The fundamental constraint on the evolution of culture

Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):401-414 (2007)
This paper argues that there is a general constraint on the evolution of culture. This constraint – what I am calling the Fundamental Constraint – must be satisfied in order for a cultural system to be adaptive. The Fundamental Constraint is this: for culture to be adaptive there must be a positive correlation between the fitness of cultural variants and their fitness impact on the organisms adopting those variants. Two ways of satisfying the Fundamental Constraint are introduced, structural solutions and evaluative solutions. Because of the limitations on these solutions, this constraint helps explain why there is not more culture in nature, why the culture that does exist has the form it has, and why complex, cumulative culture is restricted to the human species.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-006-9038-6
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References found in this work BETA
Grant Ramsey (2006). Block Fitness. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (3):484-498.

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Citations of this work BETA
Lonnie W. Aarssen (2010). Darwinism and Meaning. Biological Theory 5 (4):296-311.
Grant Ramsey (2013). Culture in Humans and Other Animals. Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):457-479.

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