By Olivier Morin

Of the whole lot we do and say, so much isn't repeated or reproduced. on occasion, even if, an concept or a convention generates a sequence of transmission that covers extra distance via house and time than anyone individual ever may possibly. What makes such transmission chains attainable? for 2 centuries, the dominant view (from psychology to anthropology) was once that people owe their cultural prosperity to their powers of imitation. during this view, sleek cultures exist as the those that hold them are talented at remembering, storing and reproducing info. How Traditions reside and Die proposes an alternative choice to this typical view. What makes traditions dwell isn't really a general-purpose imitation potential. Cultural transmission is partial, selective, usually untrue. a few traditions live to tell the tale then again, simply because they faucet into common and easy cognitive personal tastes. those beautiful traditions unfold, now not by means of being higher retained or extra effectively transferred, yet simply because they're transmitted many times. This conception is used to make clear a number of puzzles of cultural switch (from the distribution of fowl songs to the endurance of kid's rhymes) and to provide an explanation for the precise relation that hyperlinks the human species to its cultures. Morin combines contemporary paintings in cognitive anthropology with new advances in quantitative cultural background, to map and expect the diffusion of traditions. This e-book is either an creation and an obtainable substitute to modern theories of cultural evolution.

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