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The Human Adaptation for Culture and its Behavioral Implications

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  • Christian Cordes

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Abstract

During phylogeny, man adapted for culture in ways other primates did not. This key adaptation is the one that enabled humans to understand other individuals as intentional agents like the self. This genetic event opened the way for new and powerful cultural processes but did not specify the detailed outcomes of behavior we see today. It just provided the basis for cultural evolution that, with no further genetic events, enabled the distinctive characteristics of human cognition. These capabilities can explain the motivational underpinnings of a variety of human inclinations and behaviors, such as a tendency toward cooperation, altruism, or fairness. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/B:JBIO.0000040408.87815.a9
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Bioeconomics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 143-163

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:6:y:2004:i:2:p:143-163

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=103315

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Keywords: cultural evolution; intentionality; empathy; fairness; social; contracts;

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  1. Ferraro, Paul J. & Rondeau, Daniel & Poe, Gregory L., 2003. "Detecting other-regarding behavior with virtual players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 99-109, May.
  2. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "On the Nature of Fair Behavior," IEW - Working Papers 017, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Rawls, John, 1974. "Some Reasons for the Maximin Criterion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 141-46, May.
  4. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  5. Denzau, Arthur T & North, Douglass C, 1994. "Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 3-31.
  6. Rubin, Paul H., 1982. "Evolved ethics and efficient ethics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(2-3), pages 161-174.
  7. Ken Binmore, 2001. "Natural Justice and Political Stability," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(1), pages 133-, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. C. Cordes & C. Schubert, 2005. "Toward a Naturalistic Foundation of the Social Contract," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2005-01, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  2. Buenstorf, Guido & Cordes, Christian, 2008. "Can sustainable consumption be learned? A model of cultural evolution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 646-657, November.
  3. Christian Cordes, 2006. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to continuity," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(5), pages 529-541, December.
  4. Benjamin Volland, 2013. "On the intergenerational transmission of preferences," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 217-249, October.
  5. Anil Hira, 2010. "The evolutionary patterns of political economy: Examples from Latin American history," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-28, April.
  6. Petur O. Jonsson, 2011. "On utilitarianism vs virtue ethics as foundations of economic choice theory," Humanomics: The International Journal of Systems and Ethics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 24-40, February.
  7. Benjamin Volland, 2012. "The vertical transmission of time use choices," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  8. Guido Buenstorf & Christian Cordes, 2007. "Can Sustainable Consumption Be Learned?," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  9. Janet Landa, 2012. "Gordon Tullock’s contributions to bioeconomics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 203-210, July.
  10. Christian Cordes, 2007. "Emergent Cultural Phenomena and their Cognitive Foundations," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-22, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  11. Julia Sophie Wörsdorfer & Wolfhard Kaus, 2010. "Will imitators follow pioneer consumers in the adoption of solar thermal systems? Empirical evidence for North-West Germany," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2010-13, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

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