The Origin and Evolution of Cultures
Oxford presents, in one convenient and coherently organized volume, 20 influential but until now relatively inaccessible articles that form the backbone of Boyd and Richerson's path-breaking work on evolution and culture. Their interdisciplinary research is based on two notions. First, that culture is crucial for understanding human behavior; unlike other organisms, socially transmitted beliefs, attitudes, and values heavily influence our behavior. Secondly, culture is part of biology: the capacity to acquire and transmit culture is a derived component of human psychology, and the contents of culture are deeply intertwined with our biology. Culture then is a pool of information, stored in the brains of the population that gets transmitted from one brain to another by social learning processes. Therefore, culture can account for both our outstanding ecological success as well as the maladaptations that characterize much of human behavior. The interest in this collection will span anthropology, psychology, economics, philosophy, and political science.
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acquire adaptive agriculture animals argue assume average fitness average payoff beliefs benefits biology Boyd and Richerson brain Cambridge Cavalli-Sforza climate cognitive common complex conformist transmission contingent cooperation cost costly cultural change cultural evolution cultural group selection cultural transmission cultural variation Darwinian defection defectors depends diffusion dividuals effect environment environmental equilibrium ethnic evolution of cooperation evolutionary biology evolutionary process evolve example expected fitness explain extinction favored Feldman frequency function Galef genes genetic group-beneficial habitat Henrich Holocene human behavior hunter-gatherers imitation important individual learning individual’s initial innovations institutions kin selection lead learners marker traits migration natural selection norms observational learning organization P. J. Richerson parameter phylogenies plausible Pleistocene prisoner’s dilemma probability problem punishment random reciprocating strategies relatively result Science similar simple models social interaction social learning societies species spread subsistence suggest theory transmitted University Press Upper Paleolithic variable W. D. Hamilton Younger Dryas
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