I just changed my domain address, so this website is not up to date. Soon.
I was awared the 2014 Philosophy of Science Association Recent Ph.D. Essay Award, for my paper “Populations without Reproduction”. The Recent Ph.D. Essay Award is awarded annually to the best single-authored essay published in Philosophy of Science during the award year by someone who received a Ph.D. within the past five years.
J’ai reçu le 2014 Philosophy of Science Association Recent Ph.D. Essay Award pour mon article “Populations without Reproduction”. Le prix est décerné annuellement au meilleur article publié dans le journal Philosophy of Science écrit par un seul auteur ayant reçu son grade d0ctoral dans les cinq années précédent la publication de l’article.
My paper ‘Modularity and Recombination in Technological Evolution’ has been accepted by Philosophy & Technology. (pdf)
Mon article ‘Modularity and Recombination in Technological Evolution’ a été accepté pour publication par Philosophy & Technology. (pdf)
Cultural evolutionists typically emphasize the informational aspect of social transmission, that of the learning, stabilizing, and transformation of mental representations along cultural lineages. Social transmission also depends on the production of public displays such as utterances, behaviors, and artifacts, as these displays are what social learners learn from. However, the generative processes involved in the production of public displays are usually abstracted away in both theoretical assessments and formal models. The aim of this paper is to complement the informational view with a generative dimension, emphasizing how the production of public displays both enable and constrain the production of modular cultural recipes through the process of innovation by recombination. In order to avoid a circular understanding of cultural recombination and cultural modularity, we need to take seriously the nature and structure of the generative processes involved in the maintenance of cultural traditions. A preliminary analysis of what recombination and modularity consist of is offered. It is shown how the study of recombination and modularity depends on a finer understanding of the generative processes involved in the production phase of social transmission. Finally, it is argued that the recombination process depends on the inventive production of an interface between modules and the complex recipes in which they figure, and that such interfaces are the direct result of the generative processes involved in the production of these recipes. The analysis is supported by the case study of the transition from the Oldowan to the Early Acheulean flake detachment techniques.