18 Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 279 (2001)
Nature v. Nurture: Evolution, Path Dependence and Corporate Governance

handle is hein.journals/ajicl18 and id is 291 raw text is: NATURE V. NURTURE: EVOLUTION, PATH DEPENDENCE AND
Craig LaChance*
In Voltaire's Candide,' the philosopher Dr. Pangloss,2 who teaches
metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology,3 tells Candide that
things cannot be otherwise, for, everything being made for an
end, everything is necessarily for the best end. Note that noses
were made to wear spectacles, and so we have spectacles.
Legs were visibly instituted to be breeched, and we have
breeches. Stones were formed to be cut and to make into
castles; so My Lord has a very handsome castle.. !
The existence, therefore, of everything is justified merely by its actuality. We
have feet, for instance, so that we may wear shoes. Since all things in existence
have a distinct functional presence, we must live in the best of all possible worlds.
Everything is in its place and operating as should be. In proving such, Pangloss
famously validated the status quo.5
Panglossian philosophy even extends to social institutions. As Pangloss
himself claims, his Lady, by virtue of ruling over him, must be the best of all
possi.ble Baronesses.6 Undoubtedly, this philosophy could be stretched to
innumerable social relationships: we have social classes so that there are people to
work for the Baron, we have love so that we can reproduce, etc. While this kind of
causal correspondence is comforting, even a mere cursory examination of life
reveals that things are often more nuanced. Consider, for example, the effect that
the invention of the chimney had on social relations in medieval Europe.
Candidate for J.D., 2001, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of
Arizona; B.A., 1995 Utah State University; M.A., 2000 Arizona State University.
1. See FRANcoIs MARIE AROUET DE VOLTAIRE, CANDiDE (Signet Classic ed., 1961).
2. Pangloss's name, translated from Greek, means all tongue. See id. at 16 note 3.
3. Id. The nigo likely comes from the French word nigaud, which literally
translates as booby. See id. note 4.
4. Ia Volatire famously based Pangloss on the German philosopher Gottfiied
Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), who notoriously claimed that we live in the best of all
possible worlds. Leibniz's view, which holds that each individual is a bundle of
possibility, and that by actualizing the individual, God makes the best of all possible
worlds, is actually much more complicated than allowed for by Voltaire.
5. Later in the book, Pangloss even proclaims that the venereal disease he has
contracted is an indispensable thing in the best of worlds. Id. at 23.
6. Id. at 16.

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