Five Misunderstandings About Cultural Evolution

Human Nature 19 (2):119-137 (2008)
Abstract
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)
DOI 10.1007/s12110-008-9037-1
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,829
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Cultural Evolution of Emergent Group-Level Traits.Paul E. Smaldino - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):243-254.
Religion as an Evolutionary Byproduct: A Critique of the Standard Model.R. Powell & S. Clarke - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3):457-486.
Group-Level Traits Emerge.Paul E. Smaldino - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):281-295.
Fatal Attraction? Why Sperber's Attractors Do Not Prevent Cumulative Cultural Evolution.C. Driscoll - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):301-322.
Is Cultural Fitness Hopelessly Confused?Grant Ramsey & Andreas De Block - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

189 ( #23,743 of 2,178,220 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #35,576 of 2,178,220 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums