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Population in the Human SciencesConcepts, Models, Evidence$
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Philip Kreager, Bruce Winney, Stanley Ulijaszek, and Cristian Capelli

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688203.001.0001

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Population and the Making of the Human Sciences

Population and the Making of the Human Sciences

a historical outline

Chapter:
(p.55) Chapter 1 Population and the Making of the Human Sciences
Source:
Population in the Human Sciences
Author(s):

Philip Kreager

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688203.003.0002

Aggregate properties of human groups have been fundamental to observation and reasoning about society and the state at least since Aristotle’s Politics. Classical population thinking spread via humanism into the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, shaping the emergence of ‘population’ as a base of scientific inquiry into human society. Two different ideas of population came to coexist, in both of which aggregate relationships between people are understood as integral to the natural world. One deals primarily with processes by which population and subpopulation memberships are formed (open population models); the other with demographic, epidemiological, and evolutionary outcomes of these processes, usually at higher levels of aggregation (closed population models). This chapter sketches the evolution of the two concepts and their relation to each other. Three significant turning points in this history are noted, including the recent convergence of the two population concepts, and of approaches linking the biological and social sciences.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Graunt, Malthus, Darwin, Evolutionary Synthesis

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