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Article
Comment on 'An Evolutionary Framework for Cultural Change: Selectionism versus Communal Exchange'
Physics of Life Reviews (2013)
  • Cameron M. Smith, Portland State University
Abstract
Commentary on Liane Gabora, An evolutionary framework for cultural change: Selectionism versus communal exchange, Physics of Life ReviewsVolume 10, Issue 2June 2013Pages 117-145.

It has long been recognized that the appearance of complex culture is an evolutionary transition on par with such developments as molecular coding, the cell wall, multicellularity and sexual reproduction, resulting in “qualitatively new system properties”, and that cultural origins and change must be understood in evolutionary terms. Gaboraʼs paper convincingly argues, however, that a selectionist paradigm modeling such cultural evolution (even in post-Social Darwinism models) has been overly-reductionist and linear, resulting in philosophical rejection by those concerned with human agency and creativity, and empirical confusion among practitioners of this approach.
Disciplines
Publication Date
June, 2013
DOI
10.1016/j.plrev.2013.03.011
Publisher Statement
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Citation Information
Smith, C. (2013). Comment on 'An Evolutionary Framework for Cultural Change: Selectionism versus Communal Exchange'. Physics of Life Reviews Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 156–157.