Cultural Evolution, Cognition, and the Baldwin Effect (advanced seminar)
Advanced seminar in philosophy of biology. In this seminar we will discuss the theoretical foundation and concepts of the major approaches in the field of cultural evolution, and gene-culture coevolution - fields that apply the tools of evolutionary theory to the study of human culture. Among the topics we will discuss are: learning biases, such as conformism and prestige bias; memes versus genes; gene-culture coevolution; history versus evolution; and more.
The second part of the semester will be dedicated to discussion of central debates about the evolution of cognition, with emphasis on the role of social/cultural context in the evolution of cognition and the role of social learning. We will pay special attention to locating various views in their intellectual context.