Re: Animal culture?

Danny Yee (danny@STAFF.CS.USYD.EDU.AU)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 17:34:11 +1000

Jesse S. Cook III writes:
> In my view, culture is everything humans invent.

This seems like a needlessly (and possibly dangerously) restrictive

Whether known non-human species have "culture" is debatable, but I
don't believe ruling it out by definitional fiat is a good idea at
all. It is by no means unlikely that we will find a completely new
species somewhere in the universe that builds cities, has written
language, and argues about definitions of culture... to deny that such
a species possessed "culture" because they weren't H. sapiens would be
to do serious damage to the term (and would demand the creation of a
new one).

Danny Yee, indulging his fondness for philosophical thought experiments.