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Abstract Projects of cultural evolution make the claim that evolutionary theory is applicable to the study of non-biological systems. This claim is best understood as a commitment to methodological rather than ontological appropriation. Formulations like the Price equation express the capacity of evolutionary models to be appropriated into non-biological contexts. The replicator dynamic models of Boyd, Henrich, and Richersen demonstrate the empirical validity of such appropriations. And the evolutionary projects of Wimsatt, Tostevin, and Murmann demonstrate promise for piece-meal appropriations in making new ground in the studies of culture, anthropology, and economics respectively.

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