Re(2): Paper on chimp culture

Ilfryn PRICE (
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 10:47:32 +0100

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 10:47:32 +0100
Subject: Re(2): Paper on chimp culture
From: (Ilfryn PRICE)

Mario writes

>The funniest thing about this is that it makes such a fuzz. I thought we knew this since long time? And if we didn't have data
>it, that it was because we considered it as self evident that social animals have different habits according to the group they
>live in, and that therefore nobody did research on it. Truly amazing creatures we are.As an example, I am quite sure that when
>compare the habits of packs of wolves you will find many differences between packs as well.

Maybe, however wolves do not use tools, however primitive, and some of Whitten's data point to differences in tool use, and
different norms in different groups. It would be interesting to know whether a group using one version of digging stick
'manners' would exclude (or worse) an individual using an alternative.
>Anyway, just one more set of data against the 'humans as imitators only as an explanation for human culture' stance.

Absolutely, though it is also data for 'imitation helping maintain a cultural group' in non-humans.

> Why make
>things difficult? The only difference between man and animal is symbolic language.

Absolutely again, which is why we need to see memes as either existng in, or being transmitted by, language and cultural
artefacts, though not necessarily a reason for excluding 'rules of behaviour' or group norms.



If Price
Facilities Management Graduate Centre
Sheffield Hallam University
Unit 7, Science Park, Sheffield S1 1WB
P +44 [0]114 225 4032
F +44 [0]114 225 4038

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