Via Twitter, I posed this question to the SPARCS conference. Of course it got lost in the shuffle but I am surprised that such a question didn’t come up given that the phenomenon of hierarchy is the number one feature of the canine mind.
If dominance is an instinct, yet malleable to context (and thus a function of relationships), and is evolutionarily stable due to being energy efficient, and if cooperation likewise evolved by virtue of being energy efficient, how then can dominance persist if instinct is malleable to conditions and behavior is a function of energy efficiency?
This is another fundamental internal contradiction at the root of modern Dogdom. In the consensus view of dogs and social structure the same metric of energy efficiency is being used to justify two conflicting drives, dominance to control access to resources, cooperation to increase access to resources. Both can’t be energy efficient and co-exist in the dog’s mind since cooperation would immediately displace dominance. This self-defeating logic loop reveals that thoughts are being projected into the minds of interactants in order to account for the phenomenon of hierarchy. The current consensus is tautological with energy efficiency tacked on as an adjunct rather than being applied as a bedrock principle. On the other hand a flow interpretation of behavior (as opposed to a gene/thought-centric interpretation) can readily accommodate the phenomenon of hierarchy and cooperation within the same paradigm and without any internal contradiction. There is hierarchy due to friction, there is cooperation as a return to flow, only now moving in a more complex manner, i.e. evolution. Genes and thoughts derive from this.