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A Different Kind of Animal: How Culture Transformed Our Species

Robert Boyd

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Princeton University Press
15 October 2019
Cognition & cognitive psychology; Mathematics & Sciences; Biology, life sciences; Evolution; The Earth: natural history general
How our ability to learn from each other has been the essential ingredient to our remarkable success as a species Human beings have evolved to become the most dominant species on Earth. This astonishing transformation is usually explained in terms of cognitive ability-people are just smarter than all the rest. But Robert Boyd argues that culture-our ability to learn from each other-has been the essential ingredient of our remarkable success. He shows how a unique combination of cultural adaptation and large-scale cooperation has transformed our species and assured our survival-making us the different kind of animal we are today. Based on the Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University, A Different Kind of Animal features challenging responses by biologist H. Allen Orr, philosopher Kim Sterelny, economist Paul Seabright, and evolutionary anthropologist Ruth Mace, as well as an introduction by Stephen Macedo.
By:   Robert Boyd
Imprint:   Princeton University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780691195902
ISBN 10:   0691195900
Series:   The University Center for Human Values Series
Pages:   248
Publication Date:   15 October 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Robert Boyd is Origins Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. His books include How Humans Evolved, Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution, and The Origin and Evolution of Cultures.

Reviews for A Different Kind of Animal: How Culture Transformed Our Species

Thought-provoking. Publishers Weekly A Different Kind of Animal is a fascinating introduction to a fertile field of cultural research that should be better-known. Approachable and clearly argued, it is a brave revival of the autonomy of culture and a breath of fresh air for those tired of the narrow claims of evolutionary psychology. Cosmos In this lucid, well-argued treatise, anthropologist Robert Boyd avers that we are 'culture-saturated creatures', and that it is culturally transmitted knowledge that sets us apart and explains our dramatic range of behaviours, from rampant violence to great feats of cooperation. Barbara Kiser, Nature


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