Rev Austrian Econ (2014) 27:345–349 DOI 10.1007/s11138-013-0232-x Geoffrey M. Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen, Darwin’s Conjecture: The search for general principles of social and economic evolution Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2010, xii + 290 pages, USD 45.00 (cloth) Roger Koppl Published online: 4 August 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013 Hodgson and Knudsen’s important book provides rigorous foundations for evolu- tionary economics. The field of evolutionary economics is broad enough to encom- pass both rigorous work and an unfortunate hodgepodge of loose analogies. Hodgson and Knudsen want to banish loose analogies and vague language in favor of a logically tight metatheoretic framework for applied theory. Their metatheoretic framework is “generalized Darwinism,” which encompasses biological and social evolution. Their book is a contribution, therefore, to the Darwinian worldview and not only evolutionary economics. In particular, their discussion of “replicators” (a generalization of genotype) as “generative,” if correct, is as much a contribution to biology as to economics (p. 122–132). Their historical introduction to generalized Darwinism helps to allay mistaken fears of social Darwinism, the great bogeyman of generalized Darwinism. It was Talcott Parsons, they report, who “conjured the demon of social Darwinism to help fix the
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 4, 2013
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