Chapter published in:Controversies and Interdisciplinarity: Beyond disciplinary fragmentation for a new knowledge model
Edited by Jens Allwood, Olga Pombo, Clara Renna and Giovanni Scarafile
[Controversies 16] 2020
► pp. 133–154
Chapter 7Human evolution
A role for culture?
This paper presents a range of approaches going from the complete rejection of any role culture could have played in human evolution, to the other extreme in the range in which the very dichotomy between nature and culture is rejected. We will also go through middle-range standpoints, such as that of gene-culture coevolution theorists, that attach to culture a central role in human evolution. The clash between these approaches is still going on in the contemporary scene, with implications for the way boundaries are set inside disciplines such as Anthropology, as well as for conceiving how it is related to Psychology and Biology, among other disciplines. We will show that some debates in the Philosophy of Biology, concerning an extension of the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, have contributed to clarify the issues, and have been followed by some anthropologists who are also concerned by the way human development and evolution are separately addressed in orthodox approaches.
Keywords: nature/nurture dichotomy, polemical exchanges, interdisciplinarity, human evolution, critical point theory, gene-culture coevolution, dual inheritance theory, biosocial evolution, developmental systems theory
- 1.Culture as superorganic
- Concepts of culture
- 1.Culture as superorganic
- 2.Gene-culture coevolution
- 3.Biosocial evolution
- Philosophers of Biology are implicated in the debate
- Final remarks
Published online: 15 October 2020
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