Walter Truett Anderson is a political scientist, social psychologist, and author of numerous non-fiction books and articles in newspapers and magazines.
In his public lectures, he frequently speculates that, if we had a history of every advanced species in the universe, we would find that they all had to pass through two large, difficult and unavoidable transitions: (1) accepting conscious responsibility for the future of all life on their planets; and (2) recognizing that their systems of symbolic communication – such as language and mathematics – don’t merely describe reality, but participate in creating it.
Most of his major writing efforts have engaged one or both of these evolutionary themes. His defining statement on the first was To Govern Evolution: Further Adventures of the Political Animal. Its vision of human impacts on Earth’s life systems had been foreshadowed in his earlier book on American natural history, A Place of Power: The American Episode in Human Evolution, and was further developed in Evolution Isn’t What It Used To Be and All Connected Now. He is now at work on a new book that explores the evolutionary challenges and frontiers of the 21st century.
His major statements on the second (constructivist) theme were Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be and the subsequent anthology The Truth About the Truth. In other books on related subjects, The Future of the Self described changing ways that people are constructing personal identities in contemporary global society, and The Next Enlightenment points out the similarities between Western constructivist thought and Eastern spiritual traditions such as Buddhism.
He is currently President Emeritus of the World Academy of Art and Science (having served as president 2000-2008); a founding Fellow of the Meridian International Institute; a Fellow of the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute (LaJolla, CA); and a Distinguished Consulting Faculty member of Saybrook University in San Francisco.