In defence of generalized Darwinism

H.E. Aldrich, G.M. Hodgson, D.L. Hull, J. Mokyr, T. Knudsen, V.J. Vanberg

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    Darwin himself suggested the idea of generalizing the core Darwinian principles to cover the evolution of social entities. Also in the nineteenth century, influential social scientists proposed their extension to political society and economic institutions. Nevertheless, misunderstanding and misrepresentation have hindered the realization of the powerful potential in this longstanding idea. Some critics confuse generalization with analogy. Others mistakenly presume that generalizing Darwinism necessarily involves biological reductionism. This essay outlines the types of phenomena to which a generalized Darwinism applies, and upholds that there is no reason to exclude social or economic entities. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)577-596
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Evolutionary Economics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • socio-economic evolution
    • generalized Darwinism
    • selection
    • replication


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