Darwin Versus Marx? Reflections on a Book by Giovanni Jervis

Luigi Cavallaro


Giovanni Jervis 2002 book Individualismo e cooperazione. Psicologia della politica [Individualism and cooperation: psychology of politics] is the outcome of a critical reflection begun by the author at the end of the 1970s in order to explore the manifestations and the problems of cooperation between individuals, and to identify some universal psychological factors that could define the role of psychology within politics and constitute an objective foundation of any human culture. Although Jervis was, so to speak, favoring darwin against marx, it is argued that, from his overall reasoning, several of his arguments actually are in favor of the inevitable historicity of individuals, due to the social conditioning they are subjected since birth: too often certain universalistic approaches transmit, together with scientific advances (or even without them), well identifiable ideological motives linked to precise and well defined historical and economic interests? 

Key words: Individualism Cooperation - Psychology of politics Darwin - Marx 

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