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Post-Darwinian Societies: Thomas Reydon, “What generalizing Darwinism can mean – The case of evolutionary economics”
Series: Post-Darwinian Societies
Speaker: Thomas Reydon (Leibniz Universität Hanover)
Registration: Free, but mandatory, please e-mail email@example.com
Abstract: The application of evolutionary concepts and evolutionary models in areas of research outside the biological sciences has become widespread. An increasing number of fields of research self-identify as being evolutionary in nature. Examples include: evolutionary epistemology, evolutionary ethics, evolutionary aesthetics, evolutionary psychology, evolutionary economics, evolutionary archaeology, evolutionary history, evolutionary electronics, evolutionary computing/programming, evolutionary social science, and more. All can be subsumed under the overarching term of ‘Generalizing Darwinism’ or ‘Generalizing Evolutionary Theory’. But the approaches taken in these fields diverge widely with respect to how evolutionary concepts and models are used, and what ‘evolution’ and ‘Darwinism’ are supposed to mean. This is why I use ‘generalizing’ rather than ‘generalized’: a generalized view of evolution or Darwinism is not available; rather, what is available is a diversity of attempts to generalize evolutionary thinking beyond biology. In this presentation I will attempt a first pass at an overview of the various ways in which ‘Generalizing Darwinism’ can be understood. Because it is impossible in this talk to review all fields in which evolutionary approaches are taken, by way of example I will examine evolutionary economics to highlight the diversity of approaches that exist in that field alone, as well as some problems that the various approaches encounter.