In this chapter we discuss what place Darwinian variation, inheritance and selection mechanisms have in the "core" of Schumpeterian and Evolutionary legacies (SEL): i) as general principles applicable to economic and social systems, " Darwinism generalized " (DG), ii) as a continuity between the natural and cultural evolution, hypothesis of continuity (HC) or iii) as an analysis of evolutionary dynamics that does not resort to the Darwinian trilogy in its theoretical framework (ND). SEL and the three groups include five strands of thought that bear similarities and differences to each other and constitute the corpus of the theory: i) habits and routines, ii) self-organization, iii) increasing returns, iv) innovation systems and v) cumulative causation. From an epistemological and ontological perspective, we discuss, the degree of linkages among SEL, the three groups and the five strands have with Darwinian categories of variation, inheritance and selection when trying to explain innovation processes, technological change and economic systems dynamics. We also discuss the strong heterogeneity of perspectives identified and the different policy proposals that emerge from them.
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