Social Science Today

Social Science Today

ISSN: 2368-7169 (Print)    ISSN: 2368-7177 (Online)

Volume 1 (2014), No. 1, Pages 12-23

DOI: 10.12735/sst.v1i1p12

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Evolutionary Narratives: A Cautionary Tale

Devereaux Kennedy1 

1Department of Sociology, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, USA


To Cite this Article     Article Views: 1057     Downloads: 637  Since January, 2015


While accounts of human action may be strengthened by the addition of a biological component we should be careful not to replace “hard core social constructionism” with oversimplified evolutionary narratives in which human traits are “explained” as the product of natural selection. Narratives have inherent weaknesses as explanatory accounts and evolutionary narratives share these weaknesses. In addition there is no consensus amongst biologists on the target of natural selection and human natural history was anything but a gradual step-by-step process of progressive advancement. Work in the cognitive sciences on the nature and function of human cognitive architecture should be integrated into accounts of human social action. Such integration should be done not by reducing human behavior to its biological prerequisites but by conceives of human biology as the basis for the almost unlimited variety of meaningful interaction characteristic of human culture and social life.

Keywords: evolution, narrative explanations, natural history, cognitive science, human culture, social life, social theory, sociobiology

To Cite this Article: Kennedy, D. (2014). Evolutionary narratives: A cautionary tale. Social Science Today, 1(1), 12-23.

Copyright © Devereaux Kennedy

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This article is published under license to Science and Education Centre of North America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Evolutionary Narratives: A Cautionary Tale