On Social Evolution: Phenomenon and Paradigm


Why should social sciences become evolutionary sciences? Change, evolution, and the power of the evolutionary approachThe intellectual challenges posed by change/stabilityEvolution: Essential conditionsThe nature and power of the evolutionary approachKey definitionsIdeasSocietyCollectives in human society: Groups, communities, and organizationsInstitutionCultureStructurePowerPlan of the bookNotesBiological evolution: From basics to extended synthesisA brief history of evolutionary thinkingSorting out the various notions of evolutionBiological evolution versus social/societal evolution(Socio-)cultural evolution versus social/societal evolutionThe basics of biological evolution, part I: The Modern SynthesisBiological evolution, part II: Toward an Extended Synthesis24Evolution: Darwinian, Neo-Darwinian, Lamarckian, Neo-Lamarckian, or whateverCommon misunderstandings about biological evolution"Evolutionary theory is a theory; thus, evolution is not a fact""Evolution means 'survival of the fittest'"Forms of misguided adaptationism: Naive, intentional, and inducedEvolution is destiny unfolding, progressively"Self-organization" can replace or subsume evolutionBiological evolution is all (Neo-)Darwinian"Evolutionism needs major corrections" or "there must be some exceptions"Concluding remarksNotesSocial evolution as a phenomenonIdeational forces and social evolution as a new phenomenonInformation and expression/phenotypes in social evolutionMutations in social evolution: Random and blind versus nonrandom and directedSelection in social evolution, part I: A complex pictureNatural versus artificial; material versus ideationalArtificial selection: Both directed and blindedMultiple levels of selection: Gene, phenotype, individual, and groupSelection in social evolution, part II: Human beings and social power as vital agents and forces of selectionMechanisms of inheritance in social evolutionInheritance in the biological evolution of Homo sapiensDarwinian nested within Super-Lamarckian inheritance in ideational evolutionReproduction, continuation, modification, and transformationAdaptation and maladaptation in the ideational dimension of social evolution"Species" and speciation in social evolutionSocial evolution: Further elaborationsA multileveled interactive pictureProgress in social evolution: Physical versus moral, elative versus absoluteStages and directionality in social evolutionDynamics of social evolution, part I: The speed problemDynamics of social evolution, part II: Evolution and revolution"Specific (social) evolution" versus "general (social) evolution"?Several minor clarificationsHistory versus social evolutionIrreversibility of social evolutionPrime mover and determinant of social evolution?Social evolution on four levelsThe individual level: Biological, ideational, and behavioralThe group levelThe evolution of cultural trait, institution, and knowledgeEvolution at the system level: Global, regional, and sectoralSummaryHow the social system impacts agents: Six channelsConstraining/enabling: Purely physicalLearningConstraining and enabling: Both material and ideationalArtificial selectionConstituting/constructingAnti-socialization as ideational resistanceSummaryConcluding remarksNotesThe social evolution paradigmSEP: Core ontological and epistemological principlesSSPMaterialism and ideationalismIndividualism and collectivismBiological determinism, socialization, and anti-socializationConflict paradigm and harmony paradigmSSP: The first step toward an evolutionary synthesisSEP: Ontological and epistemological principlesSEP: Operational principles on the four levelsUnderstanding the social evolution of the individualUnderstanding the social evolution of the groupUnderstanding the social evolution of institution, cultural trait, and knowledgeUnderstanding the social evolution of social systemsTheorizing an agent's idea and behavior: Six channelsWhat is not a social evolutionary approach?SEP is not mechanistic application of biological evolution to human societySEP is not biological evolution-determinism or reductionistSEP is not metaphorical nor does it analogize biological evolution to social evolutionOrganicism is not SEPSEP is not Social Darwinism or "survival of the fittest"SEP is not all about human natureSEP is not "destiny unfolding" or "historical inevitability"SEP is not identifying and categorizing stagesSEP is not naive adaptationism or functionalismDwelling on adaptation, differentiation, and integration is not SEPSEP does not deny human intentionality and human agencySEP is not cultural determinism eitherAdmitting "not by gene alone" or "co-evolution of gene and culture" is not sufficiently social evolutionaryPower-free approaches toward social evolution cannot be sufficiently social evolutionarySEP is not a general theory of human societyConcluding remarksNotesA critique of existing evolutionary social sciencesIntroductionTheorizing different levels of social evolutionApplying evolutionism to human society: False startsHerbert Spencer's long shadowEvolution as design/destiny unfolding toward higher stages or progressFunctionalism: Society as organism and social change as developmental differentiation and integrationSocial Spencerism/Darwinism to racism, Geopolitics, and NazismExpansionist sociobiology and EP as reductionismStage-based "Neo-Evolutionism" in anthropologyFalse starts: Other notable casesMarx: Dialectic historical materialism and transformation of human societyHayek's "spontaneous order"Roger Masters's The Nature of Politics for political scienceFlannery's change of heartApplying evolutionism to human society: Real but incompleteArchaeological anthropology on the origins of war and the stateThe evolution of morality and ethics from Darwin to Campbell and beyondThe evolution of religionEvolutionary epistemology from Popper to Campbell and HullFrom cultural evolution to gene-culture co-evolution/ dual-inheritanceEvolutionary economics"Evolutionary" game theory (EGT)Sanderson's Darwinian Conflict Theory for sociologyTurner's functionalism-informed evolutionary sociologySpruyt on the emergence of the sovereign territorial statedSummaryGeneralized Evolutionism, not Generalized Darwinism or LamarckismConcluding remarksNotesWhat the social evolution paradigm can doNorbert Elias's theory of sociogenesis and psychogenesisThe international system and its transformations (Tang 2013a)A general theory of institutional change (Tang 2011a)Specific applications of SEP at the meso levelThe social evolutionary origin of the Industrial RevolutionSocial evolutionary accounts of states' security strategiesThe micro level: The social EP of survival and the social psychology of intergroup cooperation and conflictNeo-modernity: A new defense of knowledge, critique, and libertyNew frontiersNotesOrganizing and integrating more social factsProviding more integrative and endogenous explanationsSynthesizing competing theoretical approaches and dissolving debatesNotesAppendix A: Why haven't social sciences been more evolutionary?Four widely acknowledged causesGroup ego: Aren't we, the Homo sapiens, different?Desire for timeless lawsParochial interest: My theory is better than evolutionismPolemic and metaphorical deployment of evolutionary thinkingLacking a systematic statement on social evolutionDismissal based on ignoranceRevulsion against misguided applications of evolutionary thinkingFalse choice: Cultural/social versus (social) evolutionarySummaryNotesAppendix B: Geno-social sciences as sociobiology redux: Genoeconomics, genopolitics, and genosociologyTerminology: Behavioral genetics or geno-social science?The second and third wave of geno-social sciencesGenopolitics and genosociology: From genetics to human social and political behaviorGenoeconomics: The long reach of human genetics in economic developmentGW4S as the third wave of geno-social sciencesFoundational critiqueNotes
 
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