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A Science of Human Nature?

Philosophical Disputes at the Interface of Natural and Social Science

Studying at Cambridge

David Henderson reviews 'Cultural Evolution'

last modified Sep 24, 2016 07:08 PM

David Henderson
 has reviewed 'Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges' by Tim Lewens in Metascience.

"Overall, the book is impressive. It brings together reasonable and weighty considerations from a variety of disciplines, anthropology, psychology, biology, and the philosophy pertaining to the relevant disciplines and defends the kinetic approach to cultural evolution. It makes clear what commitments are necessary for which approaches and gives a reasonable appraisal of the standing state of empirical play regarding such commitments. The selectionist approach is not eliminated, although some variants on it, such as those committed to memes, are warned against. Others remain open, although they are said to face more uncertainty than some of the kinetic approaches. In this way, one gets a pretty good account of the present state of play, the open concerns, how they can be managed, and what avenues are then reasonable to pursue. Even if one does not agree in all respects, one will have benefited from reading this work."

See here for further details.