The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Natural Selection and Evolution

  • Sidney G. Winter
Reference work entry


Important theoretical concepts tend to resist satisfactory definition (cf. Stigler 1957). Such concepts are in the service of the expansive ambitions of the theories in which they occur, and must accordingly respond flexibly to the changing requirements for maintaining order in a changing intellectual empire. The term ‘evolution’ – obviously important in biology, but also in the physical and social sciences – provides a good illustration of this principle. A prominent biologist and author of a highly expansive treatise on biological evolution had the following to offer in his glossary:

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidney G. Winter
    • 1
  1. 1.