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Andrew Buskell
University of Cambridge
Spring Term 2020

Andrew Buskell is a Leverhulme Early-Career Fellow at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, and a College Research Associate at St. John’s College, Cambridge. Andrew’s work analyses issues at the intersection of human cognition, culture, politics, and biology—and he has written on evolutionary theory, cultural evolution, and problems of extrapolation from brain-size measurements.

In Pittsburgh, Andrew will be analyzing how cultures are individuated. That is, how researchers decide that this population of people, beliefs, and/or practices constitutes a culture, while that population constitutes another. This work explores three key issues: (i) what metaontological and ontological assumptions are built into strategies for individuating cultures, (ii) how such assumptions constrain scientific research, and (iii) how different individuation strategies intersect with political and ethical concerns. More specifically, during his months at the Center Andrew will be looking at how these issues play out in data-driven projects aimed at reconstructing human history.


Buskell, Andrew, Magnus Enquist and Fredrik Jansson. 2019. A Systems Approach to Cultural Evolution. Palgrave Communications, 5(131).

Buskell, Andrew. 2019. Reciprocal Causation and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. Biological Theory, 14(4): 267-279.

Buskell, Andrew. 2019. Looking for middle ground in Cultural Attraction Theory Evolutionary Anthropology, 28(1), 14 – 17.

Logan, Corina J, Shahar Avin, Neeltje Boogert, Andrew Buskell, Fiona R Cross, Adrian Currie, Sarah Jelbert, Dieter Luka, Rafael Mares, Ana F Navarette, Shuichi Shigeno, and Stephen H Montgomery. 2018. Beyond Brain Size: Uncovering the Neural Correlates of Behavioral
and Cognitive Specialization, Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 13, 55 – 90.

Buskell, Andrew. 2018. Causes of Cultural Disparity: Switches, Tuners, and the Cognitive Science of Religion. Philosophical Psychology, 31(8), 1239-1264.

Buskell, Andrew. 2017. Cultural Attractor Theory and Explanation. Philosophy, Theory, and
Practice in Biology, 9(13), 1 – 20.





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