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Mixed MessagesCultural and Genetic Inheritance in the Constitution of Human Society$
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Robert A. Paul

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226240725

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226241050.001.0001

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A Brief History and Outline of Dual Inheritance Theory

A Brief History and Outline of Dual Inheritance Theory

Chapter:
(p.14) One A Brief History and Outline of Dual Inheritance Theory
Source:
Mixed Messages
Author(s):

Robert A. Paul

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226241050.003.0001

Dual Inheritance Theory is traced starting from the application of mathematical models drawn from the field of population biology to the charting of competing cultural ideas over time pioneered by Luca Cavalli-Sforza and Marcus Feldman. The contributions of a number of subsequent thinkers to the development of contemporary dual inheritance theory are presented. These include Richard Dawkins and the concept of memes; Donald Campbell and the idea of selection at the level of social systems; E.O. Wilson’s move from sociobiology to group selection; D.S. Wilson and his conception of society as an “organism”; William Durham’s coevolutionary theory; and the Dual Inheritance Theory of Richerson and Boyd. These theorists depart sufficiently from reductionisticneo-Darwinism to make a rapprochement with socio-cultural anthropology possible.

Keywords:   Dual Inheritance Theory, memes, coevolution, Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman, Richard Dawkins, Donald T.Campbell, E.O.Wilson, D.S. Wilson, William Durham, Richersonand Boyd

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