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The Human Adaptation for Culture and its Behavioral Implications

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  • C. Cordes

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2003-10.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2003-10

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References

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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. Rubin, Paul H., 1982. "Evolved ethics and efficient ethics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(2-3), pages 161-174.
  3. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. 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.
  5. Arthur T. Denzau & Douglass C. North, 1993. "Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions," Economic History 9309003, EconWPA.
  6. Rawls, John, 1974. "Some Reasons for the Maximin Criterion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 141-46, May.
  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. Janet Landa, 2012. "Gordon Tullock’s contributions to bioeconomics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 203-210, July.
  2. Benjamin Volland, 2013. "On the intergenerational transmission of preferences," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 217-249, October.
  3. Guido Buenstorf & Christian Cordes, 2007. "Can Sustainable Consumption Be Learned?," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-06, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. C. Cordes & C. Schubert, 2005. "Toward a Naturalistic Foundation of the Social Contract," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2005-01, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  7. 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.
  8. Christian Cordes, 2006. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to continuity," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(5), pages 529-541, December.
  9. Christian Cordes, 2007. "Emergent Cultural Phenomena and their Cognitive Foundations," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-22, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  10. Benjamin Volland, 2012. "The vertical transmission of time use choices," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  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, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.

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