darwin’s conjecture, universal or general darwinism

Geoff Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen are doing an online reading group on their book Darwin’s Conjecture: The Search for General Principles of Social and Economic Evolution (University of Chicago Press).  Here is the site for the reading club and their proposed schedule for the discussion.  During this week, Apr 20-26, they are discussing the preface and chapter one (the comments already feature some very interesting discussion).

Both Geoff and Thorbjørn are excellent scholars and they’ve done much work in the domain of generalized darwinism – so, following this reading group should be well worthwhile.  Here’s a relatively recent piece of theirs, a “defense” of generalized darwinism, with Howard Aldrich et al.

I have to say (I’ll probably have to defend this in a later post), I struggle with the proposed “generality” of Darwinism (across species and disciplines), particularly the focus on universal, exogenous mechanisms at the expense of endogenous and (ironically) nature-related factors.  And, generalized darwinism is also part of the broader environmental “cosmology” (including population ecology, categories stuff, evolutionary economics) in organizational and social analysis, that I struggle with due to its overwhelmingly external focus.

But, that said, Darwinism and environmental analysis of course represent huge, important swaths of our field that have yielded many insights.  In short, be sure to check out their book club and to follow their work.


Written by teppo

April 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Posted in uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Teppo is right! This stuff is worth following!


    Howard Aldrich

    April 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm

  2. It looks like Geoff and Thorbjørn will be guest blogging for us in August. Meanwhile, yes, be sure to check out their book and reading group.



    April 24, 2013 at 3:00 am

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