— Cultural Sources of Newness

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Tag "cultural science"

John Hartley’s seminar on Cultural Science that I wrote about last week addressed connections with concepts and methods from theories of evolution. Little did I know that day that a completely different link between evolution and culture  was awaiting my listening pleasure this weekend on BBC Radio 4’s iPlayer: “Just So Science”. Vivienne Parry explores the science behind five of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, which are beautifully read by Samuel West.

The interviews with experts from diverse disciplines (including Richard Dawkins of course) in each of the 15-minute episodes are fun and stimulating; the one on “How the Leopard Got His Spots”  engaged me as a researcher the most.

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John Hartley (Curtin University, Australia and Cardiff University, Wales), currently a visiting fellow in our unit at the WZB, is writing a book with Jason Potts  (a former visiting fellow of ours) on“Cultural Science”. As he points out, it is quite unusual and challenging to write a book about a science that does not yet exist but that needs to be envisioned and realized. In a seminar today John explained that he sees culture as the evolution of meaningfulness, and he gave us glimpses into the work-in-progress on the book. Here I share a few glimmers of those glimpses.

 

John Hartley explaining "What's New?" January 16 2013, WZB

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