FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Prey and Predator: The End of a Dialectic?

Current scientific knowledge suggests that the predator/prey relationship began very soon after life itself arose.

Although Hegel himself never discussed this natural phenomenon, it could be interpreted as an example of Reason and Dialectic working itself through Nature.

The very idea, however unpalatable, that with life’s initial appearance predation was an immediate “logical/reasonable” response should give us philosophic pause.

This ancient antagonistic natural relationship often gave and gives rise to what is known as an “evolutionary arms race” or what might be considered in Hegelian terms as a dialectical relationship.

As prey continually seek to evade predator, and as predator continually seeks to engulf prey, both develop further survival strategies and physical adaptations in this deadly existential dialectical embrace.

In short, gazelles develop in relation to lions and vice versa.

However, there is of course asymmetry in the relationship in that if the lion fails to catch the gazelle it misses a meal whereas if the lion is successful the gazelle ceases to exist. Yet, on the other hand, if the lion consistently fails to catch a gazelle, he too will, at some point, pass out of existence.

Thus, in a sense, the dialectical struggle of predator/prey is a battle against Nothingness.

Neither term, predator or prey, wishes to be negated however only one side, the predator, necessarily seeks the negation of the other while the prey seeks not the destruction of the predator but maximal avoidance.

However unfair it might seem to some of us, much of the world’s flora and fauna owe their existence, past and present, to this mortal conflict. It has been a major engine of evolution.

Yet, now, perhaps in the Age of the Anthropocene when man has become the apex predator and the world has become his prey this ancient dialectic might be coming to an end.

As man’s rapaciousness stresses his global prey to its very limits, strategies of avoidance become increasingly ineffective in the face of an unprecedented scheme of efficient destruction. Here the predator’s predation threatens both prey and predator with Nothingness; both terms will dissolve thus ending an ancient historical phase of development.

Yet could there still be a better Hegelian solution to this seemingly insoluble conflict? Instead of the end of the history of one ancient natural algorithm could both terms resolve their antagonistic relationship into a higher synthesis where both transform, survive, and, even, prosper? Alas, that might completely depend on the relative strength and perspicaciousness of the Hegelian gambit known as the cunning of Reason.

Suggested Reading.

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141202-what-was-earths-first-predator

 

More articles by:

Dan Corjescu teaches Political Philosophy at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
December 09, 2019
Jefferson Morley
Trump’s Hand-Picked Prosecutor John Durham Cleared the CIA Once, Will He Again?
Kirkpatrick Sale
Political Collapse: The Center Cannot Hold
Ishmael Reed
Bloomberg Condoned Sexual Assault by NYPD 
W. T. Whitney
Hitting at Cuban Doctors and at Human Solidarity
Louisa Willcox
The Grizzly Cost of Coexistence
Thomas Knapp
Meet Virgil Griffith: America’s Newest Political Prisoner
John Feffer
How the New Right Went Global — and How to Stop It
Ralph Nader
Why Not Also Go With “The Kitchen Table” Impeachable Offenses for Removal?
M. K. Bhadrakumar
Sri Lanka Continues Its Delicate Dance With India
Robert Fisk
Meet the Controversial Actor and Businessman Standing Up Against Egypt’s el-Sisi
Dahr Jamail
Savoring What Remains: Dealing With Climate PTSD
George Wuerthner
Bison Slaughter in Yellowstone…Again
Scott Tucker
Premature Democratic Socialists: Reasons for Hope and Change
Julian Rose
Polish Minister of Health Proposes Carcinogenic 5G Emission Levels as National Norm
Dean Baker
Coal and the Regions Left Behind
Robert Koehler
Envisioning a United World
Weekend Edition
December 06, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Eat an Impeachment
Matthew Hoh
Authorizations for Madness; The Effects and Consequences of Congress’ Endless Permissions for War
Jefferson Morley
Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’
Andrew Levine
Whatever Happened to the Obama Coalition?
Paul Street
The Dismal Dollar Dems and the Subversion of Democracy
Dave Lindorff
Conviction and Removal Aren’t the Issue; It’s Impeachment of Trump That is Essential
Ron Jacobs
Law Seminar in the Hearing Room: Impeachment Day Six
Linda Pentz Gunter
Why Do We Punish the Peacemakers?
Louis Proyect
Michael Bloomberg and Me
Robert Hunziker
Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold
Joseph Natoli
What We Must Do
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Global Poison Spring
Robert Fantina
Is Kashmir India’s Palestine?
Charles McKelvey
A Theory of Truth From the South
Walden Bello
How the Battle of Seattle Made the Truth About Globalization True
Evan Jones
BNP Before a French Court
Norman Solomon
Kerry’s Endorsement of Biden Fits: Two Deceptive Supporters of the Iraq War
Torsten Bewernitz – Gabriel Kuhn
Syndicalism for the Twenty-First Century: From Unionism to Class-Struggle Militancy
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: From Banja Luka to Sarajevo
Thomas Knapp
NATO is a Brain Dead, Obsolete, Rabid Dog. Euthanize It.
Forrest Hylton
Bolivia’s Coup Government: a Far-Right Horror Show
M. G. Piety
A Lesson From the Danes on Immigration
Ellen Isaacs
The Audacity of Hypocrisy
Monika Zgustova
Chernobyl, Lies and Messianism in Russia
Manuel García, Jr.
From Caesar’s Last Breath to Ours
Binoy Kampmark
Going to the ICJ: Myanmar, Genocide and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Gamble
Jill Richardson
Marijuana and the Myth of the “Gateway Drug”
Muzamil Bhat
Srinagar’s Shikaras: Still Waters Run Deep Losses
Gaither Stewart
War and Betrayal: Change and Transformation
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail