Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Evolutionary Psychology as a Metatheory for the Social Sciences

Annemie Ploeger

Abstract: Evolutionary psychology has been proposed as a metatheory for the social sciences. In this paper, the different ways in which scholars have used the concept of a metatheory in the field of evolutionary psychology is reviewed. These different ways include evolutionary psychology as a unification of different subdisciplines, as a nomological network of evidence, as Lakatosian hard core, as a tool for conceptual integration, and as a theory that addresses the major issues in the social sciences. It is concluded that evolutionary psychology has been successful as Lakatosian hard core, that is, it has been fruitful in generating new hypotheses. However, it has been less successful in unifying different subdisciplines. It is also concluded that evolutionary psychology needs to broaden its scope by including insights from evolutionary developmental biology in order to become a unifying framework for the social sciences.

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