The cultural evolution of socially situated cognition

Gabora, Dr. Liane M. (2008) The cultural evolution of socially situated cognition. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:

[img] HTML


Because human cognition is creative and socially situated, knowledge accumulates, diffuses, and gets applied in new contexts, generating cultural analogs of phenomena observed in population genetics such as adaptation and drift. It is therefore commonly thought that elements of culture evolve through natural selection. However, natural selection was proposed to explain how change accumulates despite lack of inheritance of acquired traits, as occurs with template-mediated replication. It cannot accommodate a process with significant retention of acquired or horizontally (e.g. socially) transmitted traits. Moreover, elements of culture cannot be treated as discrete lineages because they constantly interact and influence one another. It is proposed that what evolves through culture is the mind; ideas and artifacts are merely reflections of its current evolved state. Interacting minds transform (in part) through through a non-Darwinian autopoietic process similar to that by which early life evolved, involving not survival of the fittest but actualization of their potential.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:acquired traits, autopoiesis, cultural evolution, cultural transmission, Darwinian model, inheritance, natural selection, self-replication, social learning
Subjects:Psychology > Social Psychology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Biology > Evolution
ID Code:5959
Deposited By: Gabora, Dr. Liane
Deposited On:10 Mar 2008 14:53
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Arbib,  M. A. (2002). The mirror system: Imitation and the evolution of language. In C. Nehaniv and K. Dautenhahn (eds.) Imitation in animals and artifacts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Aunger, R. (2000). Darwinizing culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bamforth, D. B. (2002). Evolution and metaphor in evolutionary archaeology. American Antiquity, 67, 435−52.

Barkow, J., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1992). The adapted mind. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bentley, R. A., Hahn, M. W., & Shennan, S. J. (2004). Random drift and culture change. Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biology, 271, 1443−1450.

Bickhard, M. H. (2000). Information and representation in autonomous agents. Cognitive Systems Research, 1, 65-75.

Bickhard, M. H. (2004). The social ontology of persons. In J. Carpendale & U. Mueller (Eds.) Social interaction and the development of knowledge. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Buller, D. J. (2005). Adapting minds. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Buss, D. M. (1999/2004). Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind. Boston: Pearson.

Bollobas, B. (2001). Random graphs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bollobas, B., & Rasmussen, S. (1989). First cycles in random directed graph processes. Discrete Mathematics, 75(1-3), 55−68.

Boone, J. L., & Smith, E. A. (1998). Is it evolution yet? A critique of evolutionary archaeology, Current Anthropology, 39, S141−73.

Campbell, D. T. (1960). Blind variation and selective retention in creative thought as in other knowledge processes. Psychogical Review, 67, 380−400.

Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., & Feldman, M. W. (1981). Cultural transmission and evolution: A quantitative approach. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Cloak, F. T. Jr. (1975). Is a cultural ethology possible? Human Ecology, 3, 161-182.

Cohen, J. E. (1988). Threshold phenomena in random structures. Discrete Applied Mathematics, 75, 55−68.

Crutchfield, R. S. (1962). Conformity and creative thinking. In H. G. Gruber, G. Terell, & M. Wertheimer (Eds.) Contemporary Approaches to Creative Thinking. New York: Atherton.

Csanyi, V. (1989). Evolutionary systems and society: A general theory of life, mind and culture. Durham: Duke University Press.

Cziko, G. (1997). Without miracles: Universal selection theory and the second Darwinian revolution. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Cziko, G. (1998). From blind to creative: In defense of Donald Campbell’s selectionist theory of human creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior, 32(3), 192−212.

Dawkins, R. (1975). The selfish gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dasgupta, S. (2004). Is creativity a Darwinian process? Creativity Research Journal, 16(4), 403−413.

Durham, W. (1991). Coevolution: Genes, culture, and human diversity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Dyson, F. (1982). A model for the origin of life. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 18, 344−350.

Dyson, F. (1985/1999). Origins of Life. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Eerkens, J. & Lipo, C. P. (2005). Cultural transmission, copying errors, and the generation of variation in material culture and the archaeological record. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 24, 316−334.

Erdös, P., Rényi, A. (1960). On the evolution of random graphs. Publication of the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 5, 17−61.

Fleissner, P., & Hofkirchner, W. (1996). Emergent information. Biosystems, 2-3(38), 243−248.

Fracchia, J., & Lewontin, R. C. (1999). Does culture evolve? History and Theory, 38, 52−78.

Foulis, D., & Randall, C. (1981). What are quantum logics and what ought they to be? In: Beltrametti, E., & van Fraassen, B. (Eds.) Current Issues in Quantum Logic 35. New York: Plenum.

Gabora, L. (1995). Meme and variations: A computer model of cultural evolution. In Nadel, L., & Stein, D. (Eds.), Lectures in complex systems (pp. 471−486). Reading MA: Addison-Wesley.

Gabora, L. (1998). A tentative scenario for the origin of culture. Psycoloquy, 9(67).

Gabora, L. (1999). Weaving, bending, patching, mending the fabric of reality: A cognitive science perspective on worldview inconsistency. Foundations of Science, 3(2), 395−428.

Gabora, L. (2000). Conceptual closure: Weaving memories into an interconnected worldview. In J. L. R. Chandler, & G. Van de Vijver (Eds.) Closure: Emergent organizations and their dynamics (pp. 42−53). New York: Annals of the New York Academy of Science.

Gabora, L. (2002). Cognitive mechanisms underlying the creative process. In T. Hewett & T.  Kavanagh (Eds.) Proceedings of the fourth international conference on creativity and cognition. October 13−16, Loughborough University, UK, pp. 126−133.

Gabora, L. (2004). Ideas are not replicators but minds are. Biology & Philosophy, 19(1), 127−143.

Gabora, L. (2005). Creative thought as a non-Darwinian evolutionary process. Journal of Creative Behavior, 39(4), 65−87.

Gabora, L. (2006a). Self-other organization: Why early life did not evolve through natural selection. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 241(3), 443-450.

Gabora, L. (2006b). The fate of evolutionary archaeology: Survival or extinction? World Archaeology, 38(4), 690-696.

Gabora, L. (2007a). Why the creative process is not Darwinian. Commentary on 'The creative process in Picasso's Guernica sketches: Monotonic improvements versus nonmonotonic variants' by D. K. Simonton. Creativity Research Journal.

Gabora, L. (2007b). Mind: What archaeology can tell us about the origins of human cognition. In A. Bentley & H. Maschner (Eds.). Handbook of theories and methods in archaeology. Walnut Creek CA: Altamira Press.

Gabora, L. (2007c). Revenge of the ‘neurds’: Characterizing creative thought in terms of the structure and dynamics of memory. Creativity Research Journal.

Gabora, L., & Aerts, D. (2005a). Distilling the essence of an evolutionary process, and implications for a formal description of culture. In: Kistler, W. (Ed.) Proceedings of center for human evolution workshop #5: Cultural evolution, May, 2000. Seattle: Foundation for the Future.

Gabora, L., & Aerts, D. (2005b). Evolution as context-driven actualization of potential: Toward an interdisciplinary theory of change of state. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 30(1), 69−88.

Gabora, L., Rosch, E. & Aerts, D. (2007). Toward an ecological theory of concepts. Ecological Psychology.

Geiger, G. (1985). Autocatalysis in cultural ecology: model ecosystems and the dynamics of biocultural evolution. Biosystems, 17(3), 259−272.

Griffin, M. & McDermott, M. R. (1998). Exploring a tripartite relationship between rebelliousness, openness to experience, and creativity. Social Behavior and Personality, 26, 347-356.

Henrich, J., & Boyd, R. (2001). Why people punish defectors: Weak conformist transmission can stabilize costly enforcement of norms in cooperative dilemmas. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 208, 78−89.

Henrich, J., & Boyd, R. (2002). On modeling cognition and culture: Why replicators are not necessary for cultural evolution. Culture and Cognition, 2(2), 67−112.

Holliday, R. (1990). DNA methylation and epigenetic inheritance. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Science, 326(1235), 329−338.

Hoyle, F. (1981). Hoyle on evolution. Nature, 294, 105.

Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1992). Beyond modularity: A developmental perspective on cognitive science, MIT Press.

Kauffman, S. (1993). Origins of order. Oxford University Press, New York.

Kauffman, S. (1986). Autocatalytic sets of proteins. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 119, 1−24.

Kauffman, S. (1999). Darwinism, neoDarwinism, and the autocatalytic model of culture: Commentary on Origin of Culture, Psycoloquy, 10(22), 1−4.

Kolmogorov, A.N. (1933). Grundbegriffe der wahrscheinlichkeitrechnung. Berlin: Ergebnisse der Mathematik.

Lake, M. (1998). Digging for memes: The role of material objects in cultural evolution. InRenfrew, C., Scarre, C. (Eds.), Cognition and material culture: The archeology of symbolic storage (pp. 77−88). London: McDonald Institute Monographs.

Maschner, H. D. G., Ed. (1996). Darwinian archaeologies. New York: Plenum Press.

Mayr, E. (1996). What Is a Species, and What Is Not? Philosophy of Science, 63(2), 262-277.

Mesoudi, A., Whiten, A., & Laland, K. (2004). Toward a unified science of cultural evolution. Evolution 58(1), 1−11.

Mesoudi, A., Whiten, A., & Laland, K. (2006). Toward a unified science of cultural evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29, 329−383.

Maturana, H. R., & Varela, F. J. (1980). Autopoiesis and cognition: The realization of the living. Boston: Reidel.

Morowitz, H. J. (2002). The emergence of everything: How the world became complex. New York: Oxford University Press.

Newman S. A., & Müller, G. B. (1999). Morphological evolution: Epigenetic mechanisms. In: Embryonic encyclopedia of life sciences. London: Nature Publishing Group.

Orsucci, F. (2002). Changing mind: Transitions in natural and artificial environments. London: World Scientific.

Orsucci, F. (in press). The complex coevolution of information technology ecosystems. Hershey, NY: Idea Books.

Pinker, S. (1995). The language instinct. HarperPerrenial.

Pitowsky I. (1989). Quantum Probability, Quantum Logic, Lecture Notes in Physics 321, Springer, Berlin.

Plotkin, H. (1994). Darwin machines and the nature of knowledge. Boston: Harvard University Press.

Pocklington, R., & Best, M. L. (1997). Cultural evolution and units of selection in replicating text. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 188, 79−87.

Randall, C., & Foulis, D. (1976). A mathematical setting for inductive reasoning. In C. Hooker (Ed.) Foundations of probability theory, statistical inference, and statistical theories of science III. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Reidel.

Rummelhart, D. E. & McClelland, J. L. (1985). Parallel distributed processing: Explorations in the microstructure of cognition. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Schilling, M. (2005). A “small-world” network model of cognitive insight. Creativity Research Journal, 17, 131-154.

Schwartz, J. H. (1999). Sudden origins. New York: Wiley.

Sereno, M. (1991). Four analogies between biological and cultural/linguistic evolution. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 151, 567−507.

Simonton, D. K. (1998). Donald Campbell’s model of the creative process: Creativity as blind variation and selective retention. Journal of Creative Behavior, 32(3), 153−158.

Simonton, D. K. (1999a). Origins of genius: Darwinian perspectives on creativity. New York: Oxford.

Simonton, D. K. (1999b). Creativity as blind variation and selective retention: Is the creative process Darwinian? Psychological Inquiry, 10, 309−328.

Spencer, C. S. (1997). Evolutionary approaches in archaeology. Journal of Archaeolical Research, 5, 209−264.

Sulloway, F. (1996). Born to Rebel. New York: Pantheon.

Vetsigian, K., Woese, C., Goldenfeld, N. (2006). Collective evolution and the genetic code. Proceedings of the New York Academy of Science USA, 103, 10696−10701.

Von Neumann, J. (1966). The theory of self-reproducing automata. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Wächtershäuser, G. (1992). Groundwork for an evolutionary biochemistry: the iron-sulfur world. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 58, 85−201.

Weber, B. H. (1998). Emergence of life and biological selection from the perspective of complex systems dynamics. In G. van de Vijver, S. N. Salthe, & M. Delpos (Eds). Evolutionary Systems: Biological and epistemological perspectives on selection and self-organization. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Weber, B. H. (2000). Closure in the emergence and evolution of life: Multiple discourses or one? In J. L. R. Chandler, & G. Van de Vijver (Eds.), Closure: Emergent organizations and their dynamics, (pp. 132−138). New York: Annals of the New York Academy of Science.

Williams, R. J. P., & Frausto da Silva, J. J. R. (1999). Bringing chemistry to life: From matter to man. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Williams, R. J. P., & Frausto da Silva, J. J. R. (2002). The systems approach to evolution. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 297, 689−699.


Repository Staff Only: item control page