David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):401-417 (2012)
A deflationary perspective on theories of cultural evolution, in particular dual-inheritance theory, has recently been proposed by Lewens. On this ‘pop-culture’ analysis, dual-inheritance theorists apply population thinking to cultural phenomena, without claiming that cultural items evolve by natural selection. This paper argues against this pop-culture analysis of dual-inheritance theory. First, it focuses on recent dual-inheritance models of specific patterns of cultural change. These models exemplify population thinking without a commitment to natural selection of cultural items. There are grounds, however, for doubting the added explanatory value of the models in their disciplinary context—and thus grounds for engaging in other potentially explanatory projects based on dual-inheritance theory. One such project is suggested by advocates of the theory. Some of the motivational narratives that they offer can be interpreted as setting up an adaptationist project with regard to cumulative change in cultural items. We develop this interpretation here. On it, dual-inheritance theory features two interrelated selection processes, one on the level of genetically inherited learning mechanisms, another on the level of the cultural items transmitted through these mechanisms. This interpretation identifies a need for further modelling efforts, but also offers scope for enhancing the explanatory power of dual-inheritance theory
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Elliott Sober (1984). The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus. University of Chicago Press.
David J. Buller (2005). Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature. MIT Press.
Elliott Sober (1986). The Nature of Selection. Behaviorism 14 (1):77-88.
Daniel C. Dennett (1996). Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Behavior and Philosophy 24 (2):169-174.
Citations of this work BETA
Grant Ramsey & Andreas De Block (forthcoming). Is Cultural Fitness Hopelessly Confused? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv047.
Similar books and articles
William Irons (2009). The Intertwined Roles of Genes and Culture in Human Evolution. Zygon 44 (2):347-354.
Kim Sterelny (2006). Memes Revisited. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):145-165.
Tobias Uller (2010). The Price Equation and Extended Inheritance. Philosophy & Theory in Biology 2 (20130604).
Samir Okasha (2007). Cultural Inheritance and Fisher's “Fundamental Theorem” of Natural Selection. Biological Theory 2 (3):290-299.
Maria Kronfeldner (2007). Is Cultural Evolution Lamarckian? Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):493-512.
Dean Keith Simonton (2000). Human Creativity, Cultural Evolution, and Niche Construction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):159-160.
Devin Henry (2006). Aristotle on the Mechanisms of Inheritance. Journal of the History of Biology 39 (3):425-455.
Denis M. Walsh, Andre Ariew & Tim Lewens (2002). The Trials of Life: Natural Selection and Random Drift. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):452-473.
Matteo Mameli (2004). Nongenetic Selection and Nongenetic Inheritance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):35-71.
Hiroshi Yama, Miwa Nishioka, Tomoko Horishita, Yayoi Kawasaki & Junichi Taniguchi (2007). A Dual Process Model for Cultural Differences in Thought. Mind and Society 6 (2):143-172.
Marion Blute (1987). Biologists on Sociocultural Evolution: A Critical Analysis. Sociological Theory 5 (2):185-193.
Added to index2012-01-26
Total downloads17 ( #224,448 of 1,911,757 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #322,396 of 1,911,757 )
How can I increase my downloads?