Can Darwinism Be "Generalized" and of What Use Would This Be?
AbstractIt has been suggested that, by generalizing Darwinian principles, a common foundation can be derived for all scientific disciplines dealing with evolutionary processes, especially for evolutionary economics. In this paper we show, however, that the principles of such a "Generalized Darwinism" are not those that in the development of evolutionary biology have been crucial for distinguishing Darwinian from non-Darwinian approaches and, hence, cannot be considered genuinely Darwinian. Moreover, we wonder how "Generalized Darwinism" can be made fruitful for evolutionary economics given that its principles are but an abstract hull that does not suffice to explain actual evolutionary processes in the economy. To that end specific hypotheses are required which neither follow from, nor are necessarily compatible with, the suggested abstract principles. Accordingly, we find little evidence in the literature for the claim that Generalized Darwinism can enhance the explanatory power of an evolutionary approach to economics.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2010-07.
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Darwinism; evolution; evolutionary economics; Generalized Darwinism; variation; selection; retention Length 17 pages;
Other versions of this item:
- Georgy Levit & Uwe Hossfeld & Ulrich Witt, 2011. "Can Darwinism be “Generalized” and of what use would this be?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 545-562, October.
- B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian
- B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
- B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Institutional; Evolutionary
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-08-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2010-08-06 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2010-08-06 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2010-08-06 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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