18 found
Order:
  1. Towards a Unified Science of Cultural Evolution.Alex Mesoudi, Andrew Whiten & Kevin N. Laland - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):329-347.
    We suggest that human culture exhibits key Darwinian evolutionary properties, and argue that the structure of a science of cultural evolution should share fundamental features with the structure of the science of biological evolution. This latter claim is tested by outlining the methods and approaches employed by the principal subdisciplines of evolutionary biology and assessing whether there is an existing or potential corresponding approach to the study of cultural evolution. Existing approaches within anthropology and archaeology demonstrate a good match with (...)
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   67 citations  
  2.  59
    If We Are All Cultural Darwinians What’s the Fuss About? Clarifying Recent Disagreements in the Field of Cultural Evolution.Alberto Acerbi & Alex Mesoudi - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (4):481-503.
    Cultural evolution studies are characterized by the notion that culture evolves accordingly to broadly Darwinian principles. Yet how far the analogy between cultural and genetic evolution should be pushed is open to debate. Here, we examine a recent disagreement that concerns the extent to which cultural transmission should be considered a preservative mechanism allowing selection among different variants, or a transformative process in which individuals recreate variants each time they are transmitted. The latter is associated with the notion of “cultural (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   20 citations  
  3.  72
    Is Non-Genetic Inheritance Just a Proximate Mechanism? A Corroboration of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Alex Mesoudi, Simon Blanchet, Anne Charmantier, Étienne Danchin, Laurel Fogarty, Eva Jablonka, Kevin N. Laland, Thomas J. H. Morgan, Gerd B. Müller, F. John Odling-Smee & Benoît Pujol - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (3):189-195.
    What role does non-genetic inheritance play in evolution? In recent work we have independently and collectively argued that the existence and scope of non-genetic inheritance systems, including epigenetic inheritance, niche construction/ecological inheritance, and cultural inheritance—alongside certain other theory revisions—necessitates an extension to the neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis (MS) in the form of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES). However, this argument has been challenged on the grounds that non-genetic inheritance systems are exclusively proximate mechanisms that serve the ultimate function of calibrating organisms (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   22 citations  
  4.  95
    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 (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  5.  9
    How Cultural Evolutionary Theory Can Inform Social Psychology and Vice Versa.Alex Mesoudi - 2009 - Psychological Review 116 (4):929-952.
  6.  7
    The Hierarchical Transformation of Event Knowledge in Human Cultural Transmission.Alex Mesoudi & Andrew Whiten - 2004 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 4 (1):1-24.
    No categories
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   14 citations  
  7.  3
    Cumulative Cultural Evolution Within Evolving Population Structures.Maxime Derex & Alex Mesoudi - 2020 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 24 (8):654-667.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  8.  22
    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, (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  9.  31
    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 (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  10.  38
    A Science of Culture: Clarifications and Extensions.Alex Mesoudi, Andrew Whiten & Kevin N. Laland - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):366-375.
    We are encouraged that the majority of commentators endorse our evolutionary framework for studying culture, and several suggest extensions. Here we clarify our position, dwelling on misunderstandings and requests for exposition. We reiterate that using evolutionary biology as a model for unifying the social sciences within a single synthetic framework can stimulate a more progressive and rigorous science of culture. (Published Online November 9 2006).
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  11.  22
    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.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  12.  35
    Nerd and Norms: Framework and Experiments.Peter Danielson, Alex Mesoudi & Roger Stanev - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):830-842.
    We advocate and share the same theoretical framework for empirical research in ethics as exemplified in Christina Bicchieri’s The Grammar of Society. Our research differs from Bicchieri’s in our approach to experimentation: where she relies on lab experiments, we have constructed an experimental platform based on an internet survey instrument; where she relies on rational reconstructions, we do not. In this paper we focus on four contrasts in our methods: (1) we provide a space to explore ethical influence and norm (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  13.  31
    Biological and Cultural Evolution: Similar but Different.Alex Mesoudi - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (2):119-123.
    Ever since The Origin of Species, but increasingly in recent years, parallels and analogies have been drawn between biological and cultural evolution, and methods, concepts, and theories that have been developed in evolutionary biology have been used to explain aspects of human cultural change (e.g., Muller 1870; Darwin [1871] 2003; Pitt-Rivers 1875; James 1880; Huxley 1955; Gerard et al. 1956; Campbell 1975; Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman 1981; Durham 1992; Henrich and McElreath 2003; Mesoudi et al. 2004, 2006; Boyd and Richerson 2005; (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  14. Prestige Does Not Affect the Cultural Transmission of Novel Controversial Arguments in an Online Transmission Chain Experiment.Ángel V. Jiménez & Alex Mesoudi - 2020 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 20 (3-4):238-261.
    Cultural evolutionary theories define prestige as social rank that is freely conferred on individuals possessing superior knowledge or skill, in order to gain opportunities to learn from such individuals. Consequently, information provided by prestigious individuals should be more memorable, and hence more likely to be culturally transmitted, than information from non-prestigious sources, particularly for novel, controversial arguments about which preexisting opinions are absent or weak. It has also been argued that this effect extends beyond the prestigious individual’s relevant domain of (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15. Cae.Alex Mesoudi & Peter Danielson - 2007 - In Laurie DiMauro (ed.), Ethics. Greenhaven Press. pp. 1Z2.
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  16.  19
    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.
    Bentley et al.’s two-dimensional conceptual map is complementary to cultural evolution research that has sought to explain population-level cultural dynamics in terms of individual-level behavioral processes. Here, I qualify their scheme by arguing that different social learning biases should be treated distinctly, and that the transparency of decisions is sometimes conflated with the actual underlying payoff structure of those decisions.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  17.  17
    Extending the Behavioral Sciences Framework: Clarification of Methods, Predictions, and Concepts.Alex Mesoudi & Kevin N. Laland - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (1):36-37.
    We applaud Gintis's attempt to provide an evolutionary-based framework for the behavioral sciences, and note a number of similarities with our own recent cultural evolutionary structure for the social sciences. Gintis's proposal would be further strengthened by a greater emphasis on additional methods to evolutionary game theory, clearer empirical predictions, and a broader consideration of cultural transmission. (Published Online April 27 2007).
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  18.  21
    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.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark