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Mental Evolution: A Review of Daniel Dennett's From Bacteria To Bach and Back

Rathkopf, Charles (2017) Mental Evolution: A Review of Daniel Dennett's From Bacteria To Bach and Back. [Preprint]

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Abstract

From Bacteria To Bach and Back is an ambitious book that attempts to integrate a theory about the evolution of the human mind with another theory about the evolution of human culture. It is advertised as a defense of memes, but conceptualizes memes more liberally than has been done before. It is also advertised as a defense of the proposal that natural selection operates on culture, but conceptualizes natural selection as a process in which nearly all interesting parameters are free to vary. This liberal conception of key concepts creates space for philosophical innovation, but occasionally makes the empirical content of the theory difficult to pin down. Nevertheless, the book is full of scientific insight, wit, and humor. It will undoubtedly become a cause of both controversy and inspiration for those interested in naturalistic theories of human culture.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Rathkopf, Charlescharles.rathkopf@gmail.com0000-0001-8998-2220
Keywords: cultural evolution, language evolution, memes, natural selection, information
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology and Archaeology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Psychology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Depositing User: Dr. Charles Rathkopf
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2017 16:12
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2017 16:12
Item ID: 13293
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology and Archaeology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Psychology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Date: 30 July 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13293

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