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Cultural Evolution – Conceptual Challenges - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges

Tim Lewens


This book exposes and evaluates a set of conceptual disputes concerning what we might mean by culture, and how we should go about accounting for it. Its particular focus is a set of evolutionary approaches to the genesis of the human capacity for culture, to subsequent cultural change, and to the ways in which genetic and cultural change interact, or ‘co-evolve’. Debates over the propriety of cultural evolutionary theory have divided biological and social anthropologists. Some of the key conceptual issues raised in this book include the question of whether culture can be defined as ‘informatio ... More

Keywords: cultural evolutionary theory, adaptationism, biological anthropology, social anthropology, co-evolution, methodological individualism, emotion, model, human nature

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780199674183
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674183.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Tim Lewens, author
Clare College, Cambridge