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13. Nov 28.docx

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PSYC 3100
Hank Davis

Final Lecture – Nov 28, 2012 Finish Chapter 15 Daniel Dennett - Philosopher at Tuft‟s University in Massachusetts, successful author o Books – „Consciousness Explained‟, „Darwin‟s Dangerous Idea‟, „Breaking the Spell‟ - This is a world full of MEMES, but there are more memes than there are homes for them o Human mind as potential home, very competitive – So many memes, so few minds o Immediate parallel with genetic evolution – competitive as hell out there o Memes compete but not a level playing field – makes it uneven is the stuff between your ears (our cognitive architecture)  E.g. most people find concept of probability difficult and concept of frequency easy, when questions phrased in probable way, people get a rash, but if phrased as frequencies people get it – Unlevel playing field Music, Art and Literature - In a sense, no culture on the planet that doesn‟t have some form of these o Why? - Don‟t per se enhance reproductive fitness, not modules in the brain that fuel those things – likely that all of them are trading on modules that have other jobs/do other things Miller (1998) – “Display” Hypothesis - Men, mostly, display art in order to attract partners - Men produce more art in every field than women, according to EP women have less to gain in these terms than men, men are competitive for access to women, so anything they can do to make themselves stand out/more attractive, they will do it. Women are being competed for, they don‟t need to be artists - In most men, the most artistically productive time in life corresponds to peak reproductive years - Unlikely that any aspect of art is the result of a specific adaptation - Even if no specific modules, all forms of art are probably great byproducts – Steven Pinker “music is auditory cheesecake” - Most popular novels/stories/certain movies have so many common elements it‟s staggering – look at plot of Titanic/Gone with the Wind/Avatar, do you think it‟s just random shit? They have common elements o Intrasexual competition, mateship/courtship, cheater detection, life-threatening choices
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