Being the blind arational process that she is (natural selection), Mother Nature instills in all her creatures a sense of their own importance (or of the importance of their needs) that is rationally inordinate (e.g., the maximum amount possible). And, as the members of a species reach a certain stage in their rational/ cultural/ linguistic development, they increasingly come to question this inordinancy (feelings of worthlessness) and increasingly come to require reasons (justification) for maintaining it. This results in a plethora of needs commonly conflated with "free will" (needs for love, purpose, meaning, moral integrity, religion, achievement, status, etc.). In short, feelings of worthlessness are not so much an adaptation as a maladaptive byproduct of the evolution of rationality -- part of the price we humans have had to pay for having become a little too rational/ objective for our own good. Numerous implications ensue, e.g., that 'being rational' entails (among other things) being valuatively objective/ impartial as in 'love (intrinsically value) your neighbor as yourself'. It would also mean that the author of Genesis just might have gotten it right in referring to our awareness of right and wrong as a form of knowledge (moral realism), in this case, an emerging awareness of the nature of rationality itself.
the International Society for Theoretical Psychology,
the International Society for Human Ethology and
the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences
The Evolutionary Function of Self-Esteem
My Derivation of a Moral 'Ought' from an Epistemic 'Is'
Conversation with Herb Gintis on Gene Selfishness, Gene Culture Co-Evolution, etc.
The Meaning of 'Ought'
My Critique of Behaviorism
Hofstatder's Godel Argument (That Minds Are Different from Machines)
My Critique of Dennett's Heterophenomenology
My "food fight" with the Society for Philosophy and Psychology (1981-2)>