Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges by Tim LewensCultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges by Tim Lewens

Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges

byTim Lewens

Paperback | September 19, 2017

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Tim Lewens aims to understand what it means to take an evolutionary approach to cultural change, and why it is that this approach is often treated with suspicion. Convinced of the exceptional power of natural selection, many thinkers - typically working in biological anthropology, cognitivepsychology, and evolutionary biology - have suggested it should be freed from the confines of biology, and applied to cultural change in humans and other animals. At the same time, others - typically with backgrounds in disciplines like social anthropology and history - have been just as vocal indismissing the evolutionary approach to culture. What drives these disputes over Darwinism in the social sciences? While making a case for the value of evolutionary thinking for students of culture, Lewens shows why the concerns of sceptics should not be dismissed as mere prejudice, confusion, or ignorance. Indeed, confusions about what evolutionary approaches entail are propagated by their proponents, as wellas by their detractors. By taking seriously the problems faced by these approaches to culture, Lewens shows how such approaches can be better formulated, where their most significant limitations lie, and how the tools of cultural evolutionary thinking might become more widely accepted.
Tim Lewens is Professor of Philosophy of Science in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is also a fellow of Clare College and Deputy Director of Cambridge's Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). His research interests include the philosophy of biology, b...
Title:Cultural Evolution: Conceptual ChallengesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0 inPublished:September 19, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019880119X

ISBN - 13:9780198801191

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Darwinism in Dispute1. What is Cultural Evolutionary Theory?2. The Kinetic Theory of Culture3. 'Culture is Information'4. Human Nature in Theory5. Human Nature in Practice6. The Perils of Cultural Models7. Populations, People, and Power8. Cultural Adaptationism9. Eclectic Evolution: The Case of the EmotionsReferencesIndex