Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Second Thoughts on Laibman's Deep History and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium with Regard to Intellectual Evolution
December 1, 2012
Journal of Philosophical Economics, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2012
In this article I reconsider Laibman’s Deep History (2007) in the light of Niles Eldredge and Stephan Jay Gould’s theory of punctuated equilibrium. I argue that the theory of punctuated equilibrium explains why conceptions of inevitability and directionality in intellectual evolution may not be as useful as Laibman thinks they are in the context of social evolution and why stasis (that is, intellectual path dependence) in intellectual evolution does not allow different pathways of thought to converge.
Keywords: theory of punctuated equilibrium, continual progress, perfection, intellectual path dependence
JEL Classification: B24, B25, B41
Date posted: October 29, 2012