Social scientists can learn a lot from evolutionary biology - from systematics and principles of evolutionary ecology to theories of social interaction including competition, conflict and cooperation, as well as niche construction, complexity, eco-evo-devo, and the role of the individual in evolutionary processes. Darwinian sociocultural evolutionary theory applies the logic of Darwinism to social-learning based cultural and social change. With a multidisciplinary approach for graduate biologists, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, social psychologists, archaeologists, linguists, economists, political scientists and science and technology specialists, the author presents this model of evolution drawing on a number of sophisticated aspects of biological evolutionary theory. The approach brings together a broad and inclusive theoretical framework for understanding the social sciences which addresses many of the dilemmas at their forefront - the relationship between history and necessity, conflict and cooperation, the ideal and the material and the problems of agency, subjectivity and the nature of social structure.
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Across numerous disciplines, including biology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, economics and political science, some theorists are proposing the existence of a Darwinian social learning-based inheritance and evolutionary theory. This multi-disciplinary paradigm is presented here along with how it can be used to address major theoretical dilemmas in social science.About the Author:
Marion Blute is Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga where she teaches classical and contemporary theory and gene-culture coevolution to undergraduates. She also teaches contemporary theory in the university-wide graduate sociology programme. She has published in a wide variety of life and social science journals on evolutionary topics and has related interests in the philosophy and sociology of science. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Biological Theory and of the Editorial Board of Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science.
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