Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2001


Evolutionary psychology, Sociobiology, Evolutionary analysis of law


Cognitive Psychology | Law and Society | Legal Theory


In recent years, some legal scholars have argued that legal scholarship could benefit from a greater reliance on theories of human behavior that arise from biological evolution. These scholars contend that reliance on biological evolution would successfully combine the rigor of economics with the scientific aspects of psychology. Complex legal systems, however, are uniquely human. Law has always been the product of cognitive processes that are unique to humans and that developed as a response to an environment that no longer exists. Consequently, the evolutionary development of the cognitive mechanisms upon which law depends cannot be rigorously modeled or studied empirically.

Publication Citation

Published in: Jurimetrics, vol. 41, no. 3 (Spring 2001).