Biology & Philosophy

, 33:7 | Cite as

Cultural evolution and the social sciences: a case of unification?

  • Catherine Driscoll


This paper addresses the question of how to understand the relationship between Cultural Evolutionary Science (CES) and the social sciences, given that they coexist and both study cultural change. I argue that CES is best understood as having a unificatory or integrative role between evolutionary biology and the social sciences, and that it is best characterized as a bridge field; I describe the concept of a bridge field and how it relates to other non-reductionist accounts of unification or integration used in the philosophy of science literature.


Cultural evolution Dual inheritance theory Scientific unification Social learning 



Thanks to two anonymous reviewers for some very helpful comments on this paper. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2016 Pacific APA; many thanks to those present, and especially to Todd Grantham, for feedback.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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