Love and power, and the development of the brain, mind, and agency

World Futures 58 (2 & 3):175 – 211 (2002)
Abstract
In drawing on my own research and collaborative work with Karl Pribram, I show that love (affective attachment) and power (social control) play a central role in psychosocial evolution. When these relations are coupled in a self-regulating system of cooperative interactions, brain growth is stimulated, mind and agency develop, and stable forms of collective social organization are generated. Focusing on the endogenous dynamics of social collectives, the article is organized in four parts. (A "social collective" is defined as a durable arrangement of relations among two or more individuals that is distinguished by shared membership and collaboration in relation to a common function or goal.) Part I summarizes evidence from developmental neuropsychology and social science to show that stable psychosocial organization, across the human life span, is associated with social interaction organized along two dimensions. One dimension involves love, positive affective attachment, and the second involves power, social regulation of the aroused affective energy. Part II draws on Piaget's theory of cooperation and Bradley and Pribrams' theory of communication to describe how mind and agency are generated, and how stable organization is produced, respectively, from the relations involved in the arousal and regulation of affective energy. Combining elements of the two theories, Part III presents a sketch of a holographic model of collective organization in which goal-directed behavior is generated by a feed-forward process involving imaging and information processing of interaction along the two dimensions. Part IV shows how the model accounts for the emergence of human agency within the context of a more general evolutionary theory, such as Laszlo's. The article concludes with a discussion of my approach for building a "fully human theory of evolution.".
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