On the genealogy of norms: A case for the role of emotion in cultural evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One promising way to investigate the genealogy of norms is by considering not the origin of norms, but rather what makes certain norms more likely to prevail. Emotional responses, I maintain, constitute one important set of mechanisms that affects the cultural viability of norms. To corroborate this, I exploit historical evidence indicating that sixteenth-century etiquette norms prohibiting disgusting actions were much more likely to survive than other sixteenth-century etiquette norms. This case suggests more broadly that research on cultural evolution should pay greater attention to the role of emotion systems in cultural transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-255
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume69
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes

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Genealogy
Emotion
Cultural Evolution
Etiquette
Cultural Transmission
Emotional Response
Historical Evidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy

Cite this

On the genealogy of norms : A case for the role of emotion in cultural evolution. / Nichols, Shaun B.

In: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 69, No. 2, 06.2002, p. 234-255.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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