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Biology & Political Science. Foundational Issues of Political Biology

Author

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  • Boari, Mircea

    () (Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest, Visiting ESSEC)

Abstract

In their classic formulations, valid to this day, the issue of self-preservation is foundational for both political science and economics. In order to fixate this concept, the Modern theorists relied upon various assumptions about human nature. Due to the advances of biology and evolutionary theory, we are today in the position of explicating these assumptions in the form of stable scientific certainties. A foundational concept in biological theory is that of "fitness". The paper indicates the relationship between the less determined concept of self-preservation and the more rigorous one of fitness. By that, it accomplishes two things: it gives more solidity to the foundation of political theory and political economy, by anchoring them in biology; it opens the path towards a unification between two social sciences and their immediate juxtaposed science, biology. The emphasis of the paper is on political science, aiming to define, on the basis of the above argument, its proper object of study. The notion of fitness extraction is thus defined. A lateral exposition differentiates between political action, thus understood, and economic action, defined more generally as fitness transfer. The distinction is to be eventually furthered in a separate study.

Suggested Citation

  • Boari, Mircea, 2005. "Biology & Political Science. Foundational Issues of Political Biology," ESSEC Working Papers DR 05006, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebg:essewp:dr-05006
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    Keywords

    Biology; Evolution; Fitness; Foundational Theory; Foundations of Economics; Political Science;

    JEL classification:

    • A19 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Other
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General
    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other

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