Jean Piaget and a warning to a ‘Brave New World’

Jean Piaget: Adaptation and Intelligence

Piaget’s book “Adaptation and Intelligence – Organic Selection and the Phenocopy” was the single most stand-out book that influenced me at university. It stood out above all others like Merleau Ponty’s Phenomenlogy of Perception, Nicholas Mackintosh’s Donditionaing and Associative Learning and R.D. Laing’s The Divided Self because of the enormity of the implications of its findings to the Human Race and its poke in the eye to the neo-Darwinists such as Richard Dawkins who’s book The Blind Watchmaker is in Shakespeare’s words: “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

In short Piaget is challenging the neo-Darwinist beliefs that acquired characteristics or adaptations cannot be hereditarily fixed, as per Lamarck’s very old and very ridiculed ‘Giraffe’ theory. It turn’s out that Piaget proves that hereditary fixing does occur within the lifetime of the individual, but this is no surprise if you take a holistic view of the universe. Piaget postulates that this is also what is happening in psychological forms too in the evolution of human intelligence. Think about that for a moment! Aldous Huxley was absolutely right on the button even though Brave New World took such ideas and concepts to an extreme conclusion in the form of a story.

While we were all looking out for 1984 Brave new World slipped in through the back door and took us by surprise!

Bringuier: You’ve just used the word “biology”.
Have you come back to biology?
Piaget: Well, I haven’t come back to it – I’ve never left it.

– Conversations with Jean Piaget

Bio&kno