Biological Theory 6 (4):338-350 (2011)

This is the first of two articles in which I reflect on “generalized Darwinism” as currently discussed in evolutionary economics. I approach evolutionary economics by the roundabouts of evolutionary epistemology and the philosophy of biology, and contrast evolutionary economists’ cautious generalizations of Darwinism with “imperialistic” proposals to unify the behavioral sciences. I then discuss the continued resistance to biological ideas in the social sciences, focusing on the issues of naturalism and teleology. In the companion article I assess generalized Darwinism, concentrating on the roles of theory and model building, generative replication, and the relation between selection and self-organization; and I point to advances in biology that promise to be more fruitful as sources of inspiration for evolutionary economics than the project to generalize Darwinism in its current, “hardened Modern Synthesis” form.
Keywords Adaptationism  Evolutionary economics  Evolutionary epistemology  Generalized Darwinism  Modern synthesis  Philosophical naturalism  Philosophy of biology  Selection  Teleology
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DOI 10.1007/s13752-013-0086-2
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach.Karl Raimund Popper - 1972 - Oxford, England: Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Sociobiology: The New Synthesis.Edward O. Wilson - 1975 - Journal of the History of Biology 33 (3):577-584.

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