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Innovation in Cultural Systems By Edited by Michael J. O'Brien (Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Texas A&M University - San Antonio)

Innovation in Cultural Systems
by Edited by Michael J. O'Brien (Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Texas A&M University - San Antonio)

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Leading scholars offer a range of perspectives on the roles played by innovation in the evolution of human culture.
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Innovation in Cultural Systems Summary


Innovation in Cultural Systems: Contributions from Evolutionary Anthropology by Edited by Michael J. O'Brien (Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Texas A&M University - San Antonio)

Leading scholars offer a range of perspectives on the roles played by innovation in the evolution of human culture.

In recent years an interest in applying the principles of evolution to the study of culture emerged in the social sciences. Archaeologists and anthropologists reconsidered the role of innovation in particular, and have moved toward characterizing innovation in cultural systems not only as a product but also as an evolutionary process. This distinction was familiar to biology but new to the social sciences; cultural evolutionists from the nineteenth to the twentieth century had tended to see innovation as a preprogrammed change that occurred when a cultural group "needed" to overcome environmental problems. In this volume, leading researchers from a variety of disciplines-including anthropology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, philosophy, and psychology-offer their perspectives on cultural innovation. The book provides not only a range of views but also an integrated account, with the chapters offering an orderly progression of thought. The contributors consider innovation in biological terms, discussing epistemology, animal studies, systematics and phylogeny, phenotypic plasticity and evolvability, and evo-devo; they discuss modern insights into innovation, including simulation, the random-copying model, diffusion, and demographic analysis; and they offer case studies of innovation from archaeological and ethnographic records, examining developmental, behavioral, and social patterns.

Contributors
Andre Ariew, R. Alexander Bentley, Werner Callebaut, Joseph Henrich, Anne Kandler, Kevin N. Laland, Daniel O. Larson, Alex Mesoudi, Michael J. O'Brien, Craig T. Palmer, Adam Powell, Simon M. Reader, Valentine Roux, Chet Savage, Michael Brian Schiffer, Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Stephen J. Shennan, James Steele, Mark G. Thomas, Todd L. VanPool

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Innovation in Cultural Systems Reviews


"Archaeologists have recently emerged as some of the most sophisticated evolutionists in the human sciences. O'Brien and Shennan's book on innovation is an important contribution to a central but difficult topic. It showcases what archaeologists and their allies are accomplishing."--Peter J. Richerson, Distinguished Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis

About Edited by Michael J. O'Brien (Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Texas A&M University - San Antonio)


Michael J. O'Brien is Provost and Professor of History at Texas A&M University-San Antonio and the coauthor of I'll Have What She's Having: Mapping Social Behavior and The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms (both published by the MIT Press). Stephen J. Shennan is Professor of Theoretical Archaeology and Director of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London. Michael J. O'Brien is Provost and Professor of History at Texas A&M University-San Antonio and the coauthor of I'll Have What She's Having: Mapping Social Behavior and The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms (both published by the MIT Press). Stephen J. Shennan is Professor of Theoretical Archaeology and Director of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London. Kevin N. Laland is Professor of Behavioural and Evolutionary Biology at the University of St. Andrews. Jeffrey H. Schwartz is Professor of Physical Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Red Ape: Orang-utans and Human Origins, What the Bones Tell Us, and other books. The late Werner Callebaut was Scientific Manager of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Vienna, and Visiting Research Professor of Philosophy of Science at University of Vienna. R. Alexander Bentley is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee and coauthor of I'll Have What She's Having: Mapping Social Behavior and The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms (both published by the MIT Press). Craig T. Palmer is Instructor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado. Michael Brian Schiffer is Fred A. Riecker Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona and Research Associate at the Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of six previous books on technology.

Additional information

GOR010390865
Innovation in Cultural Systems: Contributions from Evolutionary Anthropology by Edited by Michael J. O'Brien (Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Texas A&M University - San Antonio)
Edited by Michael J. O'Brien (Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Texas A&M University - San Antonio)
Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology
Used - Like New
Hardback
MIT Press Ltd
2009-10-23
296
0262013339
9780262013338
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins.