The work of Darwin

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Although the relation between Economics and Biology is not that apparent at a first glance, both sciences have found overlapping points along their own history. It was Thomas Malthus’s theory about population growth that in some way inspired Charles Darwin to come up with his famous and bedrock theory of evolution through natural selection. More recently, a discussion has been sparked about whether Darwinian ideas can help Economics understand better human behavior. This is because much of the economic theory is based on a stylized conception of man, homo economicus, who thinks and acts rationally, but this stylization ultimately leads to false predictions and poor explanations of historical data. An example of this is the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), which fails to predict economic crises and explain stock market bubbles.

Therefore, there is a need to improve these outcomes by including tools from other sciences, such as Biology. Darwinism may seem as a plausible tool to boost the scientific character of Economics. In order to analyze this possibility, this paper considers Darwin’s theory that is embedded into Quine’s naturalized epistemology. In addition, a short description of how such ideas blend is presented first, and then a response to the question of whether this possibility of incorporating Darwinian ideas is true for Economics as a science.

Willard Quine took some neo-Darwinist ideas as a scientific resource for his naturalized epistemology. The aim was to illustrate how epistemology could be naturalized, without falling into relativistic or radical-naturalist views of science. With neo-Darwinism in the scene, it is easier to understand why humans understand some of the irregularities of the world and even so...

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