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Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition$
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Linnda R. Caporael, James R. Griesemer, and William C. Wimsatt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019552

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019552.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Scaffolding on Core Cognition

Scaffolding on Core Cognition

(p.209) 9 Scaffolding on Core Cognition
Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition

Christophe Heintz

The MIT Press

Culture is scaffolded not only by external artifacts and social institutions but also by innate mental skills and abilities that constitute core cognition Most theories of cultural change have paid insufficient attention to their role. Accounts of psychological innateness have emphasized things that are universal across cultures, but scaffolding by multiple processes operating simultaneously is necessary for and can explain the cumulative character of culture and, also, its divergence in different cultures. Literature in the tradition of cultural epidemiology elaborated by Sperber favors a bias toward psychologically molded cultural attractors as explaining cultural stability. This and the work on conceptual change in ontogeny studied by Carey can generate trans-generational invariance through generative entrenchment, and cumulative developmental change without as strong a need for high fidelity in transmission as seems required for other theories of cultural transmission. This account draws links crossing traditional boundaries between individual psychology and culture.

Keywords:   generative entrenchment, cultural attractor, Innate mental capacities, Cultural evolution, Cumulative culture, Evolutionary psychology, Evoked/transmitted culture, Cultural cognitive causal chains (CCCC), Quinian bootstrapping

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