Culture and Evolutionary Change

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Location: 220 Malloy Hall

Peter Godfrey-Smith Department of Philosophy, Harvard University

I look at how 'Darwinian' ideas might be applied to cultural change at several different scales. These scales are related to the distinction between 'micro' and 'macro' evolution in biology. Three case studies are described: models of the evolution of cooperation through imitation, work on the accumulation of knowledge and skills through social learning, and investigation of tree-structures present in the evolution of certain languages. The talk is non-technical.