The Claims of Generalized Darwinism

Philosophy of Management 17 (2):149-167 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Generalized Darwinism (GD) claims to be a conceptual and theoretical framework for researching evolutionary change processes in organizations. This paper examines the claims of GD. It finds that in contrast to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection proper, the GD framework is not an explanatory deductive argument form. What it is that GD actually generalizes and intends to explain thereby becomes somewhat moot. It is proposed that the so-called ‘generalization’ that the GD framework supplies might be best understood schematically. Two general schemata that purport to distil commonalities between processes of organizational evolution and biological evolution are thereby identified. But in considering the applicability of the two schemata to organizational evolution, criticism reveals one to be problematic, whereas the other one, to which the GD programme collapses if the problematical schema is dispensed with, has been long associated with another so-called ‘evolutionary approach’ to the understanding of social change: Sir Karl Popper’s ‘evolutionary epistemology’. The paper concludes that if the research problem is to account for the evolutionary character of social and organizational change, then theorists need not commit to the GD framework. They may elect to use Popper’s evolutionary epistemology instead.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,354

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Searching for Darwinism in Generalized Darwinism.Thomas A. C. Reydon & Markus Scholz - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):561-589.
Investigating populations in generalized Darwinism.Karim Baraghith - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):1-27.
Evolution and Ecology of Organizations and Markets.Randall E. Westgren - 2023 - In Agathe du Crest, Martina Valković, André Ariew, Hugh Desmond, Philippe Huneman & Thomas A. C. Reydon (eds.), Evolutionary Thinking Across Disciplines: Problems and Perspectives in Generalized Darwinism. Springer Verlag. pp. 2147483647-2147483647.
Universal darwinism and evolutionary social science.Richard R. Nelson - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):73-94.


Added to PP

36 (#438,347)

6 months
9 (#449,120)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?