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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This author argues from a position of ignorance, 17 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Hungry Spirit: New Thinking for a New World: Beyond Capitalism - A Quest for Purpose in the Modern World (Paperback)
If you have a serious interest in business or economics then don't read this book. It's one of the worst books on business that I've ever read. Arguing from a position of ignorance is never acceptable. Charles Handy dismisses evolution as mechanical determinism without even bothering to research the subject. He says things like "It is this self-awareness that allows us to develop the idea of progress, an idea which scientists agree is not naturally there in the process of evolution". The evidence that he uses to support this assertion is a conversation that he had with a friend over a bottle of wine on an Italian terrace.

As a scientist with a special interest in evolutionary processes, I can say that he's completely wrong. "Most scientists" don't hold these views and most scientists would probably like to state their own views rather than being misrepresented. Evolution is an information process of learning and therefore not fundamentally deterministic or materialist. In fact the ability to measure information gain by evolutionary process is a major advance of the 20th century. In lay terms, evolutionary processes are analogous to progress. This is the opposite of Charles Handy's clichéd representation of nature/nurture. Evolution evolves new ways of learning (e.g. intelligence) and this is sometimes called meta-evolution. A failure to understand evolution may be forgiveable but not the lack of understanding of the history of growth theory. Failure to understand evolution also indicates a failure to understand Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, Robert Solow and Paul Romer. From a so-called business guru, this is an unforgivable lack of research.
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