Essentials of Evolutionary Thought

in the Social Sciences


An Annotated Bibliography




Second Edition















I. Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism

II. Evolutionism

III. Evolutionary Theory

IV. Evolutionary Epistemology

V. Evolutionary Social Science and Learning

VI. Cultural Evolution

VII. Evolutionary Economics

VIII. Evolutionary World Politics

IX. Simulation

X. Sciences of Complexity

Bibliographical Aids

Glossary of Terms





This is the second, revised and expanded edition of an annotated bibliography on evolutionary thought in the social sciences. It builds upon the material that appeared in the report on the 1994 workshop Evolutionary Paradigms in the Social Sciences and now features a new thematic arrangement, and a basically chronological order for entries under each main theme. An effort is also made to keep the list up-to-date.

The chief purpose in compiling this bibliography is to present, within the limit of about 100 entries, the major works and the significant advances in this large and somewhat inchoate field. The aim is to provide an introduction to those first entering the field, such as graduate students and others new to it, so that they might orient themselves to the major divisions of that field. Attention is directed to the classics, and to more recent contributions, with preference given to book-length and expository treatments. It is not intended to be an exhaustive bibliography of the several subfields but it does aim at touching on the most important themes. No effort is made to cover developments in evolutionary biology or evolutionary cosmology.

The major portion of the annotations are being carried over from the first edition, and most have been contributed by Corina Herron Linden. Most of the additional entries are by David Wallerstein.


July 1995


I. Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism


Darwin, Charles (1859) The Origin of The Species by Means of Natural Selection or the preservation of favored Races in the Struggle for Life London: Murray

This classic work argues the common descent of all life on earth and the generation of new species through the process of natural selection. Abundant reproduction and genetic variation characterize each generation. Individuals wit h the best-adapted combination of inheritable characteristics survive and provide the basis for the next generation. Multiplication of species is the result of the splintering into daughter species or the establishment of geographically isolated founder populations that evolve into new species.


Hofstadter, Richard (1944, revised edition: 1955) Social Darwinism in American Thought Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press

The standard critique of social Darwinism in American thought until the 1890ís. Discusses the works of Spencer, William Graham Sumner and Lester Ward and the "easy to exaggerate" use of natural selection as vindication of militarism or imperialism.


Huxley, Julian S., ed. (1963) Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, New York: Hafner Press

Gives an in-depth account of the concepts of natural selection and evolutionary progress and their relationship to each other. Relates the evolutionary trends and processes observed in nature to the theoretical findings of genetics and systematics.


Parsons, Talcott (1966) Societies: Evolutionary and Comparative Perspectives, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Presents theory of social evolution, characterized by stages (primitive, intermediate and modern), wherein the more advanced societies display greater generalized adaptive capacity. Argues that there was not one single origin of al l intermediate societies, but multiple origins: patterns can be diffused (adopted) from society to society. Two types of societies exist which are not characterized by evolutionary advancement: those which are selected against (and thereby eliminated) an d those which find 'niches' which permit them to endure in their primitive state. Specifically examines primitive through intermediate societies and intermediate empires.


Waddington, C. H. (1975) The Evolution of an Evolutionist, Ithica, New York: Cornell University Press

Adds to general philosophy of evolution an emphasis on the importance of learning, adaptation and a clearer distinction between genotypes and phenotypes, and the relationship between them. Addresses specifically the importance and existence of 'genetic assimilation', or the conversion of an 'acquired character' into one not dependent for its appearance on any particular environmental stimulus.


Stanley, Steven M (1981) The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes and the Origin of the Species, New York: Basic Books

Presents arguments in support of a punctuational rather than gradualist view of evolution: species survive for hundreds of thousands of generations without evolving much. Most evolution, when it takes place, does so rapidly. Extensive discussion of fossil record, Darwinian/gradualist theories of evolution, and the directionality of evolution.


Ruse, Michael (1982) Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies, London: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company

Outlines the life of Darwin and his theories of evolution, that all flora and fauna of the Earth are the "end result of a slow, natural process" driven by natural selection. Rebuts criticisms of Darwinian theory as defined above, and criticizes non-Darwinian evolutionary approaches as well as "scientific creationism".


Dobzhansky, Theodosius (1983) Human Culture: A Moment in Evolution, New York: Columbia University Press

Discusses unique position of human development in Darwinian scheme of evolution. Cultural evolution permits, and forces, mankind to interfere in human biological evolution: Mankind is capable of its own destruction, as well as of consciously guiding its own evolution. Advocates creation of humanistic ethic, ecological responsibility and establishment of equality of opportunity as desirable steps in this conscious evolution. Includes critique of non-Darwinian theories, discriminatory theories which use social Darwinism as their justification.

Also see Dobzhansky, ed. (1977) Evolution , (1956) The Biological Basis of Human Freedom, (1955) Evolution, Genetics and Man, and with Boesinger, Human Culture (1983).


Eldredge, Niles (1985) Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria, New York: Simon and Schuster

Outlines the history and implications of the theory of punctuated equilibria, which states that, once a species evolves, it will usually not undergo significant change as it continues its existence. Cites evidence of the fossil record in support of such "species stability". Argues that most anatomical change in evolution is accompanied by the origination of a new species. Examines questions of speciation, adaptation and macroevolution.


Chaisson, Eric (1987) The Life Era: Cosmic Selection and Conscious Evolution, New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press

Places biological evolution within the greater context of cosmic evolution. Discusses the scenario of cosmic evolution, the history of the idea of evolutionary change, and the "two preeminent changes of all time": the emergence of matter from energy, and of life from matter. Argues that ethical evolution, or the adoption of a global ethics and integrated worldly culture, is the next major challenge. Failure to successfully adapt to this challenge may result in the negative selection of mankind. Successful adaptation will lead to the realization of the Life Era.


Mayr, Ernst (1991) One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Explores the development of Darwinís theories and the context within which they originated. Concentrates on the mechanisms of evolution (as opposed to phylogeny) and the historical development of the major concepts and theories of evolutionary biology.


Dennett, Daniel C. (1995) Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life, New York: Simon and Shuster

A philosopher's exploration of Darwin's theory of natural selection, and of the controversies that have surrounded it. Intended to inspire students in other disciplines to take evolutionary theory seriously. "The idea that all of the fruits of evolution can be explained as an algorithmic process is Darwin's dangerous idea." Doubts the possibility of a science of memetics but thinks that our selfish genes may be transcended by (Dawkins') memes.



II. Evolutionism


Comte, Auguste (1846-54, 1973) System of Positive Polity, or Treatise on Sociology, New York: Burt Franklin

Advances a typology of three stages of social development, culminating in the peaceful industrial society. Emphasis on intellectual evolution as the force behind social evolution, the necessity of studying intellectual history in evaluating human evolution. The three stages of human development are: primitive theological, transient metaphysical, and final positive. The corresponding societal stages are military, intermediate and industrial.

Also see Comte (1891) Subjective Synthesis; or, Universal System of the Conceptions Adapted to the Normal State of Humanity, and Thompson, Kenneth (1975) Auguste Comte: the Foundation of Sociology, New York: John Wiley and Sons


Spencer, Herbert (1884-97, 1975) Principles of Sociology, New York: D. Appleton and Co, Greenwood Publishing Group

Traces the evolution of society from militant to industrial, and posits "survival of the fittest" (chiefly through warfare) as the mechanism of this evolution. Evolution is defined as "a change from a state of relatively indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a state of relatively definite, coherent heterogeneity." Proposes classification of societies into simple, compound, doubly-compound and trebly-compound as defined by the number of levels of political integration, but emphasizes the process rather than the stages of evolution.

Also see Spencer (1873) The Study of Sociology and Robert Carneiro, ed. (1974) The Evolution of Society: Selections from Herbert Spencerís Principles of Sociology, Chicago: University of Chicago Press


Kropotkin, Peter (1914, 1972) Mutual Aid, New York: New York University Press

Proposes that "mutual aid," the instinct animals have to assist one another, has played a critical part in the evolution of the animal world and human societies. Relying on Darwin, challenges evolutionary theorists who claim that evolution is primarily based on competition or the belligerent use of force. Cooperation rather than conflict lies at the root of evolution. Animals that acquire habits of mutual aid are the fittest. Animal behavior and human social history are analyzed with respect to mutual aid. The rise of the modern State, which stresses individualism, has posed a challenge to mutual aid institutions.


Sanderson, Steven K. (1990) Social Evolutionism: A Critical History, Cambridge: Blackwell

Traces the intellectual history of social evolutionary thought over the last century and a half to it origins. Makes the distinction between 'evolutionist' theories - those which account for long-term social change in a mysterious manner and 'evolutionary' theories, which explain changes as responses to the requirements of specific historical situations.

Also see Sanderson (1991) "The Evolution of Societies and World-Systems" in Chase-Dunn and Hall, eds., Core/Periphery Relations in Precapitalist Worlds



III. Evolutionary Theory


Roe, Anne and Gaylord Simpson, eds. (1958) Behavior and Evolution, New Haven: Yale University Press

A collection of essays which focuses on the integration of comparative psychology into modern evolutionary theory. Attempts to show that such a synthesis is desirable and eventually possible. Expounds elements in each discipline that may be applicable in other fields and reviews the present status in such a way as to provide a basis and stimulus for future construction.


Wilson, Edward O. (1975) Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press

Detailed explanation of the concepts and theories of social evolution, social mechanism and the study of social species. Empirical analysis includes studies of animal populations as well as of human social organization and social evolution.


Mayr, Ernst (1976) Evolution and the Diversity of Life, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press

Provides an introduction to and in-depth analysis of evolution, speciation, the history and philosophy of biological evolution, systematic theory, biogeography, and behavior. Special attention is given to definition of the fundamental terms and concepts of the literature, as well as to exploring the theoretical insights and challenges of evolutionary philosophy.


Gould, Steven Jay (1977) Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History, New York: W. W. Norton and Company

Argues that Darwinís theories and "view of life" are consistent with materialist thought, and that they specifically reject notions of purpose or inevitable directionality in evolution. Criticizes the projection of these qualities onto evolutionary theory as self-serving, or the product of "Western arrogance". Applies this interpretation of Darwin to questions of geology, human evolution, society and politics.


Boulding, Kenneth E. (1978) Ecodynamics: A New Theory of Societal Evolution, Beverley Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.

Advances theory of evolution as process of change in genetic structure, or 'know-how', which shares similarities at the chemical, biological and social levels. Human development, both sociological and technological, is an extension and acceleration of biological development and is nested within the context of development of the universe. All of these levels are subject to the processes of mutation, selection and niche creation/destruction. Discussion of evolution at ecological, biological and historical levels.


Boorman, Scott A. and Paul R. Levitt (1980) The Genetics of Altruism, New York: Academic Press

Applies mathematical population genetics to questions of the comparative evolutionary biology of social behavior. Discusses the development of sociality and altruism through three varieties of selection: group, kin and reciprocity. Also treats characteristics of social behavior as an object of selection.


Barash, David P. (1982) Sociobiology and Behavior, 2nd ed., New York: Elevier

An introductory text to the field of contemporary sociobiology, or the "evolutionary study of behavior". Includes analysis of altruism, evolutionary game theory, the functional emergence of society, optimality, and the sociobiology of politics. Incorporates empirical studies of both the animal and human worlds.


Corning, Peter (1983) The Synergism Hypothesis: A Theory of Progressive Evolution, New York: McGraw Hill

Advances a theory of the emergence of biological, and of social, systems with especial reference to politics. Key concept is that of functional synergism: combinatorial or cooperative effects with positive consequences for survival and reproduction; synergism explains the progressive direction of evolution. Extensive commentary on the classics, and on contemporary writing in evolutionary theory. Numerous references.


Morris, Richard (1983) Evolution and Human Nature, New York: Seaview/Putnam

Examines the biological and inherited aspects of human nature through analysis of the past failures of the scientific exploration of the topic. Addresses the influence of prejudice, predilections and political motivations on these theories of human behavior.


Nitecki, Matthew H., ed. (1983) Coevolution, Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Collection of essays on coevolutionary theory, or the theory of direct or indirect interaction of two or more evolving units that produces an evolutionary response in each, at the level of whole communities, small groups, and of two interacting species. Addresses coevolutionary theory to plant-animal mutualisms, host-parasite relations, and coadaptation.


Pollard, Jeffrey W., ed. (1984) Evolutionary Theory: Paths into the Future, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons

Argues 'synthetic theory' (the accumulation of micromutations) is insufficient to explain the observable hierarchy and variety of organisms. Introduces alternative to this orthodox, neo-Darwinian mechanism of evolution. Discusses 'macroevolution', or rapid change as the main source of evolution, and the secondary role of natural selection in eliminating forms which do not correspond to a given environment. Examines advances in our understanding of genome evolution and the increasing complexity which accompanies evolution.


Gould, Steven Jay (1987) Timeís Arrow, Timeís Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Explicates conceptions of time as (i.) linear, an irreversible sequence of unrepeated events and (ii.) cyclical, having no meaning as distinct episodes with causal impact upon a contingent history, a series of repeating cycles with no directionality. Uses this dichotomy to discuss and evaluate the works of Thomas Burnet, James Hutton and Charles Lyell.


Laszlo, Ervin, ed. (1991) The New Evolutionary Paradigm, New York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers

Seeks to refine a general theory of evolution which is interdisciplinary in nature and universal in scope. Evolution is defined as the study of progressive, ongoing change leading irreversibly through multiple hierarchical levels from the origins of the cosmos to its present state, and to future states. Includes essays on social and economic evolution in light of theories of complex systems, nonequilibrium systems, chaotic systems and phase change.

Also see Laszlo (1987) Evolution: The Grand Synthesis


Wright, Robert. (1994) The Moral Animal, New York: Pantheon Books

An introduction to evolutionary psychology. Explains human action as the product of psychological evolution. Emotions, moral decisions, and actions are grounded in genetic mechanisms that increased chances for survival. Attention is given "non-zero-sumness" and "reciprocal altruism" as superior genetic traits. Reciprocal altruism appears when animals act as if in a prisonerís dilemma with memory over time: cooperative action by one animal is reciprocated with cooperative action by the other, or negative action is reciprocated likewise. Non-zero-sumness is the principle behind reciprocal altruism. "Frequency-dependent" selection occurs as the value of a trait declines as it becomes more common. Human action is compared with animal and computer models, and particular attention is paid to the life of Charles Darwin as an in-depth case study.


Ayres, Robert U. (1994) Information, Entropy and Progress: A New Evolutionary Paradigm, New York: American Institute of Physics Press

Views evolution as "accumulation of useful information" and advances four major hypotheses: 1) phylogenic evolution (of a species) is essentially unpredictable; but evolutionary paths have been characterized by increasing diversity, complexity, and stablitiy of complex forms; 2) Darwinian search (in physics and biology) is a Ďmyopicí discovery of local optima but human evolution is increasingly conscious; 3) social evolution is a process of accumulating useful cultural in formation; 4) boundaries of the evolutionary path are determined by bounded rationality.


Smith, John Maynard and Eors Szathmary (1995) The Major Transitions in Evolution Oxford/New York: W. H. Freeman/Sprektrum

Argues that the increased complexity produced through evolution is due to a small number of major transitions in the way in which genetic information is transmitted between generations. Also finds that these transitions are characterized by a change in replication: entities that were capable of independent replication before can replicate only as part of a larger whole after the transition. Outlines the transitions in evolution from the advent of chromosomes to the formation of human language and society.



IV. Evolutionary Epistemology


Campbell, Donald (1969) "Variation and Selective Retention in Socio-Cultural Evolution," General Systems XIV

Delineates differences among social evolutionary theories, especially between Social Darwinism and other socio-cultural theories. Outlines requirements for socio-cultural theory: variation, selection systems and criteria, and retention systems. Argues that these systems may be found not only at the inter-societal level, but within societies and at the level of the individual as well. Explores independent invention and parallel evolution in the context of "niche-filling," ; the selection and maintenance of complexity as a function of ecological pressure, and the occurrence of convergent evolution of social organization.


Popper, Karl (1972) Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach, Oxford: Clarendon Press

Proposes a theory of objective, or scientific, knowledge as generated by the efforts of dedicated yet fallible scientists. The evolutionary emergence of increasingly objective knowledge is attained through error-elimination and rational criticism.


Parijs, Philippe van (1981) Evolutionary Explanation in the Social Sciences: An Emerging Paradigm, Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield

Attempts to formulate an evolutionary paradigm for the social sciences. Discerns two "evolutionary patterns of explanation" in social science literature: Theories based on the mechanism of natural selection, and those based on reinforcement. Examines functional explanations and the evolutionary models in sociobiology, linguistics, anthropology and Marxist theories.


Sober, Elliott (1984) The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Seeks to provide a detailed description of the general questions, the conceptual structure and the ontological framework deployed by evolutionary theory, especially in relation to the question of causation. Discusses the structure of evolutionary theory and the problem of the units of selection (individuals or groups).


Callebaut, Werner and Rik Pinxten, eds. (1987) Evolutionary Epistemology: A Multiparadigm Program Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company

Anthology focusing on evolutionary epistemology in philosophy and the natural and social sciences. Investigates evolutionary approaches to science and technology. Explores and applies Piagetís "genetic epistemology" (an interdisciplinary approach which encompasses both the genetic and historical and emphasizes the role of psychology) to the evolution of various fields of knowledge. Includes a bibliography of evolutionary epistemology.


Hull, David L. (1988) Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Investigates the influence of both internal and external factors on the process and evolution of science. Explores the selection process and social mechanisms which shape the evolution of science. Includes case studies of science: evolutionary biology (Darwin), evolutionary systematics (Aristotle), sociobiology, and biogeography. Argues that the existence and ultimate rationality of science and objective knowledge are in many cases actually facilitated by what appears to be bias and irrationality in the behavior of the scientist.


Elster, Jon (1989) Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences, Part VIII, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Overview of theory of natural and social selection, contracts this theory with that of rational choice as explanation of fit between behavior and environment. Also includes explanation and exploration of other key concepts in the social sciences.



V. Evolutionary Social Science and Learning


Childe, V. Gordon (1951) Social Evolution, New York: Henry Schuman

Advances theory of social evolution which is distinguished from organic evolution primarily by the possibility of diffusion, or the adoption of technological, organizational or economic innovation not only by members of the same society but also by other societies. Adaptation to the environment is the condition for survival, and because environments differ for different societies, societies need not pass through identical stages in order to achieve the final result: civilization. Examines four instances of cultural evolution.


Pringle, J. W. S. (1951) "On the Parallel Between Evolution and Learning" Behavior 3, part 3, pp. 174-214

Draws a parallel between the increased complexity produced by evolution and the increase in complexity of behavior which is the "most general feature" of learning. uses a population of oscillators whose asymmetrical inter relationship produces an increase in the complexity of rhythm to model the increase in complexity which occurs in organic evolution. Analyzes Thorpeís (1950) types of learning in terms of this model.


Campbell, Donald T. (1975) "On the Conflict Between Biological and Social Evolution and Between Psychology and Moral Tradition" American Psychologist 30, no. 12 (December), 1103-1126

Urban humanity is the product of both biological and social evolution. Evolutionary genetics shows that there is sharp competition among the cooperators (for humans, but not for social insects) that places great limitations on the degree of socially useful, individually self-sacrificial altruism that biological evolution can produce. Human urban social complexity is the product of social evolution that has had to counter with inhibitory moral norms the biological selfishness which genetic competition had continually selected. Therefore there can be profound social wisdom in the belief systems our social tradition has provided us with.


Habermas, Jurgen (1979) Communication and the Evolution of Society, Boston: Beacon Press

Argues that evolution is a bi-dimensional learning process: cognitive/technical and moral/practical. Stages of this evolution can be described structurally in a sequence of increasingly complex and encompassing forms of rationality. 'Institutional embodiment of structures of rationality' or learning applied to the structural conditions of learning make new levels of learning possible. Learning ability of individuals is source of innovation, new social structures. Also includes extensive discussion of Historical Materialism.


White, Elliott and Joseph Losco, eds. (1986) Biology and Bureaucracy: Public Administration and Public Policy from the Perspective of Evolutionary, Genetic and Neurobiological Theory, Lanham, MD: University Press of America

Collection of essays addressing the question of public administration in light of human biology and biological evolution. Essays analyze issues of legitimacy and hierarchical organizations, organizational cohesion and commitment, the maintenance of organizational loyalty, and informal

organization from an evolutionary perspective.


Masters, Roger D. (1989) The Nature of Politics, New Haven: Yale University Press

Argues that human language allows political and social institutions to "take on a life of their own," becoming part of the natural system which faces the individual. Because natural selection operates on man-made institutions, research must be focused on the complex interaction between cultural and biological factors in evolution. Argues that an evolutionary approach provides objective criteria by which to judge the rightness and justice of political institutions, and for preferring constitutional regimes.


Schubert, Glendon (1989) Evolutionary Politics, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press

Introduction to and review of biopolitical theory, or the theory of how biological variables affect political behavior. Includes examination of political ethnology, evolution and types of political thinking as well as a survey of major strands of evolutionary theory and kinds of evolutionary development.


Scott, John Paul (1989) The Evolution of Social Systems, New York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers

Utilizes systems theory, or the two-way causation (or feedback) among entities composing a system, to address psychobiological evolution: behavior and social organization affect natural selection of genes. Genes, in turn, influence behavior. Also discusses, in light of systems theory, other processes which interrelate with human evolution: cultural and ecosystem evolution.


Masulli, Ignazio (1991) Nature and History: The Evolutionary Approach for Social Scientists, New York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers

Advances a theory of evolution which emphasizes the role of probability and irreversibility, the 'participatory universe' in which man is both actor and spectator in the evolutionary process, self-organization of matter at all levels, and the unfolding, historically-determined nature of evolution. Urges a new understanding of the question of chance/necessity or 'choice' as mechanism of change: "the new element brought by choice, with respect to its own possibilities, includes the sense of those manifold possibilities... the form actually includes what it tends towards... what occurs, or can occur, does so according to that very form-tendency."


Sanderson, Stephen K. (1994) "Evolutionary Materialism: A Theoretical Strategy for the Study of Social Evolution" Sociological Perspectives 37, no. 1, pp. 47-73.

A comprehensive, formal-propositional approach to materialist social evolution, combining anthropological with sociological approaches.


Arnhart, Larry (1995) "The New Darwinian Naturalism in Political Theory" APSR 89, no. 2 (June), pp. 389-400

Argues for a return to Darwinian naturalism in social science and a relinking of the natural and social sciences through the rejection of the false dichotomies of facts versus values, nature versus freedom, and nature versus nurture. Argues that these dichotomies are misleading if human morality is founded on a natural moral sense, if human freedom expresses a natural human capacity for deliberation, and if habituation and learning fulfill the natural propensities of human beings.



VI. Cultural Evolution


White, Leslie (1959) The Evolution of Culture: The Development of Civilization to the Fall of Rome, New York: McGraw-Hill

Traces development of culture and social systems from Primate revolution to Agricultural revolution. Cultural development and advance are affected and limited by the 'source of energy' of a society and technological improvements therein. The agricultural revolution provided a new basis for cultural development, establishing the basis for propertied classes, the expansion of city-states into nation-states and then into empires, and for further great technological innovation and, eventually, the Industrial Revolution.


Parsons, Talcott (1977) The Evolution of Societies, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Extends examination of societal evolution through modern societies. Evolutionary breakthroughs result from solutions to a given environmental problem, or increased societal control over the environment ('generalized adaptive capacity'). Social stratification leads to the possibility of centralized responsibility, and to the necessity of explicit cultural legitimation of that centralization. Evolutionary stages include: social stratification, legitimation, differentiation and integration.


Bonner, John Tyler (1980) The Evolution of Culture in Animals, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

Traces origins of human cultural capacity back into early biological evolution. Culture is transmitted by behavioral rather than genetic means, but the capacity for culture (a larger and more complex brain, etc.) and the selection pressure for and advantages of culture may be seen as part of biological evolution. Examines early origins of cultural evolution in bacteria, insects and vertebrates. Also addresses the evolution of learning, teaching and flexible responses.


Boyd, Robert and Peter J. Richardson (1985) Culture and the Evolutionary Process, Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Advances a theory of "dual inheritance" which explores how cultural and genetic inheritance affect human behavior. Specifically addresses methods by which heritable cultural variation is transmitted, the relationship between individuals and populations and the role of communication and symbolic reasoning in cultural evolution.


Barash, David P. (1986) The Hare and the Tortoise: Culture, Biology and Nature, New York: Viking Press

Explores the relationship between the rapid and sometimes "foolish" evolution of culture and the slower, methodical biological evolution. Human nature derives from both culture and biology, which are often in conflict. This conflict between culture and biology is the root of such phenomena as alienation, environmental abuse and overpopulation.


Csanyi, Vilmos (1989) Evolutionary Systems and Society: A General Theory of Life, Mind and Culture, Durham: Duke University Press

Models and describes evolutionary dynamics of systems. Examines the relations and coevolutionary processes among these nested systems: molecular, cellular, organismic, cultural, ecological and global, especially the interaction between biological and cultural evolution. Addresses the unresolved theoretical challenges of the autogenetic model such as the means of adaptation and selection and the determination of fitness criteria.


Durham, William H. (1991) Coevolution: Genes, Culture and Human Diversity, Stanford: Stanford University Press

Explores the direct and simultaneous influence, or coevolution, of genes and culture. Proposes that a process of cultural selection has been the major but not exclusive force of cultural evolution, that cultural selection gives rise to five distinct modes of relationship between organic and cultural change, and that, despite the complexity of their relationship, genetic and cultural selection tend to cooperate in the evolution of advantageous attributes.


Rambo, A. Terry and Kathleen Gillogly, eds. (1991) Profiles in Cultural Evolution, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press

A collection of essays which explores the relationship between ecology and cultural evolution, especially with regard to societies found in tropical Asia and the New World. Includes a background on the study of cultural evolution and essays on the evolution of complex societies in tropical South America, stage sequences and the directionality of cultural evolution, the question of prime movers in cultural evolution, and cultural diversity and change.


Wilson, D. S. and E. and Sober (1994) "Reintroducing Group Selection into the Human Behavioral Sciences" Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17, no. 4, pp. 585-608

Argues that social groups (both animal and human) are adaptive units and that they and other higher-level entities can be "vehicles" of selection, and thus that natural selection operates in a nested hierarchy of units. Argues that human behavior not only reflects the balance between levels of selection but that is can also alter the balance through construction of social structures. Includes a review of recent positive literature on group selection.



VII. Evolutionary Economics


Schumpeter, Joseph (1934) The Theory of Economic Development, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

The early version of Schumpeterian evolutionary economics, focusing on the role of the entrepreneur in innovation.


________ (1942) Capital, Socialism and Democracy, New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers

Posits a theory of economic evolution driven by dynamic competition and technological progress. Rapid technological advance is best produced by large firms with a considerable degree of market power: industrial research laboratories are central to the innovation process and come to replace the entrepreneurial function. Capitalism collapses from internal inconsistencies and gives way to socialism.

Also see Richard Clemence and Francis Doody (1963) The Schumpeterian System, New York: Augustus M. Kelley


Alchian, Armen A. (1950) "Uncertainty, Evolution and Economic Theory" The Journal of Political Economy 58, no. 3 (June), pp. 211(10)

Firms in an economy are subject to natural selection, using the analogy of living organisms in a changing environment. Proposes that "the economic counterparts of genetic heredity, mutations and natural selection are imitation, innovation, and positive profits". Firms do not attempt to maximize profits; rather they only need to make positive profits to survive in a competitive economic environment. The ubiquitous uncertainty found in an economic environment gives rise to imitation, which in turn leads to innovation and uniformity among the "surviving" firms.


Mensch, Gerhard (1979) Stalemate in Technology: Innovations Overcome the Depression, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publication Company

Outlines the "metamorphosis" model of individual evolution that focuses on clusters of economic innovation and tests it against data on the West German and US economies. The stalemate of the title is the result of the exhaustion of the technological paradigm of the first half of the twentieth century in the 1970ís.


Boulding, Kenneth E. (1981) Evolutionary Economics, Beverley Hills: Sage Publications

Provides a detailed analysis of commodities as an evolutionary system, including ecological equilibrium, ecological interaction through the relative price structure, mutation, reinforcement, selection, niche expansion and questions of distribution. Traces the roots of evolutionary thought in economics and explores the role of energy and entropy in evolutionary systems.


Nelson, Richard R. and Sidney G. Winter (1982) An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press

Puts forward a theory of firm development driven by the selection mechanism of the market, the inherited characteristics of firms and variation/innovation of these characteristics. Examines role of 'routines' (or 'genes') in actual behavior of firms, in contrast with orthodox conception of action as pure stimulus-response. Explores questions of competition, growth and policy from evolutionary perspective. Contrasts extensively evolutionary approach to economics with orthodox theory.


Hirshleifer, Jack (1987) "Evolutionary Models in Economics and Law: Cooperation versus Conflict Strategies" Economic Behaviour in Adversity, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 211-272

All living organisms are in a constant state of reproductive competition, and this state of competition explains their actions. Cooperation occurs when one group of organisms attempts to "win out" over another group. For cooperation to occur there must be incentives to cooperate, or disincentives not to cooperate. The decision for an individual to cooperate or not depends on the ecological environment--whether or not the individual can escape from a prisonersí dilemma. In a prisonersí dilemma non-cooperation is a dominant strategy.


Mokyr, Joel (1990) The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress, New York: Oxford University Press

A history of technological change from classical antiquity until 1914, arguing that technological creativity was fundamental to the rise of the West. In the closing chapter, "Evolution and the Dynamic of Social Change", proposes that techniques in economic evolution, rather than firms or societies, are analogous to species in biological evolution. Argues that the Gould-Elderidge theory of punctuated equilibria is a useful tool for explaining technological change throughout history. Makes a distinction between "macroinvention" (radical innovation without a clear precedent) and "microinvention" (incremental progress in improving pre-existing technology), comparing the two concepts to periods of rapid or gradual change as proposed by the punctuated equilibria model.


Ostrom, Elinor (1990) Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Explores the evolution of robust cooperative agreements as solutions to collective action problems. Conditions conducive to the evolution of successful cooperative governing institutions include: small, stable groups of users, shared norms and trust, low cost of information, change and enforcement, low discount rates, similar effects and common potential harm. Includes analysis of multiple case studies.


Hodgson, Geoffrey and Ernesto Scepanti, eds. (1991) Rethinking Economics: Markets, Technology and Economic Evolution, Aldershot, England: Edward Elgar Publishing, Limited

Seeks to reorient economic theory with special attention to the questions of parametric change, the interconnection of economic, social and political growth, the nature of structural change, alternatives to 'rationality' as the motivation of individual behavior, and the path dependence of future economic development.


Witt, Ulrich ed. (1992) Explaining Process and Change: Approaches to Evolutionary Economics, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press

Collection of papers about "evolution as the theme of a new heterodoxy in economics." Questions the validity of the neo-classical concepts of optimization, converging dynamics and stationary states. Argues that change and process are more pivotal to the understanding of economics, and presents theories concerning the causes of these with an especial emphasis on the production of novelty and the affects of inherited characteristics of actors on behavior.


Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (1993) Economics and Evolution: Brining Life Back Into Economics, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press

Chronologically reviews the major streams of social evolutionary thought and assesses their applicability to the field of economics. Proposes that biological metaphors should be employed to explain economic phenomena where relevant and applicable, as an alternative to the mathematical formalism the pervades mainstream economics. Argues that evolutionary processes do not necessarily lead to optimal results and that reductionism is an ineffective approach to explaining complex, evolving systems. Critically appraises Marx, Spencer, Marshall, Menger, Veblen, Schumpeter, and Hayek, among others.


Poznanski, Kazimierz (1993) "An Interpretation of Communist Decay: The Role of Evolutionary Mechanisms" Communist and Post-Communist Studies 26, no. 1 (March), pp. 3-22.

Argues that Communism came to an end in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe through a lengthy evolutionary process instead of a revolution. The economic difficulties faced by the people, the abandoning of ideological principles, and the lack of individual freedom were responsible for the collapse of communism. The evolutionary transformation that dismantled an established social regime was the result of individual actions and not of group behavior.


Murrell, Peter (1993) "What is Shock Therapy? What Did It Do in Poland and Russia?" Post-Soviet Affairs 9, no. 2 (April-June), pp. 111(30)

Argues that shock therapy or the sudden transition from communism to market economy in Russia and Poland aimed to revolutionize the economic, political and social structure. By contrast, the evolutionary approach revealed a significant improvement in the functioning of the newly evolved private sector. The shock therapy in Poland had an impact on the Russian reformers, revealing that the shock therapy technique is ineffective for long-term goals.


Andersen, Esben Sloth (1994) Evolutionary Economics: Post Schumpeterian Contributions, London: Pinter Publishers

Draws insight from and expands on the work of Joseph Schumpeter. Proposes that the four major characteristics of a viable new evolutionary economics are "population thinking, empirical orientation, an algorithmic approach (ĎArtificial Economic Evolutioní) and a relationship to old evolutionary economists (like Schumpeter)." The evolutionary-economic approach synthetically combines different theories instead of focusing on the individual mechanisms that play a part in the evolutionary process.


England, Richard, ed. (1994) Evolutionary Concepts in Contemporary Economics, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

The overdeterminist perspective sees processes and institutions in contradiction, with evolution uneven and jumpy in character. Economy and polity mutually create each other and coevolve in the "legal-economic nexus." The global economy is an open system that continuously exchanges energy and matter with its physical environment. New technologies often require the reform of preexisting institutions for their effective development due to the inadequacy of prevailing institutional structures to accommodate them.



VIII. Evolutionary World Politics


Bagehot, Walter (1869, 1993) Physics and Politics: or Thoughts on the Application of the Principles of Natural Selection and Inheritance to Political Society, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., Transaction Publishers

Explains evolution of politics by selection mechanism of interstate competition and war. Defines successful societal characteristics as superior ability to wage war, power over nature, 'instruments of happiness' (technology), and sense of morals, art and religion. Greater refinement of these characteristics is promoted by "government by discussion.," which allows greater innovation and perfection. Contrasts English society with Australian aboriginal society and finds the former to be in all ways superior and to be evidence of verifiable progress toward the perfection of society and man.


Veblen, Thorstein (1946) Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution, New York: Viking Press

Advances a theory of the evolution of German culture described by a series of stages and largely driven by technological innovation and borrowing. As ways of working shift, they engender new habits of thinking that crystallize into new institutions, which in turn form the cultural setting for further cumulative changes in ways of working. The international political and economic arena is the environment to which the nation-state must adapt its policies and structure.

Also see Seckler, David (1975) Thorstein Veblen and the Institutionalists: A Study in the Social Philosophy of Economics, Boulder: Colorado Associated Press


Haas, Ernst B. (1975) "Is There a Hole in the Whole? Knowledge, Technology and the Construction of International Regimes" International Organization 29, no. 3 (Summer), pp. 827-876

Does evolutionary theory help to legitimize the construction of international regimes, such as that for the oceans? Darwinian propositions concerning the imperatives of survival (e.g. Corning) are inadequate guides for defining the political purposes of such institutions for science and technology. The notion of public interest helps to identify the links for combining scientific with political knowledge. The wholes composed of such links can be analyzed with the help of the language of complexity and decomposability, involving various types of interdependence. The evolution of organizations can then be studied in terms of learning to manage interdependence.


________ (1990) When Knowledge is Power: Three Models of Change in International Organizations Berkeley: University of California Press

Advances a typology of models of organizational change: incremental growth, turbulent nongrowth, and managed interdependence. Seeks to explain the change in definition of the problem to be solved by a given international organization in terms of this typology. Investigates the relationship between science and international power, patterns of international organizational innovation, adaptation, and learning, and the possibility of cognitive evolution. Cognitive evolution involves the ability to change one's behavior by reconceptualizing the world of organizational action in a more holistic, more interconnected manner; to make choices intended to produce a "nearly nondecomposable" system of coupled parts; and to understand the world in a more nuanced, "complex" way.


Modelski, George (1990) "Is World Politics Evolutionary Learning?" International Organization (Winter), pp. 1-24

Argues that the basic principle of world politics is not anarchy but evolutionary learning, which determines the structure and main functional areas of world politics. Through the long cycle, this evolutionary learning determines the direction of change in international order: increasing complexity of the role assumed by global leadership, increasing democratization, and the decline of war in macrodescision-making (the selection process). The results of these factors are increasing international community, specialization and vertical political differentiation. Draws parallels between this and Kant's 'perpetual peace'.


Adler, Emanuel (1991) "Cognitive Evolution: A Dynamic Approach for the Study of International Relations and Progress" Progress in Postwar International Relations, E. Adler & B. Crawford eds., New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 43-88

An evolutionary epistemology of international relations, based on the work of Campbell, Toulmin, et. can capture not only historical and structural forces for change but also the factor of intersubjectivity, to describe and explain "the evolution of common undertakings . . . as a condition for change and progress". Cognitive evolution is creative learning, and the adoption, by policy-makers, of the new interpretations of reality (both new information and new theories) and it involves innovation, selection (by policy-makers), and diffusion. The necessary conditions for progress are the emergence of new values, and change of expectations by agents. Examples of US intellectual innovation are super-power nuclear control, and the post-1945 economic order. Progress will take place when interdependence changes expectations about political autonomy and triggers a process of reevaluation.


Gaddis, John Lewis (1992/3) "International Relations Theory and the End of the Cold War," International Security 17, no. 3 (Winter), pp. 5(54)

Presents an overview of the failure of international relations paradigms, in his view, the behavioralist, structuralist and evolutionary schools, to predict the end of the Cold War. He cites as the central reason for this their oversimplification, or lack of theoretical integration with one another. Advocates an evolutionary approach to world politics in the post-Cold War era, one which synthesizes the useful aspects of the other dominant paradigms with the qualitative changes in the international arena which take place over time. Such recent changes include new criteria for power, and the decline of both brutality in international affairs and in authoritarian alternatives to liberalism.


Richards, Diana (1993) "A Chaotic Model of Power Concentration in the International System," International Studies Quarterly 37, pp. 55-72

Finds that patterns of sea power concentration and distribution since 1494 are not cyclic but chaotic. This power concentration is influenced by structural constraints and results in a patterned but not determinate evolution over time. Finds that multipolarity, biopolarity and hegemony are all stable patterns given certain conditions.


Modelski, George and William Thompson (1995) Leading Sectors and World Powers: The Coevolution of Global Politics and Economics, University of South Carolina Press

Two evolutionary processes at the global level, the rise and decline of world powers, and the rise and decline of leading economic sectors, are shown to be bisynchronous and to coordinate over the past 1000 years, beginning with Sung China, and leading up to the current rise of the information industries. Reviews literature of coevolution against empirical data on leading sectors and sea powers.


Modelski, George (1995) "From Leadership to Organization: The Evolution of World Politics" Journal of World Systems Research V. I

Argues that long cycles are a selection mechanism in the process of global evolution, the next major change will be the transition from informal global leadership to democratic community and global federalist organization. Long cycles are a four-phase process which 'selects for' global leaders with global reach, open societies and lead economies, and who are responsive to global problems as defined by the 'agenda-setting' phase of the long cycle. Over time, the evolutionary advantages of these characteristics leads to their heightening in the global leader and their global dissemination.


Zacher, Mark & Richard A. Matthew (1995) "Liberal International Theory" Controversies in International Relations Theory, Charles W. Kegley ed., New York: St. Martinís Press, pp. 107-150

This review of historical and contemporary liberal international relations theory, for which progress and cooperation are central concepts, concludes that "for liberals, world politics is about evolution, and they should be concerned with all dimensions of that evolution".



IX. Evolutionary Game Theory


Smith, (John) Maynard (1982) Evolution and the Theory of Games, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Argues that cooperative behavior among animals, and among people, is propagated not only by means of heredity or kinship, but by mutualistic effects. Examines the superiority of mutual cooperation as a strategy, and the importance of learning in the perpetuation of that strategy in the contexts of mixed, asymmetric and other games. Explores the role of information transfer, bargaining, honesty and commitment in animal and human contexts.


Axelrod, Robert (1984) The Evolution of Cooperation, New York: Basic Books

A theory of the emergence and strength of conditionally cooperative strategies among populations of narrowly rational actors. Computer tournaments in a multiround Prisonerís Dilemma environment wherein "Tit-for-Tat" (nice, provocable and forgiving) emerges as the most profitable strategy. Populations of Tit-for-Tat strategies are robust to invasion by other strategies. [Detailed description of tournaments, discussion of applications of theory to biological systems, trench warfare in WWII.]


Boyd, Robert and Jeffrey P. Lorberbaum (1987) "No Pure Strategy is Evolutionarily Stable in the Repeated Prisonerís Dilemma Game" Nature 327, pp. 58-59

Responds to Axelrodís findings. Argues that the evolutionary stability of a given strategy depends upon the distribution of rare variants that are created by mutation, environmental variation, and other processes that maintain phenotypic variation. Because any "nice" (initially trusting and subsequently cooperative) strategy has the same expected fitness when interacting with any other "nice" strategy, the relative fitness of the strategies depends upon their interaction with rare non-nice strategies. But because no single "nice" strategy can be best against any possible third variant, no pure strategy in evolutionarily stable.


Hines, W. and Douglas Dion (1988) "The Further Evolution of Cooperation" Science 242 (December ), p. 1385-90

Further explores the conditions which are conducive to cooperation, specifically the effects of change in the number of players who simultaneously interact, the range of possible choice, variation in the payoff structures, noise, the shadow of the future, population dynamics and population structure. The introduction of nonsimultaneous play and the exit option produced no effect on the results of the simulations. Increased noise negatively effected outcomes, except when coupled with increased generosity. Too dramatic an increase in generosity, however, risked exploitation.


Goldberg, David E. (1989) Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization and Machine Learning Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Publishing Co., Inc.

An introduction to the use of genetic algorithms (search procedures based on the mechanisms of evolution, or natural selection and natural genetics). Explains the mathematical foundations, computer implementation and applications of genetic algorithms. Includes extended discussion and explanation of the role of genetic algorithms in machine learning and artificial intelligence.


________ (1991) "The Evolution of Intelligent Decision Making in Gaming" Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal 22, pp. 223-236

'Evolutionary programming', or the elimination of organisms with the least optimal strategies and the generation of organisms with stochastically-determined strategies, finds optimal strategies even in changing environments. The simulations achieved through evolutionary programming a measure of intelligence, defined as the ability to "achieve success in a variety of goals when faced with a changing range of environments." Genetic transfer of characteristics was not necessary to generate efficient evolution.

Mailath, George J. (1992) "Introduction: Symposium of Evolutionary Game Theory" Journal of Economic Theory 57, no. 2 (August)

Emphasizes the importance of mutations not only in testing the stability of current populations, but also in changing the nature of the game being played. Presents a new understanding of Nash equilibria and coordination, of dynamic behavior in society not in equilibrium, and of solutions as functions of dynamics and settings.


Bender, Johnathan (1993) "Uncertainty and the Evolution of Cooperation" Journal on Conflict Resolution 37, pp. 709-34

Axelrodís model depends on perfect monitoring, ensuring non-exploitability. Nevertheless, cooperation is still likely to emerge out of a combination of suspicious reciprocity and misperception.


Fogel, D (1993) "Evolving Behaviors in the Iterated Prisonerís Dilemma" An Overview of Evolutionary Computation, conference proceedings of the European Conference on Machine Learning, Vienna, Austria 5-7 April. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag, pp. 442-59

The probability of cooperation is fundamentally determined by the payoff matrix. According to multiple and varied simulations, strategies will evolve which maximize expected aggregate return: mutual cooperation will result when this is most beneficial to the individual, and defection when the reward for cheating is high enough. Cooperation evolves most rapidly and surely when i., reward for defection is minimized and ii., payoff variance in minimized (payoffs are clearly perceivable by players).



X. Sciences of Complexity


La Porte, Todd, ed. (1975) Organized Social Complexity: Challenge to Politics and Policy, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press

Advances theory of social relations as an organized complex system, that is, composed of interrelated subsystems which are in turn composed of their own interrelated subsystems, etc., in the forms of trees or semilattices. Authors examine specific examples of social complexity vis a vis alternative theories. The complexity of organized social systems is determined by the number of system components, the differentiation or variety of these, and the degree of interdependence among them. Offers approaches to policy design and methodological/research questions.


Gottinger, Hans-Werner (1983) Coping with Complexity: Perspectives for Economics, Management and Social Sciences, Dordrecht, Germany: D. Reidel Publishing Company

Argues that complexity is a natural outcome of the evolution of dynamic systems, and that complexity theory is crucial in understanding real-world dynamic economic and political systems. Applies complexity theory to economic dynamics, economic decision making and research, the economics of planning and decentralization and to organizational decision making.


Book, Ronald, ed. (1986) Studies in Complexity Theory, New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Assessment of computational complexity theory from the vantage point of theoretical computer science. Discusses the structure theory for some classes of complexity, the relationship between problems in logic and problems in complexity theory, and the possibility of development of a complexity theory for numerical computation.


Gleick, James (1987) Chaos: Making a New Science, New York: Viking Penguin Inc.

Examines state and origins of chaos theory: a theory that in complex, non-linear systems, seemingly small changes can have far-reaching consequences, or of behavior of systems "that produce information and amplify small uncertainties but are not utterly unpredictable." Examines the existence and implications of these systems in the natural and social world.


Anderson, Philip W. and Kenneth J. Arrow, eds. (1988) The Economy as an Evolving Complex System: The Proceedings of the Evolutionary Paths of the Global Economy Workshop, held September, 1987 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Proceedings volume in the Santa Fe Institute studies in the sciences of complexity; v. 5. Redwood City, Calif. : Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.


Bonner, John Tyler (1988) The Evolution of Complexity by Means of Natural Selection, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

Discusses the evolution of levels and of increasing complexity and size through natural selection. Specifically addresses the emergence of ecological communities, the relation between the complexity of communities and the characteristics of the organisms within them, and how size affects the internal complexities of organisms in their evolution. Argues for the increase in the upper limit of size and complexity over time as the result of evolution.


Dyke, Charles (1988) The Evolutionary Dynamics of Complex Systems: A Study in Biosocial Complexity, New York: Oxford University Press

Seeks to promote the study of organized complexity in the social sciences, including the self-reflexive study of science as an instance of organized complexity and as embedded in the social matrix. Extends complex systems theory, especially the concepts of developmental constraints, stabilization of information, closure, hierarchy and natural selection to social realm. Discussions of game theory, structure of gender and formative dynamics of cities.


Yates, F. Eugene, ed. (1988) Self-Organizing Systems: The Emergence of Order, New York: Plenum Press

A compendium of a number of contributions, explores the generation of order from self-organizing, -maintaining and -repairing systems, such as the emergence of life from primitive terra, which in turn emerged from energy. Draws upon philosophy, mathematics, physics and engineering. Articles address questions ranging from the genesis of life and the cosmos to the generation of human behavior and civilization.


Waldorp, M. (1992) Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos New York: Simon and Schuster

Examines the works of several scholars in exploring complex systems, or relatively ordered systems which produce very complicated, even seemingly random, behaviors. Such systems may be evolutionary as they are path-dependent, dynamic, multi-leveled, self-similar and adaptive.



Bibliographical Aids:




Gary A. Cziko and Donald Campbell "Comprehensive Evolutionary Epistemology Bibliography" Journal of Social and Biological Structures Vol. 13 (1), 1990, 41-82.


"Bibliography" at pp.303-363 of Geoffrey M. Hodgson Economics and Evolution, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press 1993.


Ulrich Witt, editor, Evolutionary Economics, Aldershot: Edward Elgar Publishing, 1993 584 p.

Reprints of twenty-five key articles, from Schumpeter and Alchian, to Boyd and Richerson, and Boulding.





Journal of Evolutionary Economics

(Springer Verlag, Heidelberg)

Edited by H. Hanusch, University of Augsburg, Germany

M. Perlman, University of Pittsburg, USA.

Schumpeterian in orientation, publishes original research with an evolutionary orientation to the economy.


Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems

Editor: Paul Levinson, Connected Education Inc.

65 Shirley lane, White Plains, NY 10607.



computer lists:


EMSS Evolutionary Models in the Social Sciences

Emphasis: economic models, chaos, artificial life;

List administered at DDUANE@GMU.EDU


HBES-L Human Behavior and Evolution

Emphasis: biological roots of behavior;



Glossary of Terms:


adaptation - 1. Modification of an organism such that it is better suited to its surroundings. 2. Adjustment to environmental conditions.

coevolution - When direct or indirect interaction of two or more evolving units produces an evolutionary response in each.

descent/lineage - Derivation in a line from a common progenitor.

discount rate - The relative weight placed on future interactions or benefits vis a vis immediate rewards in oneís decision-making calculus.

generation - 1. The average span of time between the birth of parents and that of their offspring. 2. A group of individuals born and existing contemporaneously. 3. A type or class of individuals developed from a previous type.

gradualism - The theory that evolution progresses by gradual modifications of populations, not by the sudden origin of new species.

evolution - 1. A model of social change which i. specifies a sequence of stages through which society passes, ii. specifies a mechanism which drives society from one stage to the next, and iii. which can explain the entire history of the system by the adaptive character of changes. (Giddens) 2. Changes in the diversity and adaptation of populations. (Mayr)

fitness - The relative ability of an individual to survive and transmit its genes to the gene pool of the next generation.

innovation - 1. The inception or introduction of a new method, idea or device. 2. That method, idea or device.

macroevolution - Evolution above the level of the species.

mutation - A fundamental and significant alteration in inherited genetic material producing a form or characteristic unlike that of the progenitors.

mutualism - Mutually beneficial association or dependence.

natural selection - The process by which those individuals least suited to their environment are removed, and those most suited are allowed to survive and reproduce. Presupposes mechanism for the generation of variety (innovation/mutation)

niche - A viable mode of existence.

punctuated equilibrium/punctualism- The theory that most evolutionarily significant changes take place during short periods of speciation, and that once a species is established it is relatively stable for a long period of time.

species - A separate and integral reproductive community. (Eldrege)

synergy - Combined action or operation of discrete agencies such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the effects taken independently.

variation - Genetic heterogeneity of a population resulting from such processes as mutation or innovation.