Premises and Principles of the Evolutionary Worldview

Since our founding in 2013, the Institute for Cultural Evolution’s political philosophy has been continually enriched through our extensive work on hyperpolarization. The most thorough and up-to-date articulation of this philosophy is accordingly found in ICE president Steve McIntosh’s 2020 book, Developmental Politics. However, an earlier expression of ICE’s philosophy was described in a 2015 whitepaper by McIntosh entitled: “Premises and Principles of the Evolutionary Worldview.” This whitepaper can be downloaded here.

It is important to note that the integral philosophy that guides ICE’s approach has itself evolved over the last century through the work of Henri Bergson, Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Ken Wilber, Jean Gebser, Clare Graves, and others. Although these founders of integral philosophy differ on many points, they have all recognized that a deeper understanding of the human condition shows how, in at least some places, human nature itself has developed, values and worldviews have evolved, concepts of “worldcentric” morality have come to replace more narrow ethnocentric sensibilities, democracies have replaced tyrannies, economic engagement has replaced military competition, science and technology have flourished in place of myth and superstition, and merit-based organizations have replaced those based on race, class and caste. As a result of this ongoing evolution of culture, some segments of the world’s population have increasingly come to reject war, to condemn oppression, embrace diversity, and to place a high value on the preservation of the natural environment. Understanding how these evolving values have cohered historically to form worldviews, and appreciating how those worldviews inform contemporary American society is crucial for making sense of our turbulent political conditions.