Self-domestication and the cultural evolution of language

Limor Raviv, Simon Kirby

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Philosophers of science have succeeded in shedding light on basic questions of interest to cultural evolutionists, just as cultural evolutionists have shed light on questions of interest to philosophers. This chapter surveys some of these contributions, before tracing a zigzag pathway of conceptual influence from early work in nonformalized evolutionary epistemology, through to much more mathematically precise and empirically rich research in cultural evolutionary theory. It moves on to expose conceptual diversity in how the notion of cultural selection—central to both programmes of research—is understood. The chapter closes by suggesting ways in which (i) cultural selection and cultural attraction can complement each other in the explanation of adaptation, and (ii) cultural adaptation can sometimes proceed in ways that fail to match the usual pattern of selection explanations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Cultural Evolution
EditorsJamshid J. Tehrani, Jeremy Kendal, Rachel Kendal
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191905780
ISBN (Print)9780198869252
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2023

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks
PublisherOxford University Press

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cultural adaptation
  • cultural attraction
  • cultural selection
  • evolutionary epistemology
  • philosophy of science


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