1st Edition

Evolutionary Social Theory and Political Economy Philosophy and Applications

By Clifford S. Poirot Jr. Copyright 2023
    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Evolutionary Social Theory and Political Economy traces the origins, extension, marginalization and revival of evolutionary approaches to social theory from the Enlightenment through the beginning of the 21st century. It demonstrates how changes in understandings of social evolution corresponded to changes in definitions of Political Economy and how both reflected changes in the Philosophy of Science. This book is written for students and researchers alike in all the social sciences. Economists will benefit from understanding how ideas about evolution in Economics corresponded to ideas about evolution in other social sciences, and Social Scientists outside of Economics will benefit from understanding how Economics has related to their discipline.


    • Goal and Purpose of this Study

    • Scope and Method of this Study

    • Plan of this Study

    1: The Origins of Evolutionary Social Theory

    • Introduction

    • Natural Philosophy and the Newtonian World View

    • Civil, or Moral Philosophy

    • Philosophical History and Political Economy in the Scottish and French Enlightenment

    • Conclusion

    2: The Development of Evolutionary Social Theory: 1815-1871 

    • Introduction
    • Philosophy of Science in the Early and Mid-19th Century
    • Evolutionary Theory: Biological and Social before Darwin
    • The Trajectory of Political Economy
    • Darwin’s Biology
    • The Ramifications of Darwin’s Theories
    • Conclusion

    3: Social Evolutionism and Political Economy after Darwin

    • Introduction
    • Darwin’s Impact on Philosophy of Science
    • The More General Theory of Sociology
    • The End of Political Economy: Marx, Marshall and Veblen
    • Conclusion

    4: The Dénouement of Evolutionary Social Theory

    • Introduction
    • Philosophy of Science in the Early and Mid-20th Century
    • Evolutionary Social Theory: Marginalization and Reaction in the Social Sciences
    • Conclusion

    5: The Resurrection of Evolutionary Social Theory: Back to the Center?

    • Introduction
    • Philosophy of Science: Neo-Positivism
    • Ontology and Epistemology: Critical Realism and Critical Common Sensism
    • Contemporary Evolutionary Biology: An Overview
    • Biology and Evolutionary Social Theory
    • Toward the Neo-Evolutionary Synthesis
    • Conclusion

    6: Conclusion


    Clifford S. Poirot Jr. received his PhD in Economics in 1992 from the University of Utah. He has published several articles on Evolutionary Economics. He has taught at several institutions. He is currently teaching courses in both Economics and Political Science at Shawnee State University. He has been at Shawnee State since 1999.