Paving the Way for an Evolutionary Social Constructivism

Biological Theory, Forthcoming

43 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2008  

Andreas De Block

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Institute of Philosophy

Bart Du Laing

Ghent University - Department of Legal Theory and Legal History

Abstract

The idea has recently taken root that evolutionary theory and social constructivism are less antagonistic than most theorists thought, and we have even seen attempts at integrating constructivist and evolutionary approaches to human thought and behaviour. We argue in this article that although the projected integration is possible, indeed valuable, the existing attempts have tended to be vague or overly simplistic about the claims of social constructivist. We proceed by examining how to give more precision and substance to the research programme of evolutionary social constructivism, a task we accomplish by focusing on the specific selection pressures that may have shaped the psychological and cultural mechanisms that give rise to social constructions. The benefit of such an integration for social constructivism is to have a solid foundation in the natural sciences. For evolutionists, evolutionary social constructivism offers a wider assortment of methods with which to study the interplay between culture and human nature.

Keywords: social constructivism, evolutionary theory, maladaptive culture

Suggested Citation

De Block, Andreas and Du Laing, Bart, Paving the Way for an Evolutionary Social Constructivism. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1087524

Andreas De Block

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Institute of Philosophy ( email )

Kardinaal Mercierplein 2
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Bart Du Laing (Contact Author)

Ghent University - Department of Legal Theory and Legal History ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Gent, 9000
Belgium

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