Tools, drugs, and signals in the road from evolution to money
The problem of the biology of money is twofold: It subsumes both the identification of behavioral mechanisms that account for the power of money as an incentive, and the elucidation of the phylogeny of such mechanisms. The drugs–tool distinction, as articulated by Lea & Webley (L&W) in their fascinating synthesis, is a welcome step toward their solution. Compared to the direct invocation of instinctual drives, however, conditioning processes provide a conceptually and empirically clearer road from evolution to money.
(Published Online April 5 2006)