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)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axq032
 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: 23,217
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

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

30 ( #158,699 of 1,941,076 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #334,045 of 1,941,076 )

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.