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Darwin's Conjecture: The Search for General Principles of Social and Economic Evolution Hardcover – 30 Nov 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (30 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226346900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226346908
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,600,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"In this provocative and informative new book, Hodgson and Knudsen offer a general conceptual scheme that allows the application of Darwinian principles to social and economic evolution. The authors bring together concepts and principles from an eclectic mix of sources. Among other applications, they show the usefulness of this scheme for explaining the evolution of prelinguistic culture, human language, tribal customs, writing and records, states and laws, and the institutionalization of science and technology. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in modern evolutionary thought as applied to the social sciences."--Howard E. Aldrich, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"This is a foundational book. It should be required reading for anyone who is concerned about the future of economic theory, not to mention those who may need some retrofitting in the wake of the neoclassical meltdown."--Peter A. Corning, Institute for the Study of Complex Systems

"Hodgson and Knudsen's important book provides rigorous foundations for evolutionary economics. . . . The book exhibits a rigor, scholarship, and vision that others should emulate. It advances the discussion of evolutionary economics and sets a salutary standard of scholarly rigor and precision that puts evolutionary economics on a solid foundation. I urge you to buy it and read it."--Roger Koppl "Review of Austrian Economics "

"In Darwin's Conjecture, Hodgson and Knudsen join numerous scholars from Darwin's day to the present in attempting to extend Darwin's analysis of selection to cover other sorts of phenomena, including socioeconomic evolution. The reader of this carefully and clearly written book will come away bereft of the usual superficial objections to selection outside gene-based biological evolution."--David Lee Hull, Northwestern University

"One of the most accomplished institutional economists of our time and his coauthor argue for a generalized Darwinism for the social sciences. They are far from alone in thinking that the time is right!"--Marion Blute, University of Toronto

"A long-awaited and desperately needed guide to why the social sciences should take Darwin seriously. Erudite, lucidly written--a veritable tour de force."--Robin I. M. Dunbar, University of Oxford

"Hodgson and Knudsen argue in meticulous detail that [Darwin's] principles apply to all 'complex systems of population' in social and economic domains. . . . The authors conducted a massive amount of research in writing this book, which is a must read for social science scholars interested in evolutionary theory or complexity."--Choice

"A book that business people should read in order to understand business. It is a scholarly and profound work of relevance to all the social sciences."--Financial Times--Financial Times

"Hodgson and Knudsen recognize that Darwinian principles operate at a high level of generality and that many differences exist between the biological and the social mechanisms through which variation appears, is selected, and is then inherited. Nevertheless, generalized Darwinism can be one of the foundations of a new science of evolutionary social change. . . . Well argued, timely, and well written . . . [Darwin's Conjecture is] essential reading for anyone with an interest in [this] vibrant new field."--BioScience

About the Author

Geoffrey M. Hodgson is research professor in business studies at the University of Hertfordshire, England, and the author of over a dozen books, including The Evolution of Institutional Economics and How Economics Forgot History. Thorbjorn Knudsen is professor of organization design at the University of Southern Denmark and has an extensive publication record specializing in evolutionary dynamics and adaptive organizations.

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14 September 2011
Format: Hardcover
8 people found this helpful
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
R. Mutt
4.0 out of 5 starsA social evolution primer
15 July 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful.
Tim Tyler
5.0 out of 5 starsDarwinism generalized only as far as social evolution
22 August 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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2 people found this helpful.
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsMore powerful than I had anticipated...A definite must read.
26 January 2011 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
18 people found this helpful.

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