Evolution and Culture
A Fyssen Foundation Symposium
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Evolution and Culture by Stephen C. Levinson
Book DescriptionBiological and cultural processes have evolved together, in a symbiotic spiral; they are now indissolubly linked, with human survival unlikely without such culturally produced aids as clothing, cooked food, and tools. The twelve original essays collected in this volume take an evolutionary perspective on human culture, examining the emergence of culture in evolution and the underlying role of brain and cognition. The essay authors, all internationally prominent researchers in their fields, draw on the cognitive sciences -- including linguistics, developmental psychology, and cognition -- to develop conceptual and methodological tools for understanding the interaction of culture and genome. They go beyond the "how" -- the questions of behavioral mechanisms -- to address the "why" -- the evolutionary origin of our psychological functioning. What was the "X-factor," the magic ingredient of culture -- the element that took humans out of the general run of mammals and other highly social organisms? Several essays identify specific behavioral and functional factors that could account for human culture, including the capacity for "mind reading" that underlies social and cultural learning and the nature of morality and inhibitions, while others emphasize multiple partially independent factors -- planning, technology, learning, and language. The X-factor, these essays suggest, is a set of cognitive adaptations for culture.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780262621977
(229mm x 178mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Bradford Books
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 11-Nov-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Stephen C. Levinson
Grammars of Space, Paperback (September 2006)
A cross-linguistic study of spatial language, the way in which languages structure the spatial domain.
Roots of Human Sociality, Paperback (September 2006)
Marks a convergence towards the idea that human culture and cognition are rooted in the character of human social interaction, which is unique in the animal kingdom. This work attempts to explore the underlying properties of social interaction viewed across many disciplines, and examines their origins in infant development and in human evolution.
Space in Language and Cognition, Paperback (March 2003)» View all books by Stephen C. Levinson
In this 2003 book, Stephen C. Levinson uses differences between languages to explore the relation between language and thought.
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Author Biography - Stephen C. Levinson
Pierre Jaisson is Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Experimental and Comparative Ethology at the University of Paris-North in France.
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