I know that Natural selection Philosophy was introduced by Charles Darwin, who came from the West. I am from the East. When I first came to Western countries to study finance, computer, business..., I was often taught to apply Priority in order to solve a problem. For example, when writing a report, my supervisor required me to sort a list starting from the most important to the less important items.

This priority mechanism does not only exist in Academics but also in everyday life in Western countries. For example, when performing a Google search, you will see the results that were put on top of the search result are the ones that were most clicked by users. Google believes that if most users click that result then that result must be most relevant - and that is why they put that result on top of the search result. It seems that Google applies the Natural Selection philosophy, doesn't it?

What about in the past, before 18th century? Was the Priority Method popular in the West?

So, my question is: did the Priority method as a way of solving problems come from Natural selection philosophy or did it exist before the Natural selection philosophy?

  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it does not appear to be about philosophy as defined for the purposes of philosophy.se
    – virmaior
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 10:18
  • Very interesting. Where you come from, do you have search engines, and do you happen to know how (if) results are sorted there? It's difficult to imagine a search engine for such a huge dataset that doesn't in some way sort according to some property of the data.
    – user2953
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 12:41
  • Is the question here about using priorities or what we prioritize? The idea of using priorities seems so fundamental that I cannot imagine any culture that wouldn't embrace it -- East or West.
    – R. Barzell
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 14:42
  • using priorities or using of priority method
    – Tom
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 14:50
  • 1
    @Tom could you elaborate on the difference between using priorities and using the "priority method"? The two are so similar (in my mind) as to be identical for all practical purposes.
    – R. Barzell
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


Prioritization has roots in religions too. God did it very very long ago; most religions define their principles in a prioritized way. How to be a good believer? Biggest sins, must-do things, things to avoid... To my knowledge, Islam is a very good example of prioritization. Living in a society where most of the people are Muslims, despite the existence of so many different variations and statements, I witness that too many of them claim or believe in this or other way that people should first do "this and this given this,but not this" etc. etc. A well-known example are Jihadists who claim that the "highest-priority" duty of each Muslim is...well...no need to state it here. Then, prioritization cannot be an invention of Western world (neither after nor before the natural selection philosophy).


No, the influence goes the other way.

Because people have an innate tendency to prioritize things on the basis of how those things relate to (typically personal) goals and preferences, e.g. the selection of the most juicy ripe piece of fruit, this tendency has influenced how people interpret the fact of evolution by natural selection. Using a term like "more fit" implies nature has goals or preferences, and can lead to imprecise conclusions like "humans are at the top of the evolutionary ladder", or confusion as to how different phenotypes can coexist in a population ("why isn't nature finding the best solution?").

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