Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Handbook of Culture and Memory$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Brady Wagoner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190230814

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190230814.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2019

The Evolutionary Origins of Human Cultural Memory

The Evolutionary Origins of Human Cultural Memory

Chapter:
(p.19) 1 The Evolutionary Origins of Human Cultural Memory
Source:
Handbook of Culture and Memory
Author(s):

Merlin Donald

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190230814.003.0002

The term cultural memory describes a group’s shared experience, skill, and knowledge that is retained and updated through time. Individual memory has its social roots in this system. Although resources are distributed across different minds in the network, they must all obey the standards of thought and behavior imposed by belonging to it. As such, no single person can carry the burden of the system alone and thus has only modest possibilities of changing it. Cultural memory has evolved in relation to embodied, narrative, and institutional modes of representation. Humans became skilled before they became articulate: The prime driver of early evolution of mind and memory was tool master rather than language. This embodied mode of cultural memory still persists (e.g., in ritual, craft, and the arts) but has been transformed with the emergence of narrative mode and later the theoretical or institutional mode, which is dominant today.

Keywords:   cultural memory, evolution, distributed cognition, material artifacts, modes of representation, networks

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .