Ontological Issues in Evolutionary Economics: The Debate between Generalized Darwinism and the Continuity Hypothesis

Papers on Economics and Evolution No. 0805, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena

Posted: 13 Nov 2010

See all articles by Jack J. Vromen

Jack J. Vromen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE)

Date Written: June 1, 2008

Abstract

Recently evolutionary economists started to pay attention to ontological issues in their own subfield. Two projects dominate the discussions: Generalized Darwinism (GD), promoted by Geoff Hodgson and Thorbjorn Knudsen, and the Continuity Hypothesis (CH), put forward by Ulrich Witt. As a first and crude approximation (to be refined below), GD entails the view that abstract and general Darwinian principles suit the study of biological evolution and of economic evolution equally well. The CH entails the view that ongoing economic evolution proceeds on the basis of, and is still influenced by the outcomes of preceding processes of biological evolution. At present, GD and CH are vying for hegemony in the community of evolutionary economists. GD and the CH sometimes are pitted against each other as if they were mutually excluding rivals. This paper investigates to what extent (and if so, in what sense) GD and the CH are rivals.

Suggested Citation

Vromen, Jack J., Ontological Issues in Evolutionary Economics: The Debate between Generalized Darwinism and the Continuity Hypothesis (June 1, 2008). Papers on Economics and Evolution No. 0805, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1706724

Jack J. Vromen (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
EIPE Office, Room H5-23
3000 Dr Rotterdam
Netherlands

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