Economics questioned by biology: Cooperation as the main source of innovation in the living world

Novation
By Jacques Perrin

English

In recent years, much research in biology has revealed that cooperation is an important principle in the construction of the living world. In the history of evolution, cooperation and in particular microbial symbiosis has been an infinite source of innovation. In each species, the most cooperative groups are those that survive best. The growth of inequalities is the main cause of the collapse of a group’s cohesion. The different processes of cooperation in the living world question the theory of evolution but also economics, which emphasizes competition as the dominant force. These processes force us to change our vision of the world and the place of the human being in the world, inherited from the Enlightenment and modernity. Faced with the challenges of ecological transition, we now have at our disposal the dynamics and concepts to rethink economic science. JEL Codes: B30, B52, O35

Keywords

  • Economics
  • Biology
  • Cooperation
  • Symbiosis
  • Evolution
  • Innovation
  • Representation of the world
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