chapter  8
22 Pages

Adaptation and Human Behavior

ByJohn W. Bennett

In order to socialize human ecology one must adopt a conceptual scheme adequate to the task. This would focus on the active mode of the human engagement with natural phenomena, and it should allow for the inclusion of society as part of the environment with which men cope. The concept of behavioral adaptation provides such a framework: it is focused on action, and it is neutral on the definition of environment. In the most general sense, human adaptive behavior is based on the capacity for "self-objectification" and "normative orientation": the human ability to perceive, or receive information on, and act upon or against the environment for the satisfaction of needs. There are two principal sets of conceptual tools in the study of a socially responsive human ecology: the "systems" approach in social science, and the "adaptive dynamics" approach to social behavior and social action, featuring an emphasis on decision making and exchange transactions.