Session 5 – Society as a Catalyst of Development


Let's see how we evolve—through what? What are the forces that develop us?

We see that development can be as in a child. Once again, we study the general through the particular. A child can develop through drives that come to it by Nature. If there are no external causes around it, it will grow like an animal, not knowing how to do things that humanity has devised for it. But if we don't put a child in the company of children, it won't know how to be in the company of humans, how to play with them, how to connect to them, how to use them, how to help them, and how to be helped by them.

But if we build around that child a society—kindergarten, school, educators, various games, a mother and a father who constantly try to promote it, not through the natural drive that it has, but through stimuli from the environment that pull it forward toward development—we can significantly accelerate its development. We can teach children music, painting, sculpturing, dance, computers, and many other means of development and environment, that encourage this development..


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We develop through utilizing the environment: a society that, in addition to the impulses received from nature, gives us external stimuli, and external forms of contact and communication between human beings.

Main Points

In a development through natural instincts alone, without the intervention of external environmental factors, a person will develop only as an animal.


"Thought is constantly creating problems that way and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them it makes it worse because it doesn't notice that it's creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates."

Review of "Thought as a System"

I think we can see the very beginnings of a new story beginning to emerge. It's a narrative spread across a number of different disciplines, in which cooperation, collective action and complex interdependencies play a more important role.

TED Talk: "Howard Rheingold: The new power of collaboration"

"We might add "natural cooperation" as a third fundamental principle of evolution beside mutation and natural selection."

Scientific Article: "Five Rules for the Evolution of Cooperation"

Engage Yourself

Question 1: What do human beings develop by?

Question 2: Dr. Alexander Spirkin, a Russian psychologist and philosopher, writes in his essay entitled, "Man and Society":

"The wealth and complexity of the individual's social content are conditioned by the diversity of his links with the social whole, the degree to which the various spheres of the life of society have been assimilated and refracted in his consciousness and activity. This is why the level of individual development is an indicator of the level of development of society, and vice versa."

a. How do the comments by Dr. Spirkin reinforce the principle of the importance of the influence of the environment on man, about which we are learning in this course, and particularly in this transcript text? Try to use the example of a child developing in one environment versus another environment.

b. Can you think of an example from your own life where you felt you were influenced by society? (for example: in your behavior, talking, thinking)

Question 3:
After studying one full unit in this course, and now nearly half of another unit, it is time to invite onto the stage one of the favorite characters of the team of authors of these assessment questions – Baloo the bear from The Jungle Book. This is by virtue of Baloo being a creature who knows how to live well, and is also a good friend.

Be prepared, for our request is a bit strange. (but it should be fun):

Play the following clip, but mute the music. Pay attention only to the body movements of Mowgli and Baloo the bear, and answer the following question: [link to clip here, if needed]

Which sentence from this session's transcript text does the clip illustrate?

Question 4:

a. What examples of stimuli from the environment did you see today, prepared for children in order to help them develop? (You can give an example from playgrounds, parks, toys, games, music, and more.)

b. Please select from the choices below: who prepared ​​these stimuli? Who took care of surrounding the children with them?

If you selected "Other," please specify: