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Economics In The Shadows Of Darwin And Marx

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Economics In The Shadows Of Darwin And Marx

Essays on Institutional and Evolutionary Themes

Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Research Professor in Business Studies, University of Hertfordshire, UK

2006 288 pp Hardback 978 1 84542 497 8
2007 Paperback 978 1 84720 619 0
ebook isbn 978 1 78100 756 3

Hardback £83.00 on-line price £74.70

Paperback £32.00 on-line price £25.60


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‘Almost 150 years after their major works were published Darwin and Marx
stand alone as the premier theorists of the evolution of complex living
systems. Hodgson’s unique contribution in these essays is to capture the
spirit of these two great thinkers in their ability to see universal
principles in particular contextual frameworks. Using an evolutionary and
institutional approach to examine a variety of theoretical issues Hodgson
avoids both the postmodern disease of extreme relativism and the rigidity
of insisting on “one true religion” for economic theory. This book is a
major contribution to the current revolution in economic theory.’
– John M. Gowdy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US

Economics in the Shadows of Darwin and Marx examines the legacies of these two giants of thought for the social sciences in the twenty-first century.


Further information

Economics in the Shadows of Darwin and Marx examines the legacies of these two giants of thought for the social sciences in the twenty-first century.

Darwin and Marx stand out as the supreme theorists of structural change in complex living systems. Yet their analytical approaches are very different, and the idea that Darwinism has application to the social sciences is not widely appreciated. This collection of essays establishes the importance of Darwinism for economics and other social sciences, and compares the Darwinian legacy with that of Marx. Critical realism is just one of the tendencies within economics influenced by Marxism that is dissected here. The final part of the book adopts a Darwinian evolutionary approach to the analysis of institutions and routines.

Geoffrey Hodgson’s book will be warmly welcomed and received by evolutionary and institutional economists, methodologists of economics and other social sciences, heterodox economists as well as other social scientists including economic sociologists, organisation scientists and political scientists.

Full table of contents

Contents: Preface 1. Introduction Part I: Marxism, Darwinism, Institutionalism 2. Darwin and Marx at the Crossroads 3. Social Darwinism in Anglophone Academic Journals 4. Institutionalism versus Marxism: A Debate with Alex Callinicos Part II: Three Essays on Critical Realism 5. The Uncritical Political Affinities of Critical Realism 6. Contestable Claims by Critical Realism in Economics 7. The Problem of Formalism in Economics Part III: Habits and Individuals: Routines and Institutions 8. What are Institutions? 9. The Hidden Persuaders 10. The Complex Evolution of a Simple Traffic Convention 11. The Nature and Replication of Routines References Index

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