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Culture and Transitions in Individuality

Abrantes, Paulo (2011) Culture and Transitions in Individuality. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Some "major" evolutionary transitions have been described as transitions in individuality. In this depiction, natural selection might bring about new kinds of individuals, whose evolutionary dynamics takes place in a novel way. Using a categorization proposed by Godfrey-Smith (2009), this transition is fully accomplished when a new "paradigmatic" Darwinian population emerges. In this paper I investigate whether at some point in the evolution in the hominin lineage a transition of this kind might have happened, by assuming some of the theses of dual inheritance theory, especially about the role played by a conformist bias. I argue that Godfrey-Smith misses in his book a scenario in which conformism is one of the preconditions for a transition towards a Darwinian population of cultural groups.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information: Published in: Dutra, L. H.; Meyer Luz, A. (orgs.), Temas de Filosofia do Conhecimento. Coleção Rumos da Epistemologia, v. 11. Florianópolis: NEL/UFSC, 2011, p. 395- 408.
Keywords: transitions in individuality, cultural evolution, cultural groups, darwinian populations, dual inheritance theory
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology and Archaeology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Psychology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Depositing User: Dr. Paulo Abrantes
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2012 12:47
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2012 12:47
Item ID: 9136
Official URL:

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