< meta content="text/html; charset=windows-1252" http-equiv="Philosophy of Biology  Stefan Linquist">

whyalla cuttlefish -
                                            philosophy of biology

Stefan Linquist's homepage

contact: linquist@uoguelph.ca

HOME              RESEARCH              TEACHING              PEOPLE              EVENTS              BLOG        


Cultural Evolution
Meme theory, evolutionary psychology, and dual inheritance theory are three rival approaches to the study of cultural evolution. I argue that debates among these alternatives cannot be resolved using a combination of models and anecdotes. In addition, we must develop these theories in ways that allow for cross-cultural comparison. To this end, I focus on the Culture of Honour hypothesis which I attempt to test using ethnographic data from the Human Relations Area File, among other sources.   


Linquist, S. (2018), "Commitment enforcement also explains shamanism's culturally shared features." Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41: e80.

Linquist, S. (2016), "Which evolutionary model best explains the culture of honour? Biology & Philosophy, 31:213-35.

Linquist, S. (2010), Introduction to The Evolution of Culture: Volume IV. Ashgate Publishing: Surrey, England (p. 11-41).

Linquist, S. (2007), "Prospects for a dual inheritance model of emotional evolution." Philosophy of Science, 74: 848-859.

Recent Presentations
"Testing rival models of cultural evolution with large sets of ethnographic data." Learning from Empirical Approaches to the History and Philosophy of Science (LEAHPS). April 6-7 2018. University of Pittsburgh.

"Barking up the wrong phylogenetic tree: why rival models of cultural evolution offer intractable explanations of human nature." Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association. April 12-15, 2017. Seattle Washington

Current Work
 The Bantu-speaking lineage in Africa offers a unique opportunity for testing the culture of honour hypothesis. Phylogenetic relationships among Bantu cultures are fairly well documented, and some of these cultures embraced pastoralism while others remained agriculturalists. I am developing methods for assessing the cultural norms embraced by these cultures, in an effort to compare the degrees of emphasis placed on honour.