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The Evolution of Cultural Entities$
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Michael Wheeler, John Ziman, and Margaret A. Boden

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262627

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262627.001.0001

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Between Evolution and History: Biology, Culture, and the Myth of Human Origins

Between Evolution and History: Biology, Culture, and the Myth of Human Origins

Chapter:
(p.43) Between Evolution and History: Biology, Culture, and the Myth of Human Origins
Source:
The Evolution of Cultural Entities
Author(s):

Tim Ingold

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197262627.003.0004

This chapter explains how the phenomena of both organic evolution and cultural change can be accommodated within a single explanatory paradigm. It first argues that a model of variation under selection cannot fully grasp the generative dynamics of cultural change, and instead calls for an emphasis on the activities that give rise to artefacts, rather than on the final forms of such artefacts. It then discusses history as but one aspect of a total process of evolution that embraces the entire organic world; how biological organisms and cultural artefacts condition the development of other entities or beings to which they relate; and genotypes and phenotypes in relation to natural selection. It also describes the genealogical model in comparison with the relational model, with particular reference to their application to understanding the kinship of both human and nonhuman beings, and how the relational model can be applied not only to persons but also to the development and evolution of organisms. The chapter concludes by discussing the life-histories of artefacts in terms of replication and reproduction.

Keywords:   evolution, cultural change, artefacts, genotypes, phenotypes, natural selection, genealogical model, relational model, replication, reproduction

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