Why most sociologists don't (and won't) think evolutionarily


The general failure of sociologists to understand, much less accept, an evolutionary perspective on human behavior transcends mere ignorance and ideological bias, although it incorporates a good deal of both. It also includes a general anthropocentric discomfort with evolutionary thinking, a self-interested resistance to self-understanding, and a trained sociological incapacity to accept the fundamental canons of scientific theory construction: reductionism, individualism, materialism, and parsimony.

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van den Berghe, P.L. Why most sociologists don't (and won't) think evolutionarily. Sociol Forum 5, 173–185 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01112591

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Key words

  • evolution
  • sociobiology
  • environmentalism
  • determinism
  • reductionism, biosociology