By Jean Piaget
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Extra info for Behavior and Evolution
This process, which may be identified in animals wh9se organization is of the most primitive kind, is naturally reinforced as soon as simple precautionary behav- BEHAVIOR AND EVOLUTION ior gives way to the curiosity of the higher vertebrates, and even more so when actions become susceptible of ideational internalization and the door is opened to the indefinite expansion of the need for knowledge characteristic of human thought. Yet within the different kinds of behavior a distinction still has to be drawn between phenotypical activities and inherited instinctual forms, and this is a problem that Lamarckianism does not raise -or, rather, one which it "resolves" by assuming a basic continuity between the two.
7 BEHAVIOR AND EVOLUTION If this is granted, it follows naturally that the first goal or orientation of behavior must be the fueling of patterns of assimilation or, in other words, the continuous or periodic exercise of already constituted patterns of action, making use of elements supplied by the environment. What we are envisaging here is a sort of practical metabolism, a metabolic system functioning at the practical or cognitive level. Every system of action or knowledge presupposes an internal organization of patterns that can only function when fueled by a group of external elements-hence the permanence of interaction between action and environment.
By Hugh Eliot: Zoological Philosophy, London, 1914; New York: Hafner, 1963. See chapter 7. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. edge: An Essay on the Relations Between Organic Regulations and Cognitive Processes (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1971). TWO Baldwin and Organic Selection Two CONTRIBUTIONS marked the decisive turning point in evolutionary theory in the latter half of the nineteenth century: Darwin's explanation of evolution in terms of natural selection and Weissmann's rejection of the thesis of inherited acquired traits.