Evolution and Culture: A Fyssen Foundation Symposium

Evolution and Culture: A Fyssen Foundation Symposium

by Stephen C. Levinson
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0262621975

ISBN-13: 9780262621977

Pub. Date: 11/01/2005

Publisher: MIT Press

Biological and cultural processes have evolved together, in a symbiotic spiral; they are now indissolubly linked, with human survival unlikely without such culturally produced aids as clothing, cooked food, and tools. The twelve original essays collected in this volume take an evolutionary perspective on human culture,
examining the emergence of culture in

Overview

Biological and cultural processes have evolved together, in a symbiotic spiral; they are now indissolubly linked, with human survival unlikely without such culturally produced aids as clothing, cooked food, and tools. The twelve original essays collected in this volume take an evolutionary perspective on human culture,
examining the emergence of culture in evolution and the underlying role of brain and cognition. The essay authors, all internationally prominent researchers in their fields, draw on the cognitive sciences -- including linguistics, developmental psychology, and cognition -- to develop conceptual and methodological tools for understanding the interaction of culture and genome. They go beyond the "how" -- the questions of behavioral mechanisms -- to address the "why" -- the evolutionary origin of our psychological functioning. What was the "X-factor," the magic ingredient of culture -- the element that took humans out of the general run of mammals and other highly social organisms?

Several essays identify specific behavioral and functional factors that could account for human culture,
including the capacity for "mind reading" that underlies social and cultural learning and the nature of morality and inhibitions, while others emphasize multiple partially independent factors -- planning, technology, learning, and language. The
X-factor, these essays suggest, is a set of cognitive adaptations for culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262621977
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Series:
Bradford Books Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Series Forewordvii
Acknowledgmentsix
Preface: It was not there in the Big Bang, but...xi
1Introduction: The Evolution of Culture in a Microcosm1
IEmergence of Culture in Evolution43
2Quantum Leaps in Evolution45
3The Emergence of Culture in the Context of Hominin Evolutionary Patterns53
4Interactions of Culture and Natural Selection among Pleistocene Hunters79
5Solving the Puzzle of Human Cooperation105
6From Typo to Thinko: When Evolution Graduated to Semantic Norms133
7Conceptual Tools for a Naturalistic Approach to Cultural Evolution147
IIBrain, Cognition, and Evolution167
8Brains, Cognition, and the Evolution of Culture169
9The Evolution of Culture from a Neurobiological Perspective181
10Uniquely Human Cognition Is a Product of Human Culture203
11Moral Ingredients: How We Evolved the Capacity to Do the Right Thing219
12The Cultural and Evolutionary History of the Real Numbers247
13Why Animals Do Not Have Culture275
Contributors279
Index281

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >