Darwinism and the Social Sciences (Forum for Philosophy)

A growing number of researchers are applying Darwinian ideas to explain aspects of human society, but this work has long been controversial. Is a Darwinian theory of culture possible? If so, what should such a theory look like? In what ways should it differ from a theory of biological evolution? Does the ‘meme’ concept have any value? How should we think about cultural inheritance, if not in terms of memes? In this interdisciplinary discussion, philosopher Tim Lewens, social anthropologist Christina Toren and cultural evolution theorist Alex Mesoudi debate these and other questions concerning Darwinism and the social sciences.

Tim Lewens, Professor of Philosophy of Science (University of Cambridge)
Alex Mesoudi, Associate Professor in Cultural Evolution (University of Exeter)
Christina Toren, Professor of Social Anthropology (University of St. Andrews)

Andrew Buskell, Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method (LSE)