In a further development of the nature-nurture debate, this collection of articles questions how the human mind influences the content and organization of culture. In the study of mental activity, can the effects of evolution and history be teased apart? Evolutionary psychologists argue that cultural transmission is constrained by our genetic inheritance. Few social and cultural anthropologists have found this argument to be relevant to their work and many would doubt its validity. This book uniquely pitches the arguments for innatism against ethnographic perspectives that call into question the theoretical foundations of orthodox evolutionary biology and cognitive science. Ultimately the aim of the debate is to create an original set of mutually compatible theories that will open up new areas for interdisciplinary research.
Table of Contents
PART ONE Mental Modularity and Cultural Diversity, Cultural Inheritance Tracks and Cognitive Predispositions : The Example of Religious Concepts, Some Elements of a Science of Culture, PART TWO From the Transmission of Representations to the Education of Attention, The Child in Mind, Steps to an Integration of Developmental Cognitivism and Depth Psychology, Conclusion: Towards a Reconciliation
Harvey Whitehouse The Queen's University at Belfast