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
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.Daniel C. Dennett & Jon Hodge - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition.M. Tomasello - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Cultural Learning.Michael Tomasello, Ann Cale Kruger & Hilary Horn Ratner - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (3):495.
The Evolution and Evolvability of Culture.Kim Sterelny - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (2):137-165.
Block Fitness.Grant Ramsey - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (3):484-498.

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

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