Darwinian Archaeologies

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Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 31, 1996 - History - 261 pages
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Just over 20 years ago the publication of two books indicated the reemergence of Darwinian ideas on the public stage. E. O. Wilson's Sociobiology: The New Synthesis and Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, spelt out and developed the implications of ideas that had been quietly revolutionizing biology for some time. Most controversial of all, needless to say, was the suggestion that such ideas had implications for human behavior in general and social behavior in particular. Nowhere was the outcry greater than in the field of anthropology, for anthropologists saw themselves as the witnesses and defenders of human di versity and plasticity in the face of what they regarded as a biological determin ism supporting a right-wing racist and sexist political agenda. Indeed, how could a discipline inheriting the social and cultural determinisms of Boas, Whorf, and Durkheim do anything else? Life for those who ventured to chal lenge this orthodoxy was not always easy. In the mid-l990s such views are still widely held and these two strands of anthropology have tended to go their own way, happily not talking to one another. Nevertheless, in the intervening years Darwinian ideas have gradually begun to encroach on the cultural landscape in variety of ways, and topics that had not been linked together since the mid-19th century have once again come to be seen as connected. Modern genetics turns out to be of great sig nificance in understanding the history of humanity.
  

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Contents

An Introductory Essay
3
q CULTURAL AND BEHAVIORAL SELECTION
15
Evolutionary Theory
23
Explaining the Change from Biface to Flake
33
Conclusions
39
Science Religion and Cultural Virus Theory
45
The Eusocial Pottery Assemblage
51
References
57
Northwest Coast Art
121
Summary and Conclusions
127
qStyle Function and Cultural Evolutionary Processes
133
A Critique of the Selectionist Program in Modern Archaeology
140
Conclusion
158
Attribution of Agency
165
Natural Selection for Choice
171
A Short History of Time
175

Cultural Messages
64
The Elementary Structure and Operation of Cultural Replication
71
The Locus of the Elementary Code Recipe
78
References
84
Culture as a Unit of Analysis
90
A Northwest Coast Example
96
References
102
qArchaeology Style and the Theory of Coevolution
109
Cultural Selection Choice and Imposition
115
qCOGNITION AND THE EVOLUTION OF MENTAL
183
Human Cognitive Evolution and the Normal Social Environment
189
Natural Signs Mental Modularity
197
The Attribution of Meaning
203
Accessibility and the MiddleUpper Paleolithic Transition
212
Evolutionary
221
Evolutionary Ecology Is Evolutionary Research
223
Analogues between Evolutionary Process in Natural and Cultural
229
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Maschner is with the Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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