. I’ve been mulling this over in hopes that I can write a more formal evolutionary argument for Western Dynamism.