David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):243-255 (2008)
Critics of Darwinian cultural evolution frequently assert that whereas biological evolution is blind and undirected, cultural change is directed or guided by people who possess foresight, thereby invalidating any Darwinian analysis of culture. Here I show this argument to be erroneous and unsupported in several respects. First, critics commonly conflate human foresight with supernatural clairvoyance, resulting in the premature rejection of Darwinian cultural evolution on false logical grounds. Second, the presence of foresight is perfectly consistent with Darwinian evolution, and is found in biology, in the form of open, teleonomic processes such as genetically-biased behavioural learning. Finally, empirical evidence from the social sciences suggests that cultural change appears far less guided and directed, and human foresight far less accurate, than is commonly assumed.
|Keywords||Cultural evolution Foresight Human culture Mental time travel Niche construction Planning Teleology Teleonomy|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Maria Kronfeldner (2010). Darwinian 'Blind' Hypothesis Formation Revisited. Synthese 175 (2):193--218.
Chris Buskes (2013). Darwinism Extended: A Survey of How the Idea of Cultural Evolution Evolved. Philosophia 41 (3):661-691.
Lonnie W. Aarssen (2010). Darwinism and Meaning. Biological Theory 5 (4):296-311.
Christine A. Caldwell (2008). Convergent Cultural Evolution May Explain Linguistic Universals. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):515-516.
Similar books and articles
Tim Lewens (2012). The Darwinian View of Culture. Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):745-753.
Maria Kronfeldner (2007). Is Cultural Evolution Lamarckian? Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):493-512.
Alex Mesoudi, Andrew Whiten & Kevin N. Laland (2006). Towards a Unified Science of Cultural Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):329-347.
C. Driscoll (2011). Fatal Attraction? Why Sperber's Attractors Do Not Prevent Cumulative Cultural Evolution. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):301-322.
Barry Sopher (2006). A Unified Science of Cultural Evolution Should Incorporate Choice. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):362-363.
Dwight W. Read (2006). Cultural Evolution is Not Equivalent to Darwinian Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):361-361.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #70,807 of 1,098,973 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #287,052 of 1,098,973 )
How can I increase my downloads?