Cultural evolution, producing group‐level adaptations, is more problematic than the cultural evolution of individually confirmable skills, but it probably has occurred. The “conformist transmission,” described by Boyd and Richerson (1985), leads local social units to become homogeneous in anadaptive, as well as adaptive, beliefs. The resulting intragroup homogeneity and inter‐group heterogeneity makes possible a cultural selection of adaptive group ideologies.All archaic urban, division‐of‐labor social organizations had to overcome aspects of human nature produced by biological evolution, due to the predicament of (...) genetic competition among the cooperators. The universal norms found in archaic moral systems are seen as curbs to this human nature, reinforced by beliefs in invisible sanction systems and rewarding and punishing afterlives (as in heaven or reincarnation). Perhaps the ubiquity of lavishly wasteful royal funerals is to be explained as contributing to this function. (shrink)
Since the 1950s, Donald T. Campbell has been one of the most influential contributors to the methodology of the social sciences. A distinguished psychologist, he has published scores of widely cited journal articles, and two awards, in social psychology and in public policy, have been named in his honor. This book is the first to collect his most significant papers, and it demonstrates the breadth and originality of his work.
Introductory Abstract Philosophers of science, in the course of making a sharp distinction between the tasks of the philosopher and those of the scientist, have pointed to the possibility of an empirical science of induction. A comparative psychology of knowledge processes is offered as one aspect of this potential enterprise. From fragments of such a psychology, methodological suggestions are drawn relevant to several chronic problems in the social sciences, including the publication of negative results from novel explorations, the operational diagnosis (...) of dispositions, the status of aggregates of persons as social entities, and the validation of psychological tests. (shrink)
The variation and selection form of explanationcan be prescinded from the evolutionary biologyhome ground in which it was discovered and forwhich it has been most developed. When this isdone, variation and selection explanations arefound to have potential application to a widerange of phenomena, far beyond the classicalbiological ground and the contemporaryextensions into epistemological domains. Itappears as the form of explanation most suitedto phenomena of fit. It is also found toparticipate in multiple interestingrelationships with other forms of explanation. We proceed with (...) an examination of multiplekinds of phenomena, interrelationships withother members of the family of forms ofexplanation, and some novel applications evenwithin the home ground of evolutionary biology. (shrink)
If philosophers of science advise government on science policy, it will have to be from a descriptive theory of scientific validity taken as hypothetically normative, as in naturalized epistemology. While logical positivism denied any normative import for the practice of science, in the area of "operational definitions" it had an unfortunate influence in psychology and sociology, and one that persists in the accountability movement. Not all philosophy of science issues have implications for the justificatory practice of scientists. For example, both (...) anti-realists and realists condone scientific quarreling about unobserved particles. Many young philosophers of science are now contributing to a sociology of scientific validity which, taken in a hypothetically normative manner, will produce recommendations on science policy. (shrink)