David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (4):377-391 (2009)
Somewhat surprisingly, evolutionary economists are far from agreeing upon the economic concept of evolution. The debate revolves around the question whether the mechanisms of variation, selection and retention are general principles of evolutionary processes, also valid in economics, or if economic evolution can be described by self-organization. The paper argues that self-organization is a useful concept, but has not yet fulfilled the aspiration to describe economic evolution as an endogenous process. In self-organization models important aspects, like novelty generation or the attribution of its economic quality, are introduced exogenously. In verbal descriptions however, even critics of general evolutionary principles sketch these processes in a way that is perfectly compatible with the universal principles. The paper thus argues that the controversy is mainly based on a misinterpretation of Universal Darwinism and tries to clarify the concept. It concludes that variation, selection and retention are in fact general evolutionary principles; as self-organization maybe is.
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References found in this work BETA
John H. Holland (1986). Induction Processes of Inference, Learning, and Discovery. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Stuart A. Kauffman (1993). The Origins of Order Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution. Oxford University Press.
Ulrich Witt (2009). Novelty and the Bounds of Unknowledge in Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (4):361-375.
Geoffrey M. Hodgson (2004). Darwinism, Causality and the Social Sciences. Journal of Economic Methodology 11 (2):175-194.
Kurt Dopfer & Jason Potts (2004). Evolutionary Realism: A New Ontology for Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 11 (2):195-212.
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