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Encyclopedia > Cultural evolution

Cultural evolution is the structural change of a society and its values over time. In this sense, it is the cultural equivalent of biological evolution, though the causal mechanisms can be different. Cultural anthropologists and sociologists assume that human beings have natural social tendencies and naturally form shifting groups. But they further argue that particular human social behaviors, and culture, have non-genetic causes and dynamics(i.e. they are learned in a social environment and through social interaction). Societies exist in both social (i.e. interacting with other societies) and biotic (i.e. interacting with natural resources and constraints) environments, and adapt themselves to these environments. It is thus inevitable that all societies change. A society is a group of human beings distinguishable from other groups by mutual interests, characteristic relationships, shared institutions and a common culture. ... Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolutionary theory In the life sciences, evolution is a change in the traits of living organisms over generations, including the emergence of new species. ... Cultural anthropology, also called social anthropology or socio-cultural anthropology, is one of four commonly recognized fields of anthropology, the holistic study of humanity. ... Social interactions of people and their consequences are the subject of sociology studies. ... The word culture comes from the Latin root colere (to inhabit, to cultivate, or to honor). ...


Cultural evolution also refers to different theories that describe and explain such changes — theories have been both promoted and criticized by anthropologists. Today anthropologists distinguish between "unilinear cultural evolution" (or "social evolutionism") and "multilinear cultural evolution." Although theories of unilinear evolution has fallen out of favor, some cultural anthropologists and many archeologists still work within the framework of multilineal evolution. Modern usage of the term by anthropologists does not necessarily refer to directional change (i.e. orthogenetic, teleological or progressive) change, but instead refers to a general body of theory to explain why and how cultures change over time. Cultural anthropology, also called social anthropology or socio-cultural anthropology, is one of four commonly recognized fields of anthropology, the holistic study of humanity. ... Social Evolutionism refers to 19th century Anthropological theories of social development whereby societies are thought to start out in a primitive state and gradually become more civilized over time. ... Cultural anthropology, also called social anthropology or socio-cultural anthropology, is one of four commonly recognized fields of anthropology, the holistic study of humanity. ... Archaeology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ...


Theories of cultural evolution have been used to explain or justify a variety of social movements and political ideologies as diverse as Marxism, Gaians, Ecoregional Democracy and new tribalists. Unfortunately, certain kinds of cultural evolutionary theory (mainly unilineal) have also been used in the past to justify forms of Scientific racism, including policies of Colonialism, Slavery, and Eugenics. Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... A Gaian is a radical Green who views the ecology of the Earths biosphere not only as the basis of human moral examples, but of all cognition and even sentience. ... Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of Electoral Reforms designed to force the political process in a democracy to better represent body and environment concerns, e. ... New tribalists believe that human tribes fulfil an important role in governing and supporting human social behavior. ... Scientific racism is a pejorative term used against controversial works dealing with race and often its relationship to intelligence. ... World map of colonialism circa 1945. ... A monument celebrating the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, erected in Victoria Tower Gardens, Millbank, Westminster, London Look up Slavery in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Slavery can mean one or more related conditions which involve control of a person against his or her will, enforced by... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ...

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The historical context of theories of cultural evolution

Prior to the 18th century, Europeans predominantly believed that societies on Earth were in a state of decline. European society held up the world of antiquity as a standard to aspire to, and Greece and Rome produced levels of technical accomplishment which Europeans sought to emulate. At the same time, Christianity taught that people lived in a debased world fundamentally inferior to the Garden of Eden and Heaven. During the Enlightenment, however, European self-confidence grew and the notion of progress became increasingly popular. It was during this period that what would later become known as 'cultural evolution' would have its roots. (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Location within Italy The Roman Colosseum Rome (Italian and Latin: Roma) is the capital city of Italy and of its Latium region. ... Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life, teachings, death by crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament. ... This article is about the Biblical location. ... The heavens are the sky, the celestial sphere, or outer space. ... The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a larger period which includes the Age of Reason. ... Progress can refer to: The idea of a process in which societies or individuals become better or more modern (technologically and/or socially). ...


While earlier authors such as Montaigne discussed how societies change through time, it was truly the Scottish Enlightenment which proved key in the development of cultural evolution. After Scotland's union with England in 1707, several Scots thinkers pondered what the relationship between progress and the 'decadence' brought about by increased trade with England and the affluence it produced. The result was a series of 'conjectural histories.' Authors such as Adam Ferguson, John Millar, and Adam Smith argued that all societies pass through a series of four stages: hunting and gathering, pastoralism and nomadism, agricultural, and finally a stage of commerce. These thinkers thus understood the changes Scotland was undergoing as a transition from an agricultural to a mercantile society. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (February 28, 1533 - September 13, 1592) was an influential French Renaissance writer, generally considered to be the inventor of the personal essay. ... The Scottish Enlightenment was a period of intellectual ferment in Scotland, running from approximately 1740 to 1800. ... The Acts of Union were twin Acts of Parliament passed in 1707 (taking effect on 26 March) in the Scottish and the English Parliaments. ... Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area  - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population  - Total (2001)  - Density Ranked 1st UK 49,138,831 377/km² Religion... Adam Ferguson ( June 20, 1723 – February 22, 1816), philosopher, proto- sociologist and historian in the Scottish Enlightenment, was born at Logierait in Perthshire, Scotland. ... Adam Smith Adam Smith (Baptised June 5, 1723 – July 17, 1790) was a Scottish political economist and moral philosopher. ...


Philosophical concepts of progress (such as those expounded by the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel) developed as well during this period. In France authors such as Helvetius and other philosophes were influenced by this Scottish tradition. Later thinkers such as Saint-Simon developed these ideas. Comte in particular presented a coherent view of social progress and a new discipline to study it -- sociology. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Claude Adrien Helvétius (January 1715 - December 26, 1771) was a French philosopher and litterateur. ... The Philosophes (French for Philosophers) were a group of French thinkers of the 18th century Enlightenment. ... Claude Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Saint-Simon (October 17, 1760 – May 19, 1825), the founder of French socialism, was born in Paris. ... For article about famous philosopher and sociologist, see Auguste Comte Comte is a title of French nobility. ... Social interactions of people and their consequences are the subject of sociology studies. ...


These developments took place in a wider context. The first process was colonialism. Although Imperial powers settled most differences of opinion with their colonial subjects with force, increased awareness of non-Western peoples raised new questions for European scholars about the nature of society and culture. Similarly, effective administration required some degree of understanding of other cultures. Emerging theories of social evolution allowed Europeans to organize their new knowledge in a way that reflected and justified their increasing political and economic domination of others: colonized people were less-evolved, colonizing people were more evolved. The second process was the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism which allowed and promoted continual revolutions in the means of production. Emerging theories of social evolution reflected a belief that the changes in Europe wrought by the Industrial Revolution and capitalism were improvements. Industrialization, combined with the intense political change brought about by the French Revolution forced European thinkers to reconsider some of their assumptions about how society was organized. World map of colonialism circa 1945. ... Social Evolutionism refers to 19th century Anthropological theories of social development whereby societies are thought to start out in a primitive state and gradually become more civilized over time. ... The Industrial Revolution is the name given to the massive social, economic and technological change in 18th century and 19th century Great Britain. ... Capitalism has been defined in various ways (see definitions of capitalism). ... The period of the French Revolution in the history of France covers the years between 1789 and 1799, in which democrats and republicans overthrew the absolute monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church was forced to undergo radical restructuring. ...


Unilineal Evolution

Theories of unilinear cultural evolution have their origin in the Enlightenment notion of progress. By the mid-nineteenth century, philosopher Herbert Spencer developed an avowedly-scientific theory of "social evolution." He argued that societies over time progressed, and that progress was accomplished through competition. Anthropologists Sir E.B. Tylor in England and Lewis Henry Morgan in the United States worked with data from indigenous people, whom they claimed represented earlier stages of cultural evolution that gave insight into the process and progression of cultural evolution. Morgan would later have a significant influence on Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who developed a theory of cultural evolution in which the internal contradictions in society created a series of escalating stages that ended in a socialist society (see Marxism). Progress can refer to: The idea of a process in which societies or individuals become better or more modern (technologically and/or socially). ... The term Philosophy derives from a combination of the Greek words philos meaning love and sophia meaning wisdom. ... Herbert Spencer. ... Anthropology (from the Greek word άνθρωπος = human) consists of the study of humankind (see genus Homo). ... Edward Burnett Tylor. ... Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was an American lawyer and amateur scholar best known for his work on cultural evolution and Native Americans. ... Indigenous peoples are: Peoples living in an area prior to colonization by a state Peoples living in an area within a nation-state, prior to the formation of a nation-state, but who do not identify with the dominant nation. ... Karl Marx Karl Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was an influential German philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary organizer of the International Workingmens Association. ... Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820–August 5, 1895) was a 19th-century German political philosopher. ... Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ...


Their analysis of cross-cultural data was based on three assumptions:

  1. contemporary societies may be classified and ranked as more "primitive" or more "civilized;"
  2. There are a determinate number of stages between "primitive" and "civilized" (e.g. band, tribe, chiefdom, and state),
  3. All societies progress through these stages in the same sequence, but at different rates.

Theorists usually measured progression (that is, the difference between one stage and the next) in terms of increasing social complexity (including class differentiation and a complex division of labor), or an increase in intellectual, theological, and aesthetic sophistication. These 19th century ethnologists used these principles primarily to explain differences in religious beliefs and kinship terminologies among various societies. A band society is the simplest form of human society. ... ǎ This article is on the social structure. ... A chiefdom is any community led by an individual known as a chief. ... A state is an organized political community occupying a definite territory, having an organized government, and possessing internal and external sovereignty. ... Ethnologyis a genre of cultural anthropology and| anthropological study, involving the systematic comparison of the beliefs and practices of different societies. ...


The critique of unilineal evolution

Although some 19th-century theories, such as Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism used the language of Charles Darwin's theory of the evolution of species through natural selection, their assumption that all societies progress through the same stages in the same order is incompatible with Darwinian theory. Herbert Spencer. ... Social Darwinism is a style of social theory which holds that Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection affects not only the distribution of biological traits in a population, but that it affects human social institutions as well. ... Charles Darwin, about the same time as the publication of The Origin of Species. ... Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolutionary theory In the life sciences, evolution is a change in the traits of living organisms over generations, including the emergence of new species. ... In biology, a species is a kind of organism. ... Natural selection is the primary mechanism within the scientific theory of evolution, in that it alters the frequency of alleles within a population. ...


The early 20th century inaugurated a period of systematic critical examination, and rejection of unilineal theories of cultural evolution. Cultural anthropologists such as Franz Boas used sophisticated ethnography and more rigorous empirical methods to argue that Spencer, Tylor, and Morgan's theories were speculative and systematically misrepresented ethnographic data. Additionally, they rejected the distinction between "primitive" and "civilized" (or "modern"), pointing out that so-called primitive contemporary societies have just as much history, and were just as evolved, as so-called civilized societies. They therefore argued that that any attempt to use this theory to reconstruct the histories of non-literate (i.e. leaving no historical documents) peoples is entirely speculative and unscientific. They observed that the postulated progression, which typically ended with a stage of civilization identical to that of modern Europe, is ethnocentric. They also pointed out that the theory assumes that societies are clearly bounded and distinct, when in fact cultural traits and forms often cross social boundaries and diffuse among many different societies (and is thus an important mechanism of change). Later critics observed that this assumption of firmly bounded societies was proposed precisely at the time when European powers were colonizing non-Western societies, and was thus self-serving. Many anthropologists and social theorists now consider unilineal cultural and social evolution a Western myth seldom based on solid empirical grounds. Critical theorists argue that notions of social evolution are simply justifications for power by the elites of society. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... Cultural anthropology, also called social anthropology or socio-cultural anthropology, is one of four commonly recognized fields of anthropology, the holistic study of humanity. ... Franz Boas Franz Boas (July 9, 1858 – December 22, 1942) was one of the pioneers of modern anthropology and is often called the Father of American Anthropology. Like many such pioneers, he trained in other disciplines; he received his doctorate in physics, and did post-doctoral work in geography. ... Ethnography (from the Greek ethnos = nation and graphe = writing) refers to the qualitative description of human social phenomena, based on months or years of fieldwork. ... Ethnocentrism (Greek ethnos (nation + -centrism) is the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of ones own culture. ... A myth is often thought to be a lesson in story form which has deep explanatory or symbolic resonance for preliterate cultures, who preserve and cherish the wisdom of their elders through oral traditions by the use of skilled story tellers. ... Sociologists usually define power as the ability to impose ones will on others, even if those others resist in some way. ...


At the same time, the devastating World Wars that occurred between 1914 and 1945 crippled Europe's self-confidence. After millions of deaths, genocide, and the destruction of Europe's industrial infrastructure, the idea of progress seemed dubious at best. These conditions provided the context for new theories such as cultural relativism and "multilineal cultural evolution." Cultural relativism is the principle that an individual humans beliefs and activities make sense in terms of his or her own culture. ...


Multilineal evolution

By the 1940s cultural anthropologists such as Leslie White and Julian Steward sought to revive an evolutionary model on a more scientific basis. White rejected the opposition between "primitive" and "modern" societies but did argue that societies could be distinguished based on the amount of energy they harnessed, and that increased energy allowed for greater social differentiation. Steward rejected the 19th century notion of progress, and instead called attention to the Darwinian notion of "adaptation," and argued that all societies had to adapt to their environment in some way. He argued that different adaptations could be studied through the examination of the specific resources a society exploited, the technology the society relied on to exploit these resources, and the organization of human labor. He further argued that different environments and technologies would require different kinds of adaptations, and that as the resource base or technology changed, so too would a culture. In other words, cultures do not change according to some inner logic, but rather in terms of a changing relationship with a changing environment. Cultures would therefore not pass through the same stages in the same order as they changed -- rather, they would change in varying ways and directions. He called his theory "multilineal evolution." Leslie Alvin White ([19 January [1900]], Salida Colorado -- 31 March 1975) was an anthropologist known for his advocacy of theories of cultural evolution and his role in creating the department of anthropology at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. ... Julian Haynes Steward (January 31, 1902 - February 6, 1972) was an American anthropologist best known for his role in the development of a scientific theory of cultural evolution in the years following WWII. Biography Steward was born to a family of devout Christian Scientists in Washington, D.C.. His family...


The anthropologists Marshall Sahlins and Elman Service wrote a book, Evolution and Culture, in which they attempted to synthesize White's and Steward's approaches. Other anthropologists, building on or responding to work by White and Steward, developed theories of cultural ecology and ecological anthropology. The most prominent examples are Peter Vayda and Roy Rappaport. By the late 1950s, students of Steward such as Eric Wolf and Sidney Mintz turned away from cultural ecology to Marxism, World Systems Theory, and Dependency theory. (See also Marvin Harris's Cultural Materialism.) Marshall Sahlins (born 1930) is a prominent American anthropologist. ... Eric Wolf (1923-1999) was an anthropologist best known for his studies of Latin America and his advocacy of Marxist perspectives within anthropology. ... Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... Unlike former sociological theories, which presented general models of social change with particular focus at the societal level, world-systems theory explores the role and relationships between societies (and the subsequent changes produced by them). ... Dependency theory is the body of theories by various intellectuals, both from the Third World and the First World, that propound a worldview which suggests that the wealthy nations of the world need a peripheral group of poorer states to remain wealthy. ... Marvin Harris (August 18, 1927 - October 25, 2001) was an American anthropologist and highly influential in the development of cultural materialism. ...


Today most anthropologists continue to reject 19th century notions of progress and the three original assumptions of unilineal evolution. Following Steward, they take seriously the relationship between a culture and its environment in attempts to explain different aspects of a culture. But most cultural anthropologists now argue that one must consider the whole social environment, which includes political and economic relations among cultures. As a result, the simplistic notion of 'cultural evolution' has grown less useful and given way to an entire series of more nuanced approaches to the relationship of culture and environment. In the area of development studies, authors such as Amartya Sen have developed an understanding of 'development' and 'human flourishing' that also question more simplistic notions of progress, while retaining much of their original inspiration. Amartya Sen Amartya Kumar Sen (अमर्त्‍य कुमार सेन) (born November 3, 1933) is an Indian (Bengali) economist best known for his work on famine, human development theory, welfare economics, and the underlying mechanisms of poverty. ...


Sociobiological theories of cultural evolution

Sociobiologists have argued for a dual inheritance theory, which posits that humans are products of both biological evolution and cultural evolution, each subject to their own selective mechanisms and forms of transmission (i.e. in the case of biology, genes, and for culture possibly memes). This approach focuses on both the mechanisms of cultural transmission and the selective pressures that influence cultural change. This version of cultural evolution shares little in common with the stadial evolutionary models of the early and mid-20th century. This approach has been embraced by many psychologists and some cultural anthropologists, but very few physical anthropologists. Sociobiology is a branch of biology and also sociology that attempts to throw light upon behavior in both human and non-human societies in terms of evolutionary advantage or strategy. ... This stylistic schematic diagram shows a gene in relation to the double helix structure of DNA and to a chromosome (right). ... Meme, (rhymes with cream and comes from Greek root with the meaning of memory and its derivative mimeme), is the term given to a unit of information that replicates from brains and inanimate stores of information, such as books and computers, to other brains or stores of information. ... Psychology (ancient Greek: psyche = soul and logos = word) is the study of behaviour, mind and thought. ... Cultural anthropology, also called social anthropology or socio-cultural anthropology, is one of four commonly recognized fields of anthropology, the holistic study of humanity. ... Physical anthropology, sometimes called biological anthropology, studies the mechanisms of biological evolution, genetic inheritance, human adaptability and variation, primatology, primate morphology, and the fossil record of human evolution. ...


Contemporary moral and political debates over cultural evolution

The cold war period was marked by rivalry between two superpowers, both of which considered themselves to be the most highly evolved cultures on the planet. The USSR painted itself as a socialist society which emerged out of class struggle, while sociologists in the United States (such as Talcott Parsons) argued that the freedom and prosperity of the United States represented a high level of cultural evolution. At the same time, decolonization created newly independent countries who sought to become more developed -- a model of progress and industrialization which was itself a form of cultural evolution. Talcott Parsons (December 13, 1902, Colorado Springs, USA - May 8, 1979, Munich, Germany) was the best-known sociologist in the United States, and one of the best-known in the world for many years. ... Development has meaning in several contexts: Biological development of embryos in the context of developmental biology Child development or post-natal human development (pediatrics, etc) Personal development (New Age self improvement) Economic development in economics and international relations Human development - to improve the health, education and range of choices of...


There is, however, a tradition in European social theory from Rousseau to Max Weber that argues that this progression coincides with a loss of human freedom and dignity. At the height of the Cold War, this tradition merged with an interest in ecology to influence an activist culture in the 1960s. This movement produced a variety of political and philosophical programs which emphasized the importance of bringing society and the environment into harmony. Current political theories of the new tribalists consciously mimic ecology and the life-ways of indigenous peoples, augmenting them with modern sciences. Ecoregional Democracy attempts to confine the "shifting groups" or tribes, within "more or less clear boundaries" that a society inherits from the surrounding ecology, to the borders of a naturally-occurring ecoregion. Progress can proceed by competition between but not within tribes, and it is limited by ecological borders or by Natural Capitalism incentives which attempt to mimic the pressure of natural selection on a human society by forcing it to adapt consciously to scarce energy or materials. Gaians argue that societies evolve deterministically to play a role in the ecology of their biosphere, or else die off as failures due to competition from more efficient societies exploiting nature's leverage. This page needs attention and peer review. ... Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712 – July 2, 1778) was a Franco-Swiss philosopher, writer, political theorist, and self-taught composer of The Age of Enlightenment. ... Maximilian Weber (April 21, 1864 – June 14, 1920) was a German political economist and sociologist who is considered one of the founders of the modern, antipositivistic study of sociology and public administration. ... New tribalists believe that human tribes fulfil an important role in governing and supporting human social behavior. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of article quality. ... Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of Electoral Reforms designed to force the political process in a democracy to better represent body and environment concerns, e. ... ǎ This article is on the social structure. ... Ecology is sometimes used as an incorrect synonym for the natural environment. ... An ecoregion is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities. ... Natural capitalism is a set of trends and economic reforms to reward energy and material efficiency - and remove professional standards and accounting conventions that prevent such efficiencies. ... Natural selection is the primary mechanism within the scientific theory of evolution, in that it alters the frequency of alleles within a population. ... A Gaian is a radical Green who views the ecology of the Earths biosphere not only as the basis of human moral examples, but of all cognition and even sentience. ... The biosphere is that part of a planet earths outer shell—including air, land, and water—within which life occurs, and which biotic processes in turn alter or transform. ...


Thus, some have appealed to theories of cultural evolution to assert that optimizing the ecology and the social harmony of closely-knit groups is more desirable or necessary than the progression to "civilization." A 2002 poll of experts on Nearctic and Neotropic indigenous peoples (reported in Harper's Magazine) revealed that all of them would have preferred to be a typical New World person in the year 1491, prior to any European contact, rather than a typical European of that time. 2002 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Nearctic is one of the eight terrestrial ecozones dividing the Earths land surface. ... The Neotropic ecozone is a terrestrial ecoregion which includes South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of article quality. ... Events December 6 - King Charles VIII marries Anne de Bretagne, thus incorporating Brittany into the kingdom of France. ...


This approach has been criticized by pointing out that there are a number of historical examples of indigenous peoples doing severe environmental damage (such as the deforestation of Easter Island and the extinction of mammoths in North America) and that proponents of the goal have been trapped by the European stereotype of the noble savage. Easter Island and its location Easter Island (Polynesian: Rapa Nui (Great Rapa), Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is an island in the south Pacific Ocean belonging to Chile. ... Someone who belongs to an “uncivilized” group or tribe and is considered to be, consequently, more worthy than people who live within civilization. ...


Today, postmodernists question whether the notions of evolution or society have inherent meaning and whether they reveal more about the person doing the description than the thing being described. Observing and observed cultures may lack sufficient cultural similarities (such as a common foundation ontology) to be able to communicate their respective priorities easily. Or, one may impose such a system of belief and judgment upon another, via conquest or colonization. For instance, observation of very different ideas of mathematics and physics in indigenous peoples led indirectly to ideas such as Lakoff's "cognitive science of mathematics", which asks if measurement systems themselves can be objective. Postmodernism (sometimes abbreviated pomo) is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... In computer science jargon, a foundation ontology or upper ontology is a hierarchy of entities and associated rules (both theorems and regulations) that attempts to describe those general entities that do not belong to a specific problem domain. ... A conquest is the act of conquering a foreign land, usually for its assimilation into a larger federation or empire. ... Colonization (or colonisation) is the act where life forms move into a distant area where their kind is sparse or not yet existing at all and set up new settlements in the area. ... Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Mathematics Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about: Mathematics Look up Mathematics in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikimedia Commons has more media related to: Mathematics Bogomolny, Alexander: Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles. ... The willingness to question previously held truths and search for new answers resulted in a period of major scientific advancements, now known as the Scientific Revolution. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of article quality. ... The cognitive science of mathematics is the study of mathematical ideas using the techniques of cognitive science. ...


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