Results for 'cultural evolution'

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  1. 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 (...)
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  2. 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 (...)
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  3.  49
    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 (...)
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  4.  15
    The Cultural Evolution of Institutional Religions.Michael Vlerick - forthcoming - Religion, Brain and Behavior.
    In recent work, Atran, Henrich, Norenzayan and colleagues developed an account of religion that reconciles insights from the ‘by-product’ accounts and the adaptive accounts. According to their synthesis, the process of cultural group selection driven by group competition has recruited our proclivity to adopt and spread religious beliefs and engage in religious practices to increase within group solidarity, harmony and cooperation. While their account has much merit, I believe it only tells us half the story of how institutional religions (...)
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  5.  40
    Power in Cultural Evolution and the Spread of Prosocial Norms.Nathan Cofnas - 2018 - Quarterly Review of Biology 93 (4):297–318.
    According to cultural evolutionary theory in the tradition of Boyd and Richerson, cultural evolution is driven by individuals' learning biases, natural selection, and random forces. Learning biases lead people to preferentially acquire cultural variants with certain contents or in certain contexts. Natural selection favors individuals or groups with fitness-promoting variants. Durham (1991) argued that Boyd and Richerson's approach is based on a "radical individualism" that fails to recognize that cultural variants are often "imposed" on people (...)
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  6.  57
    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 (...)
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  7. 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 (...). It is argued that this ‘formula’ is substrate-neutral, which means that biological evolution might not be the only Darwinian process. Other dynamic systems could evolve as well provided that certain conditions are met. In the case of human culture this seems to be the case. The paper then focuses on the notion of niche construction. It is argued that niche construction plays a crucial role in human evolution because it has altered the sources of natural selection and thus the path of evolution. Next two approaches to cultural evolution are discussed: sociobiology and memetics. I will argue that both approaches have flaws because they either underestimate the influence of culture or they stretch analogies too far. Finally two common objections against the idea of cultural evolution are addressed: Lamarckian inheritance and the issue of guided variation. I will argue that although cultural evolution differs from biological evolution in several respects, these discrepancies do not jeopardize the claim that cultural evolution is essentially Darwinian. (shrink)
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  8.  10
    The Semantic Drift of Quotations in Blogspace: A Case Study in Short‐Term Cultural Evolution.Sébastien Lerique & Camille Roth - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (1):188-219.
    We present an empirical case study that connects psycholinguistics with the field of cultural evolution, in order to test for the existence of cultural attractors in the evolution of quotations. Such attractors have been proposed as a useful concept for understanding cultural evolution in relation with individual cognition, but their existence has been hard to test. We focus on the transformation of quotations when they are copied from blog to blog or media website: by (...)
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  9. Won't You Please Unite? Darwinism, Cultural Evolution and Kinds of Synthesis.Maria Kronfeldner - 2010 - In A. Barahona, H.-J. Rheinberger & E. Suarez-Diaz (eds.), The Hereditary Hourglass: Genetics and Epigenetics, 1868-2000. Max Planck Insititute for the History of Science. pp. 111-125.
    The synthetic theory of evolution has gone stale and an expanding or (re-)widening of it towards a new synthesis has been announced. This time, development and culture are supposed to join the synthesis bandwagon. In this article, I distinguish between four kinds of synthesis that are involved when we extend the evolutionary synthesis towards culture: the integration of fields, the heuristic generation of interfields, the expansion of validity, and the creation of a common frame of discourse or ‘big-picture’. These (...)
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  10.  42
    Cultural Evolution and the Variable Phenotype.William Harms - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):357-375.
    It is common in attempts to extend the theory of evolution to culture to generalize from the causal basis of biological evolution, so that evolutionary theory becomes the theory of copying processes. Generalizing from the formal dynamics of evolution allows greater leeway in what kinds of things cultural entities can be, if they are to evolve. By understanding the phenomenon of cultural transmission in terms of coordinated phenotypic variability, we can have a theory of (...) evolution which allows us to avoid the various difficulties with the elaboration of informational entities such as the cultural replicator, or meme. Such an account is a boon to the project of evolutionary epistemology since it confirms the presumption in favor of the general adaptiveness of culture, illuminating rather than obscuring the inherent intimacy of our relationship to (e.g.) our ideas. (shrink)
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  11.  16
    Context and Perceptual Salience Influence the Formation of Novel Stereotypes Via Cumulative Cultural Evolution.Jacqui Hutchison, Sheila J. Cunningham, Gillian Slessor, James Urquhart, Kenny Smith & Douglas Martin - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (S1):186-212.
    We use a transmission chain method to establish how context and category salience influence the formation of novel stereotypes through cumulative cultural evolution. We created novel alien targets by combining features from three category dimensions—color, movement, and shape—thereby creating social targets that were individually unique but that also shared category membership with other aliens. At the start of the transmission chains each alien was randomly assigned attributes that described it. Participants were given training on the alien-attribute assignments and (...)
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  12.  56
    The Collaborative Emergence of Group Cognition: Commentary on Paul E. Smaldino, “The Cultural Evolution of Emergent Group-Level Traits”.John Sutton - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):277-78.
    We extend Smaldino’s approach to collaboration and social organization in cultural evolution to include cognition. By showing how recent work on emergent group-level cognition can be incorporated within Smaldino’s framework, we extend that framework’s scope to encompass collaborative memory, decision-making, and intelligent action. We argue that beneficial effects arise only in certain forms of cognitive interdependence, in surprisingly fragile conditions.
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  13.  4
    Cognitive Innovation, Cumulative Cultural Evolution, and Enculturation.Regina E. Fabry - 2017 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 17 (5):375-395.
    Cognitive innovation has shaped and transformed our cognitive capacities throughout history. Until recently, cognitive innovation has not received much attention by empirical and conceptual research in the cognitive sciences. This paper is a first attempt to help close this gap. It will be argued that cognitive innovation is best understood in connection with cumulative cultural evolution and enculturation. Cumulative cultural evolution plays a vital role for the inter-generational transmission of the products of cognitive innovation. Furthermore, there (...)
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  14.  37
    F.A. Hayek’s Theory of Mind and Theory of Cultural Evolution Revisited: Toward and Integrated Perspective. [REVIEW]Evelyn Gick & Wolfgang Gick - 2001 - Mind and Society 2 (1):149-162.
    F.A. Hayek’s theory of cultural evolution has often been regarded as incompatible with his earlier works. Since it lacks an elaborated theory of individual learning, we try to back his arguments by starting with his thoughts on individual perception described in hisTheory of Mind. With a focus on the current discussion concerning biological and cultural selection theories, we argue hisTheory of Mind leads to two different stages of societal evolution with well-defined learning processes, respectively. The first (...)
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  15.  78
    Is Cultural Evolution Lamarckian?Maria E. Kronfeldner - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):493-512.
    The article addresses the question whether culture evolves in a Lamarckian manner. I highlight three central aspects of a Lamarckian concept of evolution: the inheritance of acquired characteristics, the transformational pattern of evolution, and the concept of directed changes. A clear exposition of these aspects shows that a system can be a Darwinian variational system instead of a Lamarckian transformational one, even if it is based on inheritance of acquired characteristics and/or on Lamarckian directed changes. On this basis, (...)
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  16.  13
    Spatio-Cultural Evolution as Information Dynamics: Part I. [REVIEW]Zeev Posner - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (2):125-162.
    A view of evolution is presented in this paper (a two paper series), intended as a methodological infrastructure for modeling spatio-cultural systems (the design outline of such a model is presented in paper II). A motivation for the re-articulation of evolution as information dynamics is the phenomenologically discovered prerequisite of embedding a meaning-attributing apparatus in any and all models of spatio-cultural systems. An evolution is construed as the dynamics of a complex system comprised of memory (...)
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  17.  34
    Why Do Irrational Beliefs Mimic Science? The Cultural Evolution of Pseudoscience.Stefaan Blancke, Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2017 - Theoria 83 (1):78-97.
    Why do irrational beliefs adopt the trappings of science, to become what is known as “pseudoscience”? Here, we develop and extend an epidemiological framework to map the factors that explain the form and the popularity of irrational beliefs in scientific garb. These factors include the exploitation of epistemic vigilance, the misunderstanding of the authority of science, the use of the honorific title of “science” as an explicit argument for belief, and the phenomenon of epistemic negligence. We conclude by integrating the (...)
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  18.  38
    Complexity and Evolution: A Study of the Growth of Complexity in Organic and Cultural Evolution[REVIEW]Börje Ekstig - 2010 - Foundations of Science 15 (3):263-278.
    In the present paper I develop a model of the evolutionary process associated to the widespread although controversial notion of a prevailing trend of increasing complexity over time. The model builds on a coupling of evolution to individual developmental programs and introduces an integrated view of evolution implying that human culture and science form a continuous extension of organic evolution. It is formed as a mathematical model that has made possible a quantitative estimation in relative terms of (...)
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  19.  29
    The Cultural Evolution of Emergent Group-Level Traits.Paul E. Smaldino - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):243-254.
  20.  19
    Why Do Irrational Beliefs Mimic Science? The Cultural Evolution of Pseudoscience.Stefaan Blancke, Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2016 - Theoria 82 (4).
    Why do irrational beliefs adopt the trappings of science, to become what is known as “pseudoscience”? Here, we develop and extend an epidemiological framework to map the factors that explain the form and the popularity of irrational beliefs in scientific garb. These factors include the exploitation of epistemic vigilance, the misunderstanding of the authority of science, the use of the honorific title of “science” as an explicit argument for belief, and the phenomenon of epistemic negligence. We conclude by integrating the (...)
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  21.  13
    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 (...)
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  22.  8
    Spatio-Cultural Evolution as Information Dynamics—Part II.Zeev Posner - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (2):163-203.
    A model of a spatio-cultural sub-context (enfolded in a wider scope context) is presented in the form of a blue print of a Complex System with a two-stage decision engine at its core. The engine first attaches a meaning to analyzable datum, and then decides whether to keep or change it. It does not alter already stored meanings but is designed to search for data to be converted into additional stored meanings and improve the accuracy of correspondence of their (...)
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  23.  16
    The Cultural Evolution of Structured Languages in an Open‐Ended, Continuous World.W. Carr Jon, Smith Kenny, Cornish Hannah & Kirby Simon - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (4):892-923.
    Language maps signals onto meanings through the use of two distinct types of structure. First, the space of meanings is discretized into categories that are shared by all users of the language. Second, the signals employed by the language are compositional: The meaning of the whole is a function of its parts and the way in which those parts are combined. In three iterated learning experiments using a vast, continuous, open-ended meaning space, we explore the conditions under which both structured (...)
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  24.  2
    Chunk‐Based Memory Constraints on the Cultural Evolution of Language.Erin S. Isbilen & Morten H. Christiansen - forthcoming - Topics in Cognitive Science.
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  25.  32
    Cultural Evolution.Kenneth Reisman - forthcoming - In Michael Ruse (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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  26.  36
    Cultural Group Selection and Holobiont Evolution – a Comparison of Structures of Evolution.Ehud Lamm - 2016 - In Snait Gissis, Ehud Lamm & Ayelet Shavit (eds.), Landscapes of Collectivity in the Life Sciences. MIT Press.
    The notion of structure of evolution is proposed to capture what it means to say that two situations exhibit the same or similar constellations of factors affecting evolution. The key features of holobiont evolution and the hologenome theory are used to define a holobiont structure of evolution. Finally, Cultural Group Selection, a set of hypotheses regarding the evolution of human cognition, is shown to match the holobiont structure closely though not perfectly.
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  27.  23
    Reasons to Be Fussy About Cultural Evolution.Olivier Morin - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (3):447-458.
    This discussion paper responds to two recent articles in Biology and Philosophy that raise similar objections to cultural attraction theory, a research trend in cultural evolution putting special emphasis on the fact that human minds create and transform their culture. Both papers are sympathetic to this idea, yet both also regret a lack of consilience with Boyd, Richerson and Henrich’s models of cultural evolution. I explain why cultural attraction theorists propose a different view on (...)
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  28.  24
    Rules as the Impetus of Cultural Evolution.Jaroslav Peregrin - 2014 - Topoi 33 (2):531-545.
    In this paper I put forward a thesis regarding the anatomy of “cultural evolution”, in particular the way the “cultural” transmission of behavioral patterns came to piggyback, through us humans, on the transmission effected by genetic evolution. I claim that what grounds and supports this new kind of transmission is a complex behavioral “meta-pattern” that makes it possible to grasp a pattern as something that “ought to be”, i.e. that transforms the pattern into what we can (...)
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  29. Why Culture is Common, but Cultural Evolution is Rare.Rob Boyd - manuscript
    If culture is defined as variation acquired and maintained by social learning, then culture is common in nature. However, cumulative cultural evolution resulting in behaviors that no individual could invent on their own is limited to humans, song birds, and perhaps chimpanzees. Circumstantial evidence suggests that cumulative cultural evolution requires the capacity for observational learning. Here, we analyze two models the evolution of psychological capacities that allow cumulative cultural evolution. Both models suggest that (...)
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  30. On The Genealogy Of Norms: A Case For The Role Of Emotion In Cultural Evolution.Shaun Nichols - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):234-255.
    One promising way to investigate the genealogy of norms is by considering not the origin of norms, but rather, what makes certain norms more likely to prevail. Emotional responses, I maintain, constitute one important set of mechanisms that affects the cultural viability of norms. To corroborate this, I exploit historical evidence indicating that 16th century etiquette norms prohibiting disgusting actions were much more likely to survive than other 16th century etiquette norms. This case suggests more broadly that work on (...)
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  31.  13
    Cumulative Cultural Evolution and the Origins of Language.Kim Sterelny - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (3):173-186.
    In this article, I present a substantive proposal about the timing and nature of the final stage of the evolution of full human language, the transition from so-called “protolanguage” to language, and on the origins of a simple protolanguage with structure and displaced reference; a proposal that depends on the idea that the initial expansion of communicative powers in our lineage involved a much expanded role for gesture and mime. But though it defends a substantive proposal, the article also (...)
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  32.  23
    On Modeling Cognition and Culture: Why Cultural Evolution Does Not Require Replication of Representations.Robert Boyd - 2002 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 2 (2):87-112.
    Formal models of cultural evolution analyze how cognitive processes combine with social interaction to generate the distributions and dynamics of ‘representations.’ Recently, cognitive anthropologists have criticized such models. They make three points: mental representations are non-discrete, cultural transmission is highly inaccurate, and mental representations are not replicated, but rather are ‘reconstructed’ through an inferential process that is strongly affected by cognitive ‘attractors.’ They argue that it follows from these three claims that: 1) models that assume replication or (...)
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  33.  11
    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 (...)
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  34.  40
    Tribal S Ocial Instin Cts a Nd the Cultural Evolution O F Institutions to Solv E Col Lecti Ve Action Problems.Peter Richerson - unknown
    Human social life is uniquely complex and diverse. Much of that complexity consists of culturally transmitted ideas and skills that underpin the operation of institutions that structure our social life. Considerable theoretical and empirical work has been devoted to the role of cultural evolutionary processes in the evolution of institutions. The most persistent controversy has been over the role of cultural group selection and gene-culture coevolution in early human populations the Pleistocene. We argue that cultural group (...)
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  35.  7
    Human Teaching and Cumulative Cultural Evolution.Christine A. Caldwell, Elizabeth Renner & Mark Atkinson - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (4):751-770.
    Although evidence of teaching behaviour has been identified in some nonhuman species, human teaching appears to be unique in terms of both the breadth of contexts within which it is observed, and in its responsiveness to needs of the learner. Similarly, cultural evolution is observable in other species, but human cultural evolution appears strikingly distinct. This has led to speculation that the evolutionary origins of these capacities may be causally linked. Here we provide an overview of (...)
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  36.  12
    Cultural Evolution and Social Epistemology: A Darwinian Alternative to Steve Fuller’s Theodicy of Science.William T. Lynch - 2017 - Social Epistemology 31 (2):224-234.
    Key to Steve Fuller’s recent defense of intelligent design is the claim that it alone can explain why science is even possible. By contrast, Fuller argues that Darwinian evolutionary theory posits a purposeless universe leaving humans with no motivation to study science and no basis for modifying an underlying reality. I argue that this view represents a retreat from insights about knowledge within Fuller’s own program of social epistemology. I argue for a Darwinian picture of science as a product of (...)
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  37.  36
    Cultural Evolution in Laboratory Microsocieties Including Traditions of Rule Giving and Rule Following.William M. Baum & Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    Experiments may contribute to understanding the basic processes of cultural evolution. We drew features from previous laboratory research with small groups in which traditions arose during several generations. Groups of four participants chose by consensus between solving anagrams printed on red cards and on blue cards. Payoffs for the choices differed. After 12 min, the participant who had been in the experiment the longest was removed and replaced with a naı¨ve person. These replacements, each of which marked the (...)
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  38. Using False Models to Elaborate Constraints on Processes: Blending Inheritance in Organic and Cultural Evolution.William C. Wimsatt - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (S3):S12-S24.
    Scientific models may be more useful for false assumptions they make than true ones when one is interested not in the fit of the model, but in the form of the residuals. Modeling Darwin’s “blending” theory of inheritance shows how it illuminates features of Mendelian theory. Insufficient understanding of it leads to incorrect moves in modeling population structure. But it may prove even more useful for organizing a theory of cultural evolution. Analysis of “blending” inheritance gives new tools (...)
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  39.  5
    Between Kin Selection and Cultural Relativism: Cultural Evolution and the Origin of Inequality.William T. Lynch - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (2):278-315.
    One way to interpret the significance of the "Kuhnian revolution" in the history and philosophy of science is as implying that successful scientific theories are complex cultural adaptations. Like the complex cultural practices studied by anthropologists in traditional societies, scientific paradigms are the result of cultural evolution and come as a package that functions well for guiding the practice of a scientific community, but that cannot be taken apart into discrete truth claims that are tested directly (...)
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  40.  27
    Articulating Babel: An Approach to Cultural Evolution.William C. Wimsatt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):563-571.
    After an initial discussion of the character of interdisciplinary linkages between complex disciplines, I consider an area with confluences of many diverse disciplines—the study of cultural evolution. This must embrace not only the traditional biological sciences, but also the multiple often warring disciplines of the human sciences. This interdisciplinary articulation is in its early stages compared, e.g., to that of evolutionary biology or evolutionary developmental biology, and I try to lay out major axes along which its articulation should (...)
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  41.  14
    Using False Models to Elaborate Constraints on Processes: Blending Inheritance in Organic and Cultural Evolution.William C. Wimsatt - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S12-S24.
    Scientific models may be more useful for false assumptions they make than true ones when one is interested not in the fit of the model, but in the form of the residuals. Modeling Darwin’s “blending” theory of inheritance shows how it illuminates features of Mendelian theory. Insufficient understanding of it leads to incorrect moves in modeling population structure. But it may prove even more useful for organizing a theory of cultural evolution. Analysis of “blending” inheritance gives new tools (...)
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  42. The History of Hayek's Theory of Cultural Evolution.E. Angner - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (4):695-718.
    This paper traces the historical origins of Friedrich A. Hayek's theory of cultural evolution, and argues that Hayek's evolutionary thought was significantly inspired by Alexander M. Carr-Saunders and Oxford zoology. While traditional Hayek scholarship emphasizes the influence of Carl Menger and the British eighteenth-century moral philosophers, I claim that these sources underdetermine what was most characteristic of Hayek's theory, viz. the idea that cultural evolution is a matter of group selection, and the idea that natural selection (...)
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  43.  35
    Cultural Evolution, Reductionism in the Social Sciences, and Explanatory Pluralism.Jean Lachapelle - 2000 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (3):331-361.
    This article argues that it is possible to bring the social sciences into evolutionary focus without being committed to a thesis the author calls ontological reductionism, which is a widespread predilection for lower-level explanations. After showing why we should reject ontological reductionism, the author argues that there is a way to construe cultural evolution that does justice to the autonomy of social science explanations. This paves the way for a liberal approach to explanation the author calls explanatory pluralism, (...)
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  44.  38
    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.
    In order to explain why cultural traits remain stable despite the error-proneness of social learning, Dan Sperber has proposed that human psychology and ecology lead to cultural traits being transformed in the direction of attractors. This means that simple-minded Darwinian models of cultural evolution are not appropriate. Some scientists and philosophers have been concerned that Sperber’s notion of attractors might show more than this, that attractors destroy subtle cultural variation and prevent adaptive cultural evolutionary (...)
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  45.  17
    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 (...)
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  46.  51
    Evo-Devo, Modularity, and Evolvability: Insights for Cultural Evolution.Simon M. Reader - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):361-362.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (“evo-devo”) may provide insights and new methods for studies of cognition and cultural evolution. For example, I propose using cultural selection and individual learning to examine constraints on cultural evolution. Modularity, the idea that traits vary independently, can facilitate evolution (increase “evolvability”), because evolution can act on one trait without disrupting another. I explore links between cognitive modularity, evolutionary modularity, and cultural evolvability. (Published Online November 9 2006).
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  47.  26
    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 (...)
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  48.  67
    Why Culture is Common, but Cultural Evolution is Rare.Peter Richerson - manuscript
    If culture is defined as variation acquired and maintained by social learning, then culture is common in nature. However, cumulative cultural evolution resulting in behaviors that no individual could invent on their own is limited to humans, song birds, and perhaps chimpanzees. Circumstantial evidence suggests that cumulative cultural evolution requires the capacity for observational learning. Here, we analyze two models the evolution of psychological capacities that allow cumulative cultural evolution. Both models suggest that (...)
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  49.  7
    What’s in a Meme? The Role of Replication in Cultural Evolution.Maarten Boudry - unknown
    Is replication in the cultural domain ubiquitous, rare, or non-existent? And how does this relate to 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 ‘replication’ can be seen as a rare limiting case at most. Though (...)
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  50.  29
    Hayek's Theory of Cultural Evolution: An Evaluation in the Light of Vanberg's Critique.Geoffrey M. Hodgson - 1991 - Economics and Philosophy 7 (1):67-82.
    The application of evolutionary ideas to socioeconomic systems has been an increasingly prominent theme in the work of Friedrich Hayek, and the motif has become dominant in his recent book. In an earlier issue of this journal, Viktor Vanberg raises two substantive criticisms of Friedrich Hayek' theory of cultural evolution that invoke some important questions concerning use of the evolutionary analogy in social science.
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