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Why Culture Matters Most$
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David C. Rose

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199330720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199330720.001.0001

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Culture as Instrument

Culture as Instrument

(p.59) 4 Culture as Instrument
Why Culture Matters Most

David C. Rose

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains why an adequate understanding of culture requires that we consider how culture works in like fashion across all societies. There is more to culture than the peculiarities of the societies we live in, and it is by understanding what gives culture its power that we can better understand how to ensure that the kind of culture that can support mass flourishing can be sustained. A hallmark of most cultures is childhood instruction. This is crucial for encoding morally desirable behavior through tastes, but this mechanism can also produce the cultural lock-in of beliefs and practices that are inimical to the emergence of a free market democracy and mass flourishing.

Keywords:   moral tastes, rationality, trustworthiness, childhood instruction, time consistency, universality, cultural lock-in, tipping point

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