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Journal Article

Did social cognition evolve by cultural group selection?

MPS-Authors
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Morin,  Olivier
Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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(Publisher version), 610KB

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Citation

Morin, O. (2019). Did social cognition evolve by cultural group selection? Mind & Language, 34(4), 530-539. doi:10.1111/mila.12252.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-599C-9
Abstract
Abstract Cognitive gadgets puts forward an ambitious claim: language, mindreading, and imitation evolved by cultural group selection. Defending this claim requires more than Heyes' spirited and effective critique of nativist claims. The latest human “cognitive gadgets,” such as literacy, did not spread through cultural group selection. Why should social cognition be different? The book leaves this question pending. It also makes strong assumptions regarding cultural evolution: it is moved by selection rather than transformation; it relies on high-fidelity imitation; it requires specific cognitive adaptations to cultural learning. Each of these assumptions raises crucial yet unaddressed difficulties.