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ISBN 13: 9780226520445
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How Darwinian Theory Can Explain Human Culture and Synthesize the Social Sciences
Geoffrey M. Joseph Henrich, University of British Columbia.
It offers a broad and accessible overview of modern cultural evolutionary theory, while containing enough by way of provocation and elaboration to keep specialists interested. In addition to providing introductory discussions of such well-trodden topics as the general Darwinian nature of cultural change and the role of formal models in exploring it, Mesoudi also pays welcome attention to empirical and experimental work on cultural evolution and to less mature fields such as the evolutionary study of economics.
In sum, the book elegantly encapsulates the state of the art in what is shown to be a mature field of enquiry. Robert Boyd Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Mesoudi provides crystal-clear conceptual explanations of the mathematical models that underpin much of the work on cultural evolution and skillfully links this theory to a range of empirical work. However, this is more than just an explanatory text.
It also takes on the big and often controversial issues surrounding the relationships between genetic and cultural evolution and between micro- and macro-level explanations in the social sciences.