David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Human Nature 19 (2):119-137 (2008)
Recent debates about memetics have revealed some widespread misunderstandings about Darwinian approaches to cultural evolution. Drawing from these debates, this paper disputes five common claims: (1) mental representations are rarely discrete, and therefore models that assume discrete, gene-like particles (i.e., replicators) are useless; (2) replicators are necessary for cumulative, adaptive evolution; (3) content-dependent psychological biases are the only important processes that affect the spread of cultural representations; (4) the “cultural fitness” of a mental representation can be inferred from its successful transmission; and (5) selective forces only matter if the sources of variation are random. We close by sketching the outlines of a unified evolutionary science of culture
|Keywords||Dual inheritance theory Memes Cultural evolution Epidemiology of representations Cultural transmission Replicators|
|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
Bart du Laing & Andreas de Block (2010). Amusing Ourselves to Death? Superstimuli and the Evolutionary Social Sciences. Philosophical Psychology 23 (6):821-843.
Jeremy Trevelyan Burman (2012). The Misunderstanding of Memes: Biography of an Unscientific Object, 1976–1999. Perspectives on Science 20 (1):75-104.
Similar books and articles
Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson, Rapid Cultural Adaptation Can Facilitate the Evolution of Large-Scale Cooperation.
Barry Sopher (2006). A Unified Science of Cultural Evolution Should Incorporate Choice. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):362-363.
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.
Dan Sperber & Nicolas Claidière (2008). Defining and Explaining Culture (Comments on Richerson and Boyd, Not by Genes Alone). Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):283-292.
Mark Pagel (2006). Darwinian Cultural Evolution Rivals Genetic Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):360-360.
Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, Richard McElreath & Kari Britt Schroeder (2006). Analogies Are Powerful and Dangerous Things. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):350-351.
Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson & Joseph Henrich (2008). Five Misunderstandings About Cultural Evolution. Human Nature 19 (2):119-137.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads22 ( #109,201 of 1,696,303 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #92,220 of 1,696,303 )
How can I increase my downloads?