David Sloan Wilson
Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology
Complexity and Evolution: A New Synthesis for Economics
February 16th, 2015
Academic Building A G008, 5:05 PM
Mainstream economic theory is doubly in need of revision. First, its assumptions about human nature, which are often summarized by the termHomo economicus, are a far cry from Homo sapiens. Second, it assumes that economic systems are at equilibrium, which is seldom the case. Addressing those two shortcomings requires a combination of evolutionary theory and complex systems theory—but work is required to integrate these two bodies of knowledge with each other. That was the purpose of a 5-day conference that I helped to organize titled “Complexity and Evolution: A New Synthesis for Economics”, which was held in Frankfurt, Germany during Feb 2-7 2015. I will report on the conference and what it means for the future of economics.
David Sloan Wilson uses evolutionary theory to explain all aspects of humanity in addition to the rest of life, as he recounts for a general audience in Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin´s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives(Bantam 2007). He is a distinguished professor of biology and anthropology at Binghamton University, part of the State University of New York. He publishes in anthropology, psychology, and philosophy journals in addition to his mainstream biological research. His academic books include
Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (with Elliott Sober, Harvard 1998), Darwin´s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society(Chicago, 2002), and The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative (co-edited with Jonathan Gottschall, Northwestern 2005). Wilson also directs EvoS, a campus-wide program that uses evolutionary theory as a common language for the unification of knowledge.
Reading will be posted to the EvoS blackboard group. Anyone with a Binghamton University email address can request to be added to the blackboard group by emailing EvoS[at]binghamton[dot]edu.
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