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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, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 06 April 2020

Some Problems of Analyzing Cultural Evolution

Some Problems of Analyzing Cultural Evolution

Chapter:
(p.265) 12 Some Problems of Analyzing Cultural Evolution
Source:
Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition
Author(s):

Elihu M. Gerson

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262019552.003.0013

Culture is a system of institutions, each of which is made up of conventions: collective capacities to perform some activity reliably. Institutions are embodied in concrete organizations, and are articulated through common knowledge, i.e., things that all participants know are known by all participants. The collective nature of institutions makes biological evolution, development, and ecological community inappropriate as metaphors for describing culture change. Culture change involves local change in conventions, abstraction and analogy, and recreation of the change in other contexts. These changes require reflexivity at the individual level.

Keywords:   Culture, Institution, common knowledge, culture change, convention, repertoire

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