Social Evolution [B,E]

Term: Spring 2010

Subject Code: GSOC

Course Number: 5064

There is a long discussion on social evolution that goes from Marx, Spencer, and Durkheim to Parsons, Habermas and Luhmann, and beyond. Some topics are: Is there a specific social evolution or only social biology? What are the driving forces of the social evolution (variation, selection, re-stabilisation, etc.)? What is the medium of social evolutions: actions? communications? genes? Is there one or are there many social evolutions? Are there any social evolutions at all (Weberians, for example, are sceptical)? What about stages and sequences--are there always three stages? How is the transformation from apes to humans, from organic to social evolution, organized; what are the respective missing links between apes, men, and social systems? How are social selection, revolutionary world disclosure, and normative constraints of unlimited adaption related? Readings include: Luhmann, Habermas, Eder, Dewey, Mead, Marx, Durkheim, Gould, Tomasio, Parsons, bellah, Dennett.

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