dunnettreader + tradition   13

Nicolas Claidière and Dan Sperber - The natural selection of fidelity in social learning (2010) - Communicative and Integrative Biology
Follow-up to Royal Society article -- Social learning mechanisms are usually assumed to explain both the spread and the persistence of cultural behavior. In a recent article, we showed that the fidelity of social learning commonly found in transmission chain experiments is not high enough to explain cultural stability. Here we want to both enrich and qualify this conclusion by looking at the case of song transmission in song birds, which can be faithful to the point of being true replication. We argue that this high fidelity results from natural selection pressure on cognitive mechanisms. This observation strengthens our main argument. Social learning mechanisms are unlikely to be faithful enough to explain cultural stability because they are generally selected not for high fidelity but for generalization and adjustment to the individual’s needs, capacities and situation.
Key words: cultural evolution, bird song, imitation, memetic, social learning, transmission chain study
article  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  social_learning  cultural_transmission  imitation  cultural_change  cultural_evolution  cultural_stability  tradition  cognitive_science  social_process  cognition-social  cognition 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Ilkka Pyysiainen - Cognitive Science of Religion: State of the Art (2012) | Academia.edu
Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion (2012) -- article presents an introduction to the cognitive science of religion. It shows that CSR began with original theoretical approaches within the human sciences and has subsequently developed into a more empirical, interdisciplinary feld of study. The feld is growing rapidly with the appearance of several centers and projects. The most important theories, fndings, and criticisms are presented. Also the various centers of study and recent projects are described. -- Keywords -- cognition, agency, sociality, ritual -- Downloaded to Tab S2
article  downloaded  religion  cognitive_science  sociology_of_religion  religious_belief  religious_experience  religious_culture  comparative_religion  comparative_anthropology  neuroscience  cultural_transmission  cultural_change  cultural_influence  tradition  Innovation  ritual  agency  agency-structure  social_psychology  social_movements 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Gerard Passannante - Homer Atomized: Francis Bacon and the Matter of Tradition (2009) | JSTOR - ELH
ELH, Vol. 76, No. 4 (Winter, 2009), pp. 1015-1047 -- extensive primary and secondary bibliography from Renaissance philology through Montaigne, Bacon, Vico and 18thC German challenges to Homeric "authorship" as well as ancient literary tradition, epistemology, cosmology and physics - Stoics, Epicureans -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  literary_history  historiography  cosmology  epistemology  philology  natural_philosophy  ancient_Greece  ancient_Rome  Hellenism  Homer  atomism  Stoicism  Epicurean  Cicero  Lucretius  authors  author_intention  text_analysis  time  void  chance  Renaissance  humanism  Erasmus  17thC  18thC  scepticism  Montaigne  Bacon  Vico  Nietzsche  tradition  cultural_transmission  knowledge  bibliography  downloaded 
november 2015 by dunnettreader
Alex Massie - When the roses come again - Selkirk Ex-Standard Bearers’ Dinner June 2015
This is a version of a speech I made at the Selkirk Ex-Standard Bearers’ Dinner on June 8th, 2015 at the County Hotel, Selkirk. Chairman Gunn, Provost Anderson,…
Instapaper  Scotland  Scottish_history  tradition  community  from instapaper
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Jack Balkin - Obergefell and Tradition | Balkinization - June 2015
It is tempting to identify the dissenters with Burke, and view Kennedy as opposed to Burkeanism. Certainly the dissenters would like to brand Kennedy as a revolutionary or Jacobin, heedlessly destroying a valued institution at the center of society. But this is a caricature of what Kennedy is actually doing in his opinion. Kennedy's use of tradition is also Burkean in its own way. He simply emphasizes different features of Burke's thought. In particular Kennedy emphasizes change through respect for tradition that results from discussion and lived experience--as opposed to change that occurs through violence and revolutionary upheaval. Kennedy emphasizes the natural evolution and growth of previous commitments through debate, contestation and social practice. Our commitments evolve as they we apply them to changed factual circumstances and our wisdom grows through encountering those changed circumstances in practical terms. We can have greater confidence in our judgments achieved in this way because, unlike previous generations, we have the benefit of their experience, while they do not have the benefit of ours.
Instapaper  US_constitution  SCOTUS  constitutional_law  tradition  Burke  epistemology-social  epistemology-moral  rights-legal  legal_reasoning  marriage  family  family_law  from instapaper
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Herbert Gintis - Gene–culture coevolution and the nature of human sociality | Royal Society - Issue Theme "Human Niche Construction" - Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 27 March 2011, vol. 366, no. 1566, 878-888
Human characteristics are the product of gene–culture coevolution, which is an evolutionary dynamic involving the interaction of genes and culture over long time periods. Gene–culture coevolution is a special case of niche construction. Gene–culture coevolution is responsible for human other-regarding preferences, a taste for fairness, the capacity to empathize and salience of morality and character virtues. -- Keywords: gene–culture coevolution, sociobiology, epistatic information transfer -- Published 14 February 2011 doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0310 -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  gene-culture_coevolution  sociobiology  social_theory  genetics  cultural_change  social_process  niche_construction  evolution  evolution-social  evolutionary_biology  human_nature  character  preferences  altruism  fairness  empathy  moral_sentiments  moral_psychology  morality-innate  morality-conventional  virtue  tradition  cultural_transmission  evolution-group_selection  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Carmel P. Murphy - History, revolution and the British popular novel: historical fiction in the romantic age (2013 PhD Thesis) | University College Cork.
Intro (pp.1-42) and Chapters 2 & 3 (pp.106-231) currently unavailable at request of author. -- Examining the complex intersection of the historical fiction genre with the political and historical dialogue generated by the French Revolution crisis, the thesis contends that contemporary fascination with the historical episode of the Revolution, and the fundamental importance of history to the disputes which raged about questions of tradition and change, and the meaning of the British national past, led to the emergence of increasingly complex forms of fictional historical narrative during the “war of ideas.” Considering the varying ways in which novelists (..) engaged with the historical contexts of the Revolution debate, (..) juxtaposes the manner in which English Jacobin novelists inserted the radical critique into the wider arena of history with (.use of.) the historical by anti-Jacobin novelists to combat the revolutionary threat and internal moves for socio-political restructuring. I argue that the use of imaginative historical narrative(..) represented a significant element within the literature of the Revolution crisis (.and..) a key context (.for.) the emergence of Scott’s national historical novel in 1814, and the broader field of historical fiction in the era of Waterloo. Tracing the continued engagement with revolutionary and political concerns evident in the early Waverley novels, Burney’s The Wanderer (1814), Godwin’s Mandeville (1816), and Mary Shelley’s Valperga (1823), my discussion concludes by arguing that Godwin’s and Shelley’s extension of the mode of historical fiction initially envisioned by Godwin in the revolutionary decade, and their shared endeavour to retrieve the possibility enshrined within the republican past, appeared as a significant counter to the model of history and fiction developed by Walter Scott in the post-revolutionary epoch. -- downloaded pdf to Note
thesis  1790s  1800s  1810s  18thC  19thC  British_history  British_politics  French_Revolution  anti-Jacobin  conservatism  Radical_Enlightenment  Jacobins  historical_fiction  novels  English_lit  historians-and-politics  counter-revolution  Scott_Sir_Walter  Burney_Frances  Godwin_Wm  Shelley_Mary  Tories  usable_past  historiography-18thC  historiography-19thC  history_as_examples  historiography-Tory  historiography-Whig  tradition  change-social  reform-political  reform-social  social_order  critique  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - THE DEATH OF GOD AND THE FALL OF MAN | Pandaemonium July 2014
Transcript of talk for Institute of Ideas -- The moral vision of modernity may have been, in other words, nourished by the crumbling of the God-ordained order. It was – it had to be – however, also rooted in faith, but a faith of a different kind – faith that humans were capable of acting rationally and morally without guidance from beyond. It was through the 19thC that religious faith truly began to crumble. But it was also in the 19thC that faith in the human capacity to act without God began also to erode. The optimism that had once suffused the humanist impulse began to ebb away and there began to develop a much darker view of what it meant to be human. By the late 19thC European societies came to experience both a crisis of faith and a ‘crisis of reason’, the beginnings of a set of trends that were to become highly significant in the 20thC – the erosion of Enlightenment optimism, a disenchantment with ideas of progress, a disbelief in concepts of truth, the growth of a much darker view of human nature. -- The death of God, in other words, went hand in hand with what we might call, if we were to continue to use religious symbolism, the Fall of Man. And the Fall of Man transformed the meaning of the Death of God. God is a metaphor for the desire for an authority beyond ourselves to frame our existence and guide our lives, the death of God for the insistence on acting without guidance from beyond. There are two aspects to the death of God. The decline of religious belief and the growth of a new faith in the capacity of humans to act without guidance from beyond. The first has always been overstated. The second has always been undervalued. - frames talk around Anscombe and MacIntyre
intellectual_history  religious_history  cultural_history  18thC  19thC  20thC  morality-Christian  religious_belief  ancient_philosophy  ancient_Greece  pagans  gods-antiquity  monotheism  teleology  human_nature  morality-conventional  morality-objective  progress  Enlightenment  Fin-de-Siècle  humanism  anti-humanism  Counter-Enlightenment  political_philosophy  reason  Anscombe  MacIntyre  tradition  identity  autonomy  individualism  community  communitarian  social_order  change-social  historical_change  historicism  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Fred Clark - The Stupidest Thing I Have Ever Read | Slacktavist June 2014
-- This is from Religion Dispatches, by Patricia Miller titled, “The Story Behind the Catholic Church’s Stunning Reversal on Contraception” -- Here’s Miller: "The [papal] commission voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the ban against artificial means of birth control be lifted. -- Unhappy with the direction of the commission, the Vatican packed the last commission meetings with 15. But even the bishops voted 9 to 3 (3 abstained) to change the teaching, -- Despite the commission’s years of work and theologically unassailable conclusion that the church’s teaching on birth control was neither infallible nor irreversible, Pope Paul VI stunned the world on July 29, 1968, when he reaffirmed the church’s ban on modern contraceptives in Humanae Vitae. -- The pope had deferred to a minority report prepared by 4 conservative theologian priests that said the church could not change its teaching on birth control because admitting the church had been wrong about the issue for centuries would raise questions about the moral authority of the pope, especially on matters of sexuality, and the belief that the Holy Spirit guided his pronouncements. “The Church cannot change her answer because this answer is true. … It is true because the Catholic Church, instituted by Christ … could not have so wrongly erred during all those centuries of its history,” they wrote. As one of the conservative theologians famously asked one of the female members of the commission, what would happen to “the millions we have sent to hell” for using contraception if the teaching were suddenly changed.
religious_history  church_history  Catholics  Papacy  papal_infallibility  20thC  sexuality  feminism  patriarchy  women-work  women-rights  family  authority  tradition  links  EF-add 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
ETHAN KLEINBERG -- BACK TO WHERE WE'VE NEVER BEEN: HEIDEGGER, LEVINAS, AND DERRIDA ON TRADITION AND HISTORY | JSTOR: History and Theory, Vol. 51, No. 4 (December 2012), pp. 114-135
This paper will address the topic of "tradition" by exploring the ways that Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jacques Derrida each looked to return to traditional texts in order to overcome a perceived crisis or delimiting fault in the contemporary thought of their respective presents. For Heidegger, this meant a return to the pre-Socratics of "early Greek thinking." For Levinas, it entailed a return to the sacred Jewish texts of the Talmud. For Derrida, it was the return to texts that embodied the "Western metaphysical tradition," be it by Plato, Descartes, Rousseau, or Marx. I then want to ask whether these reflections can be turned so as to shed light on three resilient trends in the practice of history that I will label positivist, speculative or teleological, and constructivist. By correlating the ways that Heidegger, Levinas, and Derrida utilize and employ "tradition" with the historical trends of positivism, speculative/teleological history, and constructivism, I hope to produce an engagement between theorists whose concerns implicate history even though they may not be explicitly historical, and historians who may not realize the ways that their work coincides with the claims of these theorists.
article  jstor  paywall  intellectual_history  philosophy_of_history  historiography  20thC  Heidegger  Derrida  tradition 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - A BOOK IN PROGRESS [PART 18]: ALISDAIR MACINTYRE, ENLIGHTENMENT AND TRADITION | Pandaemonium August 2012
Abelard’s real renown was as the most brilliant philosopher and theologian of his age. His work was, however, highly controversial because it challenged orthodox opinion, particularly about the Trinity, which Abelard tried to derive through reason. Twice he was condemned for heresy, and twice he meekly accepted his condemnation. MacIntyre approves of both the condemnation and of Abelard’s submission to authority. Abelard and his principal accuser, the Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, both agreed, MacIntyre suggests, ‘that the integrity of the life of enquiry requires such interventions by authority’. Abelard, like all heretics, had been driven by ‘pride of will’. Heresy, MacIntyre writes, ‘is always a sign of pride in choosing to elevate one’s own judgment above that of genuine authority’. What defines a tradition, and hence moral truth, is not just reason or dialogue or debate but ‘genuine authority’. The ‘open-endedness’ of MacIntyre’s traditions is clearly strictly circumscribed.

It was precisely the claim that truth could be defined by authority that philosophers began to challenge from the sixteenth century on, and that came to define the Enlightenment, a challenge without which, as Jonathan Israel observes, modern ideas of ‘universality, equality and democracy’ could not have emerged. In defending the authority of premodern traditions against the Enlightenment idea of autonomy, MacIntyre may be taking a stance against the subjectivity of moral claims that he so despises. But the question he never properly addresses is how those modern moral ideas with which he has great sympathy would ever have evolved at all had the authority of those premodern traditions not been challenged in the first place.
books  bookshelf  moral_philosophy  Catholics  Papacy  Aquinas  authority  tradition  Burke  Enlightenment  liberalism  secularism  virtue_ethics  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader

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