Re: Animal culture?

Ronald Kephart (rkephart@OSPREY.UNF.EDU)
Mon, 5 Aug 1996 14:59:04 -0400

In message <01I7X4A5AA2Q000GNT@NSTCC.CC.TN.US> writes:

> If we follow Ron Kephart's definition of
> culture, requiring the transmission of culture through language, then my
> "disco dancing" was not cultural. If disco dancing is not cultural, then what
> is it? "Proto-culture?"

Thanks for the help in clarifying a not-that-easy issue. Of course, we as
humans can acquire many behaviors, including dance, via social rather than
symbolic learning. I think the key point is that we CAN talk about these
behaviors, as you just did, even tho we may not for whatever reason.

In my view, proto-culture would be LIMITED to social learning; symbolic learning
is absent. Culture, on the other hand, includes both. So, I don't see it as
either-or; I see one including the possibility of the other, but not vice-versa.
Or, if you like, culture IMPLIES both; proto-culture does not.

How's that?

Ronald Kephart
University of North Florida