This book is about patterns of development in the history of culture. Bringing together three areas of research:
cultural history, and
evolutionary psychology, it attempts to bridge the gap that still separates the study of culture from the cognitive sciences.
The multidisciplinary approach chosen by the contributors derives its impetus from the deep conviction that in order to understand the logic of cultural development, one must take the building blocks of culture, that is, signs and language, as a starting point for research.
Central issues related to patterns of cultural evolution are dealt with in contributions on the development of mind and culture, the history of the media, the diversity of sign systems, culture and code, and the dynamics of semiosis. Theoretically oriented contributions alternate with in-depth case studies on such diverging topics as the evolution of language and art in prehistory, ritual as the fountainhead of indirect communication, developments in renaissance painting, the evolution of classification systems in chemistry, changing attitudes toward animal consciousness, and developments in computer technology.
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2004. XIX, 318 pp., num. fig. and tables
Contents: Barend van Heusden: A bandwidth model of semiotic evolution – Guido Ipsen: Evolution of culture and the history
of the media – Edwina Taborsky: The evolution of semiosic dynamics – Dirk Siefkes: Semiosis as evolution in the development
of mind and culture: Computer science as technical semiotics – Martina Plümacher: Dealing with the diversity of sign systems
in human culture – J. Raymond Zimmer: Semiotic questions raised by the evolution of talk and the emergence of complex society
– Wolfgang Wildgen: The Paleolithic origins of art, its dynamic and topological aspects, and the transition to writing – Marcel
Bax: Out of ritual. A semiolinguistic account of the origin and development of indirect language behavior – Valérie Bonnet:
From alchemy to chemistry. A chapter in the evolution of chemical symbol systems – Bernhard Ridderbos: Mythic - religious
- esthetic. Experiencing Bellini’s Brera-Pietà – Anne Magnussen: (Re)construction of the past as constitution of the
present: The representation of francoism in Spain, 2000 – Elizabeth J. Brouwer: License to kill. Epistemological frames and
animal consciousness – Michael Boyden: Culture is/as code? Semiotic and systemic perspectives – Marcel Bax/Barend van Heusden:
Controversial issues in evolutionary semiotics: Epilogue.