Culture in Non-Human Animals and the Evolutionary Origin of Human Culture

Filozofska Istrazivanja 40 (2):343-360 (2020)
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Abstract

This paper calls into question the ontological privilege of the human species that rests on many misguided ideas. One of these ideas is that Homo sapiens is the only species that possess culture. In this sense, the problem of culture is emphasised in the context of the so called minimalist and expansionist definitions. Furthermore, this paper details examples of cultural behaviour in non-human animals. The components commonly considered necessary to speak of true culture are also critically analysed. These components are social learning, language, symbols, the theory of mind, history, tradition, natural pedagogy, and the cumulativeness of culture. Finally, this paper brings attention to the implications of a more adequate, expansionist and naturalistic, definition of culture based on evolutionary grounds.

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