Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Open Peer Commentary
Atran: Folk biology

Cultural transmission with an evolved intuitive ontology: Domain-specific cognitive tracks of inheritance


Pascal Boyer a1
a1 Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, MRASH, Lyon, France pboyer@mrash.fr www.ddl.mrash.fr/membres/~Boyer/homepage.html

Abstract

Atran's account of cultural transmission can be further refined by considering constraints from early-developed, domain-specific intuitive ontological understanding. These suggest specific predictions about the cultural survival of “memes,” depending on the way they activate intuitive understanding. There is no general dynamic of cultural inheritance; only complex predictions for domain-specific competencies that cut across cultural domains.



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