Talkin' about a Revolution - Some Thoughts on Social Science, New Evolutionary Studies, and the Law
29 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2010 Last revised: 4 Feb 2011
Date Written: December 23, 2010
After a brief survey of the falling fortunes of the so-called Standard Social Science Model, the essay states the need for new models to be used in understanding and supervising human interactions through social institutions. It focuses, therefore, on the possible contributions of new disciplines, such as evolutionary biology and psychology, to the law. Also, by taking into account what has already happened within contemporary economic thought, where behavioral and experimental lines of research are firmly established, it is argued that legal studies have to turn to an evolutionary attitude, as well as open themselves to the use of experimental protocols for the development of more robust behavioral models.
Examples of possible applications of behavioral knowledge to the law are provided by criminal law (e.g. with regards to behavioral genetics evidence, with reference to two US murder cases and a recent, highly debated Italian sentence), as well as by a survey of equity principles embedded within private law. The final goal is the establishment of a sound cognitive approach to the law.
Keywords: SSSM, evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, law and economics, equity, experimental method, cognitive law
JEL Classification: B52, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation