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Fidelity, stances, and explaining cultural stability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 November 2022

Andrew Buskell
Affiliation:
Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3RH, UK ab2086@cam.ac.ukwww.andrewbuskell.com
Mathieu Charbonneau
Affiliation:
Faculté de Gouvernance Sciences Économiques & Sociales, Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique, Technopolis, Rocade Rabat-Salé 11100, Morocco mathieu.charbonneau@um6p.mawww.mcharbonneau.com

Abstract

The bifocal stance theory posits two stances – the ritual and the instrumental – each a learning strategy with different fidelity outcomes. These differences in turn have long-term consequences for cultural stability. Yet we suggest the key concept of “fidelity” is insufficiently explicated. Pointing to counterexamples and gaps in the theory, we suggest that explicating “fidelity” reveals the stances to be heuristic explanatory strategies: first-pass explanatory glosses of learning and its consequences, not descriptions of the inner machinery of agents.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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