David Sloan Wilson
Prof. David Sloan Wilson
Professor of Biology and Anthropology, Binghamton University


Evolutionary Social Constructivism
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
8:00PM in Carlson Auditorium (76-1125)

There are two walls of resistance to evolutionary theory. One denies the theory altogether (creationism) and the other denies its relevance to human affairs. The second wall of resistance is most staunchly maintained by intellectual positions such as postmodernism and social constructivism, which emphasize the "anything goes" nature of individuals and societies. I will argue that the most important claims associated with social constructivism can be given an evolutionary formulation. To pursue their agenda most successfully, social constructivists need to become evolutionary social constructivists.

David Sloan Wilson is an evolutionary biologist who studies humans along with other species. He is best known for championing the theory of multilevel selection, in which adaptation and natural selection can occur at all levels of the biological hierarchy. Additional interests include the nature of individual differences and evolutionary processes that involve nongenetic inheritance mechanisms, such as human cultural evolution. He publishes in psychology, anthropology, and philosophy journals in addition to his mainstream biological research. His books include The Natural Selection of Populations and Communities (1980), Unto Others: the evolution and psychology of unselfish behavior (with Elliott Sober; 1998), Darwin's Cathedral: evolution, religion, and the nature of society (2002) and the The Literary Animal: Evolution an the Nature of Narrative (co-edited with Jonathan Gottschall, 2005). His first book for a general audience, Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives, will be published in Spring 2007 by Bantam Press.

Please see the suggested reading list
and other speakers:
Eugenie Scott Randolph Nesse Martin Daly  Margo Wilson
Eugenie Scott Randolph Nesse Martin Daly
Margo Wilson

Rudy Rucker D. S. Wilson David M. Buss
Rudy Rucker D. S. Wilson David M. Buss

Daniel C. Dennett  Capstone Speaker
Daniel C. Dennett
Capstone Speaker
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