Fatal Attraction? Why Sperber's Attractors do not Prevent Cumulative Cultural Evolution

In order to explain why cultural traits remain stable despite the error-proneness of social learning, Dan Sperber has proposed that human psychology and ecology lead to cultural traits being transformed in the direction of attractors. This means that simple-minded Darwinian models of cultural evolution are not appropriate. Some scientists and philosophers have been concerned that Sperber’s notion of attractors might show more than this, that attractors destroy subtle cultural variation and prevent adaptive cultural evolutionary processes from occurring. I show that Sperber’s view does not have this consequence—that even if there are attractors, cumulative cultural evolution can still occur
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Alex Mesoudi (2008). Foresight in Cultural Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):243-255.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    20 ( #71,710 of 1,089,153 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,735 of 1,089,153 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.