Veblen and Darwinism

G. Hodgson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
178 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this article is to show how Thorstein Veblen understood and applied Darwinian principles to his analysis of the evolution of socio-economic institutions. At the core of Darwinism is a commitment to causal explanation, which Veblen adopted while not undermining his appreciation of the distinctively purposeful nature of human action. In addition, Veblen knowingly applied the Darwinian principles of variation, inheritance and selection to institutional evolution. However, despite his achievement, he did not develop an adequate or systematic theory in this area. Nevertheless, he provided a foundation upon which modern Darwinian theories of socio-economic evolution can build.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-361
JournalInternational Review of Sociology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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