Abstract

Is a genuinely consilient concept of human culture possible? I identify some of the major stumbling blocks that prevent mutual illumination between the humanities and evolutionary sciences. Whereas the sciences are often concerned with predictive averages, the arts draw attention to "outliers" that defy general trends. The solution is not to disregard these outliers, but rather to understand the open-ended processes that, by design, produce startling variations. Such open-endedness is an essential part of the evolutionary story, not an insignificant byproduct. Conversely, humanistic scholars have much to gain by engaging, rather than spurning, the evolutionary framework.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 32-47
Launched on MUSE
2010-04-10
Open Access
No
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