Evolusjonen av ideer

Gammel karikatur av Darwin

Kommende uke arrangerer vitenskapsakademiet et interessant symposium om forholdet mellom evolusjonsteori og humaniora. Her skal blant annet Jane Mansbridge fra Harvard snakke om evolusjonen av ideer!

New ideas often develop in a hothouse of intense interaction among committed individuals in a space protected in some way from the dominance of currently hegemonic ideas. From this cornucopia of innovative and sometimes fantastic ideas, like mutations in the natural world, individuals in ordinary life select those that are viable in their less protected circumstances. This dynamic produces new music, literature, scientific invention, and – this lecture will stress – political concepts.

Jane Mansbridge

Mye annet spennende står på programmet. For eksempel skal Nikolaus Ritt forelese om kulturhistorie forstått ut fra evolusjonsmessige begreper. Det er også duket for et interessant innlegg om religion ved Harvey Whitehouse, som tar til orde for å få med biologiske perspektiver i tverrfaglige religionsstudier.

Much research in the cognitive science of religion emphasizes that some features of religious thinking and behaviour are universal, arising from our species’ evolutionary history. […] But there is also growing evidence that many religious concepts require considerable cognitive, social, and technological resources to create, remember, and pass on. Cross-culturally variable aspects of religion arise in part from the evolution of cognitive systems devoted to connecting concepts (e.g. through the formation of novel analogies) and storing them (e.g. in semantic memory) and in part from the historically changing sociopolitical conditions in which such systems can be exploited.

Harvey Whitehouse

Vitenskapsakademiet har lagt ut sammendrag av foredragene på sine nettsider.

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