CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Recent studies in primates have shown that man is by far the most likely to learn by imitation. Aristotle believed that the ability for cultural learning and the pleasure to engage in it were a peculiarly for human gift. These mimetic skills enable young children to take part in the production and cultural processes of their society. The young child assimilates the material and symbolic production of her or his cultural community, which thus preserved are transmitted to the next generation. To a large extent, cultural learning is mimetic learning, it is essential in many processes of formation and of self-education. It extends to others, to the social community and to cultural benefits and it ensures their freshness. Mimetic learning based on the body and the senses allows learning of images, patterns and practical activity. It occurs in a manner that is largely unconscious, which induces long-lasting effects in all areas of cultural evolution.

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