Co-operation & Community










The idea of community:


Kevin Loughran has long been interested in the use of the idea of community and it was the subject of his book The Idea of Community, Social Policy and Self (2003).  He has remarked that because of the importance of the idea of community the term should be used more sparingly and more carefully. 


Kevin believes that the natural sciences, the social sciences and the arts can offer different ways of understanding more of the world and relationships between individuals and groups.  Consideration of those relationships and of co-operation between individuals and groups can lead to consideration of the nature and origins of life itself.


Below: Kevin Loughran's earlier published articles, some now revised:*



Co-operation did not evolve, co-operation is

(2011, revised 2015)


Co-operation is a problem, when seen within a process of Darwinian evolution.  Robert Axelrod put the problem simply when he asked in The Evolution of Cooperation (1984): under what conditions would co-operation emerge in a world of egoists?  Surely those who co-operate would lose out in the individual struggle for existence.  Yet Robert Axelrod acknowledged that co-operation was common in nature, between members of the same species and between different species ... read more



The genetic evolution of eusociality



Martin Nowak, Corina Tarniţă and Edward Wilson criticised kin selection / inclusive fitness theory as an explanation for the genetic evolution of eusociality.  However, I believe that they share with kin selection / inclusive fitness theory a fundamental assumption which is not acknowledged and which is open to question: that is, that co-operation / altruism / eusociality are outcomes of a process of evolution ...  read more



Is there such a thing as community?



Few of us do not acknowledge the idea of community in some way or another.  For example, we attach the word community to many titles of jobs or activities or institutions: community nurse, community social worker, community pharmacy, community policing, community workshop, community enterprises, community health centres; and so on.  Community is more than a commonly used word.  It has become a habit of expression ... read more



Atoms and Community



There is a tradition of using the metaphor of the atom to describe a supposed state of separate and self-interested existence.  For example, Matt Ridley (1996) described the first life on earth as being atomistic and individual.  Norton Long (1986) described modern American cities as economic sites for combining and re-combining atoms ... read more



Describing Human Existence



That each person exists may be considered as a fact, in the singular.  But however existence is described – in terms of actions; or in terms of ideas or feelings or motives; or in terms of biological processes and the influence of our genes – existence, each person’s existence, consists of many facts ... read more






*For recent articles by this author, please see the Features page.















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