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  1. The Role of Culture and Evolution for Human Cognition.Andrea Bender - forthcoming - Topics in Cognitive Science.
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  • History & Mathematics: Trends and Cycles.Leonid Grinin & Andrey V. Korotayev - 2014 - Volgograd: "Uchitel" Publishing House.
    The present yearbook (which is the fourth in the series) is subtitled Trends & Cycles. It is devoted to cyclical and trend dynamics in society and nature; special attention is paid to economic and demographic aspects, in particular to the mathematical modeling of the Malthusian and post-Malthusian traps' dynamics. An increasingly important role is played by new directions in historical research that study long-term dynamic processes and quantitative changes. This kind of history can hardly develop without the application of mathematical (...)
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  • Mathematical Modeling of Biological and Social Evolutionary Macrotrends.Leonid Grinin, Alexander V. Markov & Andrey V. Korotayev - 2014 - In History & Mathematics: Trends and Cycles. Volgograd,Russia: Uchitel Publishing House. pp. 9-48.
    In the first part of this article we survey general similarities and differences between biological and social macroevolution. In the second (and main) part, we consider a concrete mathematical model capable of describing important features of both biological and social macroevolution. In mathematical models of historical macrodynamics, a hyperbolic pattern of world population growth arises from non-linear, second-order positive feedback between demographic growth and technological development. Based on diverse paleontological data and an analogy with macrosociological models, we suggest that the (...)
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  • Cultural Evolution in Vietnam’s Early 20th Century: A Bayesian Networks Analysis of Franco-Chinese House Designs.Quan-Hoang Vuong, Quang-Khiem Bui, Viet-Phuong La, Thu-Trang Vuong, Manh-Toan Ho, Hong-Kong T. Nguyen, Hong-Ngoc Nguyen, Kien-Cuong P. Nghiem & Manh-Tung Ho - manuscript
    The study of cultural evolution has taken on an increasingly interdisciplinary and diverse approach in explicating phenomena of cultural transmission and adoptions. Inspired by this computational movement, this study uses Bayesian networks analysis, combining both the frequentist and the Hamiltonian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach, to investigate the highly representative elements in the cultural evolution of a Vietnamese city’s architecture in the early 20th century. With a focus on the façade design of 68 old houses in Hanoi’s Old Quarter (...)
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  • On Similarities Between Biological and Social Evolutionary Mechanisms: Mathematical Modeling.Leonid Grinin - 2013 - Cliodynamics: The Journal of Theoretical and Mathematical History 4:185-228.
    In the first part of this article we survey general similarities and differences between biological and social macroevolution. In the second (and main) part, we consider a concrete mathematical model capable of describing important features of both biological and social macroevolution. In mathematical models of historical macrodynamics, a hyperbolic pattern of world population growth arises from non-linear, second-order positive feedback between demographic growth and technological development. This is more or less identical with the working of the collective learning mechanism. Based (...)
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  • A Variational Approach to Niche Construction.Axel Constant, Maxwell Ramstead, Samuel Veissière, John Campbell & Karl Friston - 2018 - Journals of the Royal Society Interface 15:1-14.
    In evolutionary biology, niche construction is sometimes described as a genuine evolutionary process whereby organisms, through their activities and regulatory mechanisms, modify their environment such as to steer their own evolutionary trajectory, and that of other species. There is ongoing debate, however, on the extent to which niche construction ought to be considered a bona fide evolutionary force, on a par with natural selection. Recent formulations of the variational free-energy principle as applied to the life sciences describe the properties of (...)
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  • When Will a Darwinian Approach Be Useful for the Study of Society?Samuel Bagg - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (3):259-281.
    In recent years, some have claimed that a Darwinian perspective will revolutionize the study of human society and culture. This project is viewed with disdain and suspicion, on the other hand, by many practicing social scientists. This article seeks to clear the air in this heated debate by dissociating two claims that are too often assumed to be inseparable. The first is the ‘ontological’ claim that Darwinian principles apply, at some level of abstraction, to human society and culture. The second (...)
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  • Aromorphoses in Biological and Social Evolution: Some General Rules for Biological and Social Forms of Macroevolution.Leonid Grinin, Alexander Markov, Markov & Andrey Korotayev - 2009 - Social Evolution and History 8 (2).
    The comparison between biological and social macroevolution is a very important (though insufficiently studied) subject whose analysis renders new significant possibilities to comprehend the processes, trends, mechanisms, and peculiarities of each of the two types of macroevolution. Of course, there are a few rather important (and very understandable) differences between them; however, it appears possible to identify a number of fundamental similarities. One may single out at least three fundamental sets of factors determining those similarities. First of all, those similarities (...)
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  • Learning That There is Life After Death.L. Harris Paul & Astuti Rita - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):475-476.
    Bering's argument that human beings are endowed with a cognitive system dedicated to forming illusory representations of psychological immortality relies on the claim that children's beliefs in the afterlife are not the result of religious teaching. We suggest four reasons why this claim is unsatisfactory.
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  • Foresight in Cultural Evolution.Alex Mesoudi - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):243-255.
    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 (...)
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  • Five Clarifications About Cultural Evolution.Liane Gabora - 2011 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 11 (1-2):61-83.
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  • Mapping Collective Behavior – Beware of Looping.Markus Christen & Peter Brugger - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (1):80-81.
  • The Rich Detail of Cultural Symbol Systems.Dwight W. Read - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (4):434-435.
    The goal of forming a science of intentional behavior requires a more richly detailed account of symbolic systems than is assumed by the authors. Cultural systems are not simply the equivalent in the ideational domain of culture of the purported Baldwin Effect in the genetic domain. © 2014 Cambridge University Press.
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  • Distinguishing the Reflective, Algorithmic, and Autonomous Minds: Is It Time for a Tri-Process Theory.Keith E. Stanovich - 2009 - In Keith Frankish & Jonathan St B. T. Evans (eds.), In Two Minds: Dual Processes and Beyond. Oxford University Press. pp. 55--88.
  • 15 Heterogeneous Economic Evolution: A Different View on Darwinizing Evolutionary Economics.Jack Vromen - 2011 - In J. B. Davis & D. W. Hands (eds.), Elgar Companion to Recent Economic Methodology. Edward Elgar Publishers. pp. 341.
  • Language Acquisition Meets Language Evolution.Nick Chater & Morten H. Christiansen - 2010 - Cognitive Science 34 (7):1131-1157.
    Recent research suggests that language evolution is a process of cultural change, in which linguistic structures are shaped through repeated cycles of learning and use by domain-general mechanisms. This paper draws out the implications of this viewpoint for understanding the problem of language acquisition, which is cast in a new, and much more tractable, form. In essence, the child faces a problem of induction, where the objective is to coordinate with others (C-induction), rather than to model the structure of the (...)
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  • Darwinism Extended: A Survey of How the Idea of Cultural Evolution Evolved.Chris Buskes - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):661-691.
    In the past 150 years there have been many attempts to draw parallels between cultural and biological evolution. Most of these attempts were flawed due to lack of knowledge and false ideas about evolution. In recent decades these shortcomings have been cleared away, thus triggering a renewed interest in the subject. This paper offers a critical survey of the main issues and arguments in that discussion. The paper starts with an explication of the Darwinian algorithm of evolution. It is argued (...)
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  • Five Misunderstandings About Cultural Evolution.Peter Richerson - 2008 - Human Nature 19 (2):119-137.
    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 (...)
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  • Stochasticity in Cultural Evolution: A Revolution yet to Happen.Sylvain Billiard & Alexandra Alvergne - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (1):9.
    Over the last 40 years or so, there has been an explosion of cultural evolution research in anthropology and archaeology. In each discipline, cultural evolutionists investigate how interactions between individuals translate into group level patterns, with the aim of explaining the diachronic dynamics and diversity of cultural traits. However, while much attention has been given to deterministic processes, we contend that current evolutionary accounts of cultural change are limited because they do not adopt a systematic stochastic approach. First, we show (...)
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  • Rethinking the Evolution of Culture and Cognitive Structure.Martin Stuart-Fox - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (1-2):109-130.
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  • Positive Frequency Dependence in Graffiti: An Empirical Case Study of Cultural Evolution.Julia A. Maddison & Michael Doebeli - 2013 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 13 (3-4):287-311.
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  • Cultural Neuroscience of Consciousness: From Visual Perception to Self-Awareness.Joan Chiao & T. Harada - 2008 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (10-11):58-69.
    Philosophical inquiries into the nature of consciousness have long been intrinsically tied to questions regarding the nature of the self. Although philosophers of mind seldom make reference to the role of cultural context in shaping consciousness, since antiquity culture has played a notable role in philosophical conceptions of the self. Western philosophers, from Plato to Locke, have emphasized an individualistic view of the self that is autonomous and consistent across situations, while Eastern philosophers, such as Lao Tzu and Confucius, have (...)
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  • The Learning and Transmission of Hierarchical Cultural Recipes.Alex Mesoudi & Michael J. O’Brien - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (1):63-72.
    Archaeologists have proposed that behavioral knowledge of a tool can be conceptualized as a “recipe”—a unit of cultural transmission that combines the preparation of raw materials, construction, and use of the tool, and contingency plans for repair and maintenance. This parallels theories in cognitive psychology that behavioral knowledge is hierarchically structured—sequences of actions are divided into higher level, partially independent subunits. Here we use an agent-based simulation model to explore the costs and benefits of hierarchical learning relative to holistic learning, (...)
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  • Cultural Niche Construction: An Introduction.Kevin N. Laland & Michael J. O’Brien - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (3):191-202.
  • The Organism-Centered Approach to Cultural Evolution.Andreas De Block & Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):283-290.
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  • A Formal Analysis of Cultural Evolution by Replacement.Jing Xu, Florencia Reali & Thomas L. Griffiths - 2008 - In B. C. Love, K. McRae & V. M. Sloutsky (eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. pp. 1435--1400.
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  • Darwinian 'Blind' Hypothesis Formation Revisited.Maria E. Kronfeldner - 2010 - Synthese 175 (2):193--218.
    Over the last four decades arguments for and against the claim that creative hypothesis formation is based on Darwinian ‘blind’ variation have been put forward. This paper offers a new and systematic route through this long-lasting debate. It distinguishes between undirected, random, and unjustified variation, to prevent widespread confusions regarding the meaning of undirected variation. These misunderstandings concern Lamarckism, equiprobability, developmental constraints, and creative hypothesis formation. The paper then introduces and develops the standard critique that creative hypothesis formation is guided (...)
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  • Investigating How Cultural Transmission Leads to the Appearance of Design Without a Designer in Human Communication Systems.Hannah Cornish - 2010 - Interaction Studies 11 (1):112-137.
  • Definitional Argument in Evolutionary Psychology and Cultural Anthropology.John P. Jackson - 2010 - Science in Context 23 (1):121-150.
    An old aphorism claims that “The person who defines the terms of the debate can win it.” This paper argues that the debate between evolutionary psychologists and cultural anthropologists over the biological explanation of human behavior is framed by a larger definitional dispute over the question, “What is culture?” Both disciplines attempt to define “culture” to build their disciplines, but were engaged in different kinds of arguments by definition. Definitional arguments often take one of two forms. A real definition takes (...)
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  • Niche Construction is an Important Component of a Science of Intentional Change.Michael J. O'Brien - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (4):432-433.
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  • Cultural Evolution in More Than Two Dimensions: Distinguishing Social Learning Biases and Identifying Payoff Structures.Alex Mesoudi - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (1):91-92.
  • Mapping Collective Behavior in the Big-Data Era.R. Alexander Bentley, Michael J. O'Brien & William A. Brock - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (1):63-76.
  • Early State and Democracy.Leonid Grinin - 2004 - In Leonid Grinin, Robert Carneiro, Dmitri Bondarenko, Nikolay Kradin & Andrey Korotayev (eds.), The Early State, Its Alternatives and Analogues. ‘Uchitel’ Publishing House. pp. 419--463.
    The present article is devoted to the problem which is debated actively to-day, namely whether Greek poleis and the Roman Republic were early states or they represented a specific type of stateless societies. In particular, Moshe Berent examines this problem by the example of Athens in his contribution to this volume. He arrives at the conclusion that Athens was a stateless society. However, I am of the opinion that this conclusion is wrong: and I believe that Athens and Rome were (...)
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  • Ceteris Paribus Laws.Alexander Reutlinger, Gerhard Schurz & Andreas Hüttemann - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Laws of nature take center stage in philosophy of science. Laws are usually believed to stand in a tight conceptual relation to many important key concepts such as causation, explanation, confirmation, determinism, counterfactuals etc. Traditionally, philosophers of science have focused on physical laws, which were taken to be at least true, universal statements that support counterfactual claims. But, although this claim about laws might be true with respect to physics, laws in the special sciences (such as biology, psychology, economics etc.) (...)
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  • Mapping Complex Social Transmission: Technical Constraints on the Evolution of Cultures.Mathieu Charbonneau - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (4):527-546.
    Social transmission is at the core of cultural evolutionary theory. It occurs when a demonstrator uses mental representations to produce some public displays which in turn allow a learner to acquire similar mental representations. Although cultural evolutionists do not dispute this view of social transmission, they typically abstract away from the multistep nature of the process when they speak of cultural variants at large, thereby referring both to variation and evolutionary change in mental representations as well as in their corresponding (...)
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  • Extended Evolutionary Theory Makes Human Culture More Amenable to Evolutionary Analysis.Alex Mesoudi - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (4):374-374.
    Jablonka & Lamb's (J&L's) extended evolutionary theory is more amenable to being applied to human cultural change than standard neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. However, the authors are too quick to dismiss past evolutionary approaches to human culture. They also overlook a potential parallel between evolved genetic mechanisms that enhance evolvability and learned cognitive mechanisms that enhance learnability.
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  • Contingency, Novelty and Choice. Cultural Evolution as Internal Selection.Bernd Baldus - 2015 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 45 (2):214-237.
    Sociological, economic and evolutionary paradigms of human agency have often seen social agents either as the rational controllers of their fate or as marionettes on the strings of historical, functional or adaptive necessity. They found it therefore difficult to account for the variability, intentionality and creativity of human behaviour and for its frequently redundant or harmful results. This paper argues that human agency is a product of evolution, but that genetic variation and inheritance can only provide a limited explanation of (...)
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  • Biological and Cultural Evolution: Similar but Different.Alex Mesoudi - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (2):119-123.
  • Self-Interest and the Design of Rules.Manvir Singh, Richard Wrangham & Luke Glowacki - 2017 - Human Nature 28 (4):457-480.
    Rules regulating social behavior raise challenging questions about cultural evolution in part because they frequently confer group-level benefits. Current multilevel selection theories contend that between-group processes interact with within-group processes to produce norms and institutions, but within-group processes have remained underspecified, leading to a recent emphasis on cultural group selection as the primary driver of cultural design. Here we present the self-interested enforcement hypothesis, which proposes that the design of rules importantly reflects the relative enforcement capacities of competing parties. We (...)
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  • Ecological Inheritance and Cultural Inheritance: What Are They and How Do They Differ?John Odling-Smee & Kevin N. Laland - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (3):220-230.
  • Beyond Generalized Darwinism. I. Evolutionary Economics From the Perspective of Naturalistic Philosophy of Biology.Werner Callebaut - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (4):338-350.
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  • Towards Scalable Governance: Sensemaking and Cooperation in the Age of Social Media.Iyad Rahwan - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (2):161-178.
    Cybernetics, or self-governance of animal and machine, requires the ability to sense the world and to act on it in an appropriate manner. Likewise, self-governance of a human society requires groups of people to collectively sense and act on their environment. I argue that the evolution of political systems is characterized by a series of innovations that attempt to solve two ‘scalability’ problems: scaling up a group’s ability to make sense of an increasingly complex world, and to cooperate in increasingly (...)
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  • Replicate After Reading: On the Extraction and Evocation of Cultural Information.Maarten Boudry - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):27.
    Does cultural evolution happen by a process of copying or replication? And how exactly does cultural transmission compare with that paradigmatic case of replication, the copying of DNA in living cells? Theorists of cultural evolution are divided on these issues. The most important objection to the replication model has been leveled by Dan Sperber and his colleagues. Cultural transmission, they argue, is almost always reconstructive and transformative, while strict ‘replication’ can be seen as a rare limiting case at most. By (...)
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  • Modularity and Recombination in Technological Evolution.Mathieu Charbonneau - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology 29 (4):373-392.
    Cultural evolutionists typically emphasize the informational aspect of social transmission, that of the learning, stabilizing, and transformation of mental representations along cultural lineages. Social transmission also depends on the production of public displays such as utterances, behaviors, and artifacts, as these displays are what social learners learn from. However, the generative processes involved in the production of public displays are usually abstracted away in both theoretical assessments and formal models. The aim of this paper is to complement the informational view (...)
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  • From Bounded Morality to Consumer Social Responsibility: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Socially Responsible Consumption and Its Obstacles.Michael P. Schlaile, Katharina Klein & Wolfgang Böck - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 149 (3):561-588.
    Corporate social responsibility has been intensively discussed in business ethics literature, whereas the social responsibility of private consumers appears to be less researched. However, there is also a growing interest from business ethicists and other scholars in the field of consumer social responsibility. Nevertheless, previous discussions of ConSR reveal the need for a viable conceptual basis for understanding the social responsibility of consumers in an increasingly globalized market economy. Moreover, evolutionary aspects of human morality seem to have been neglected despite (...)
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  • Bringing Darwin into the social sciences and the humanities: cultural evolution and its philosophical implications.Stefaan Blancke & Gilles Denis - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (2):29.
    In the field of cultural evolution it is generally assumed that the study of culture and cultural change would benefit enormously from being informed by evolutionary thinking. Recently, however, there has been much debate about what this “being informed” means. According to the standard view, an interesting analogy obtains between cultural and biological evolution. In the literature, however, the analogy is interpreted and used in at least three distinct, but interrelated ways. We provide a taxonomy in order to clarify these (...)
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  • A Darwinian Theory of Cultural Evolution Can Promote an Evolutionary Synthesis for the Social Sciences.Alex Mesoudi - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (3):263-275.
    The evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s integrated the study of biological microevolution and biological macroevolution into the theoretically consistent and hugely productive field of evolutionary biology. A similar synthesis has yet to occur for the study of culture, and the social sciences remain fragmented and theoretically incompatible. Here, it is suggested that a Darwinian theory of cultural evolution can promote such a synthesis. Earlier non-Darwinian theories of cultural evolution, such as progress theories, lacked key elements of a Darwinian (...)
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  • Mental Time Travel Across the Disciplines: The Future Looks Bright.Thomas Suddendorf & Michael C. Corballis - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (3):335-345.
    There is a growing interest in mental time travel in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, developmental psychology, comparative psychology, and evolutionary psychology. Here we review current issues in each of these disciplines. To help move the debates forward we name and distinguish 15 key hypotheses about mental time travel. We argue that foresight has for too long lived in the shadows of research on memory and call for further research efforts.
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  • Population Thinking and Natural Selection in Dual-Inheritance Theory.Wybo Houkes - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):401-417.
    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 (...)
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  • Has Mental Time Travel Really Affected Human Culture?Alex Mesoudi - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (3):326-327.
    Suddendorf & Corballis (S&C) claim that mental time travel has significantly affected human cultural change. This echoes a common criticism of theories of Darwinian cultural evolution: that, whereas evolution is blind, culture is directed by people who can foresee and plan for future events. Here I argue that such a claim is premature, and more rigorous tests of S&C's claim are needed.
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