Curiousity is more fundamental than rivalry.

Poor Richard an175779 at anon.penet.fi
Sun Apr 16 08:37:09 EST 1995


Poor Richard has been writing on many of these newsgroups on the subject
of the lack of ethics in Science.  Poor Richard believes there are no
ethics in Science.  Poor Richard thinks that Scientists are no better
than car mechanics in this regard, believing that if a car mechanic
isn't closely watched, he will chisel you, and that Scientists are no better.

The question of what to do about all these bad ethics will be taken up later.

For now, let us examine the fundamental psychological hypothesis that
CURIOUSITY is more basic than RIVALRY.

What we call IRRITABILITY in biology, one of the fundamental properties
of life, ontogenetically preceeds almost every other reflex.  We observe
IRRITABILITY before almost any other behaviors that characterize living
organisms.

In humans, "failure to thrive" is a well known cause of death among newborns.
Without tactile, visual and auditory stimuli, even with adequate nutritional
and hygenic needs met, infants do not survive.

So, this kind of stimulation is an absolute prerequisite for human life.

Poor Richard contends that IRRITABILITY represents a primitive form of
CURIOUSITY.

Rivalry, on the other hand, makes its appearance later during ontogenesis,
at a time when the establishment of the individual personality recognizes
needs outside of himself/herself, and when there may be a competition
for scarce resources (such as love, attention, recognition etc.).
In family psychodynamics, rivalry is usually thought of in terms of
siblings, but as the good Dr. Freud pointed out, the rivalry between
a child and one of its parents is normal in the course of human development
and must be properly resolved in order for normal development to occur.

Digressions aside, the purpose of this short essay was to demonstrate
the hierarchical transcendance of curiousity over rivalry and QED,
Poor Richard believes he has accomplished his goal.

The implications os this distinction in a quest to restore ethics to
Science will be the subject of a later essay.

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