origin of culture

– Modern ‘selfish-gene’ Darwinism has been considered as a justification for individualistic selfish behaviour. Show how selfish-gene models can be used to explain complex forms of cooperation in the evolution of human society including the emergence of symbolic culture. 2000 words

1- SOURCES- Lecture: Comparisons of Western and Australian approaches to origins 1.
Reading for next week (to be summarised):-
Knight, C., R. Dunbar and C. Power 1999 An Evolutionary Approach to Human Culture. In Dunbar, R., C. Knight and C. Power (eds) The Evolution of Culture, Edinburgh UP, pp. 1-11.
Additional reading:-
Sahlins, M. 1960 The Origin of Society. Scientific American 203: 76-87.
Cowan, J. 1994 Kun-Man-Gur. The Rainbow Serpent. Boston & Bath: Barefoot Books. Foreword, pp.6-7.

3 – Lecture: Darwinian approaches. Introduction to The Selfish Gene. Sahlins’ objections.
Dawkins, R. 1989 [1976] The Selfish Gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.21-45.
Sahlins, M. 1977 The Use and Abuse of Biology. London: Tavistock, pp.ix-xv, 93-107.
Irons, W and L Cronk 2000. Two decades of a new paradigm. In L Cronk, N Chagnon and W Irons (eds) Adaptation and Human Behavior New York: Aldine de Gruyter, pp.6-10.

4 – Lecture:  Darwinian approaches. Implications of ‘selfish genes’ for male and female strategies.

Key, C. A. and L. C. Aiello 1999 The Evolution of Social Organization. In Dunbar, R., C. Knight and C. Power (eds) The Evolution of Culture, Edinburgh UP, pp. 15-33.
Dunbar, R. 1996 Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language. London & Boston: Faber & Faber, pp.132-51, 214-5.
Foley, R. and C. Gamble 2009 The ecology of social transitions in human evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 364: 3267-3279.

5 – Lecture: The Evolution of Social Organisation. Sex selection, more male and female strategies. ‘Symbolic culture vs Symbolic reference’. Institutional reality. The world of rules.

Chase, P. G. 1999 Symbolism as reference and symbolism as culture. In Dunbar, R., C. Knight and C. Power (eds) The Evolution of Culture, Edinburgh UP, pp. 34-49.
Searle, J. 2000 Mind, Language and Society. London: Phoenix, pp.124-126.
Bryant, R. 1996 Why alchemists can make gold. Philosophy Now, pp.15-18.


-Dunbar, R, C Knight and C Power (eds) 1999 The Evolution of Culture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
3-Botha R and C Knight (eds) 2009The Cradle of  Language. Oxford UP

Dawkins, R 1989 The Selfish Gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kohn, M 1999 As We Know It. Granta Books
Stringer, C and R McKie 1996 African Exodus. London: Cape.
Stringer, C. 2011 The Origin of our Species Penguin
Zahavi, A and A Zahavi 1997 The Handicap Principle. Oxford


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