Cultural Inheritance in Generalized Darwinism

Philosophy of Science 87 (2):237-261 (2020)
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Generalized Darwinism models cultural development as an evolutionary process, where traits evolve through variation, selection, and inheritance. Inheritance describes either a discrete unit’s transmission or a mixing of traits. In this article, we compare classical models of cultural evolution and generalized population dynamics with respect to blending inheritance. We identify problems of these models and introduce our model, which combines relevant features of both. Blending is implemented as success-based social learning, which can be shown to be an optimal strategy.
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