Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):493-512 (2007)

Authors
Maria Kronfeldner
Central European University
Abstract
The article addresses the question whether culture evolves in a Lamarckian manner. I highlight three central aspects of a Lamarckian concept of evolution: the inheritance of acquired characteristics, the transformational pattern of evolution, and the concept of directed changes. A clear exposition of these aspects shows that a system can be a Darwinian variational system instead of a Lamarckian transformational one, even if it is based on inheritance of acquired characteristics and/or on Lamarckian directed changes. On this basis, I apply the three aspects to culture. Taking for granted that culture is a variational system, based on selection processes, I discuss in detail the senses in which cultural inheritance can be said to be Lamarckian and in which sense problem solving, a major factor in cultural change, leads to directed variation.
Keywords Cultural evolution  Inheritance of acquired characteristics  Lamarckism  Memes  Problem solving  Transformational evolution  directed variation
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-006-9037-7
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References found in this work BETA

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.David L. Hull - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.

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Citations of this work BETA

Disentangling Life: Darwin, Selectionism, and the Postgenomic Return of the Environment.Maurizio Meloni - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 62:10-19.
When Will a Darwinian Approach Be Useful for the Study of Society?Samuel Bagg - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (3):259-281.
When can cultural selection explain adaptation?Azita Chellappoo - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (1):1-23.
Digging the Channels of Inheritance: On How to Distinguish Between Cultural and Biological Inheritance.Maria Kronfeldner - 2021 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 376.

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