University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

  • Geoffrey Hodgson
  • T. Knudsen
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-69
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Bioeconomics
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Bioeconomics emphasizes the common ontological ground between economics and biology. However, this does not necessarily mean that both disciplines collapse into one. Instead it is proposed here that Darwinism provides a general, meta-theoretical framework for dealing with complex evolving systems, consisting of populations of varied and replicating entities, which are found in both nature and human society. There is no alternative to the core Darwinian principles of variation, selection and inheritance to explain the evolution of such systems. Neither the actual existence of human intentionality, nor the hypothetical existence of Lamarckian processes of acquired character inheritance, offer a barrier to the use of Darwinian explanations. However, while Darwinian principles are always necessary to explain complex evolving population systems, they are never sufficient on their own. Such a generalized Darwinism can accommodate several different stances found in the literature on bioeconomics and elsewhere.


“The original publication is available at” Copyright Springer [Full text of this article is not available in the UHRA]

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