Can Darwinism Be "Generalized" and of What Use Would This Be?
It 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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- Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2002. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to ontology," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 259-281.
- Metcalfe, John S. & Foster, John & Ramlogan, Ronnie, 2003.
"Adaptive Economic Growth,"
Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers
30637, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
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"Darwinism in Economics: From Analogy to Continuity,"
Papers on Economics and Evolution
2004-15, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
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- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521067072 is not listed on IDEAS
- Geoffrey Hodgson & Thorbjørn Knudsen, 2004. "The firm as an interactor: firms as vehicles for habits and routines," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 281-307, 07.
- Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2009. "Agency, Institutions, and Darwinism in Evolutionary Economic Geography," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(2), pages 167-173, 04.
- Guido Buenstorf, 2006. "How useful is generalized Darwinism as a framework to study competition and industrial evolution?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(5), pages 511-527, December.
- Ulrich Witt, 2004. "On the proper interpretation of 'evolution' in economics and its implications for production theory," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 125-146.
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