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Heuristic Twists and Ontological Creeds - Road Map for Evolutionary Economics


  • Ulrich Witt



What is special about the evolutionary approach? This question is given quite different, and partly incommensurable, answers in evolutionary economics. The present paper shows how the different answers correspond with, on the one hand, the particular heuristic twists by which the corresponding authors arrive at their hypotheses (e.g. by borrowing analogies from evolutionary biology). On the other hand, the answers hinge on different ontological assumption (i.e. on whether or not evolution in nature and in the economy are viewed as belonging to the same sphere of reality and, hence, as mutually dependent processes). By distinguishing these two dimensions a road map for evolutionary economics is drawn up that helps to better understand where, and why, the competing interpretations differ. In order to assess their achievements and their potential for future research, some results of an opinion poll among evolutionary economists are presented and discussed.

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  • Ulrich Witt, 2007. "Heuristic Twists and Ontological Creeds - Road Map for Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-01, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2007-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boyd, Robert & Richerson, Peter J., 1980. "Sociobiology, culture and economic theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 97-121, June.
    2. Olivier Brette, 2003. "Thorstein Veblen's theory of institutional change: beyond technological determinism," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 455-477.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jack Vromen, 2008. "Ontological issues in evolutionary economics: The debate between Generalized Darwinism and the Continuity Hypothesis," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2008-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

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