From: Scott Chase (ecphoric@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Feb 28 2002 - 04:27:32 GMT

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    From: "Scott Chase" <ecphoric@hotmail.com>
    To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
    Subject: tumbleweeds?
    Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 23:27:32 -0500
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    How significant is this passage from David Bidney's book _Theoretical
    Anthropology_ (1967, Shocken Books, New York, p. xvi)?:

    (bq) "The psychologists and cultural humanists point out the essential
    relevance of man the individual to the cultural process and his role as a
    creative agent in the genesis and evolution of cultural products. The
    alternative taken by the early Kroeber, and by contemporary culturologists
    such as Leslie White, is to take culture as if given by nature in the course
    of emergent evolution and then to ignore man, the creator of culture.
    Culture is then treated *as if* it were an autonomous process or system
    subject to its own laws of evolution. Even the great man or cultural genius
    is explained away as an expendable, individual, variable function of his
    culture, as a more or less passive vehicle for the transmission of cultural
    processes and traditions." (eq)

    How does this square with views of memeticists, especially the part about
    people as passive vehicles?

    Couple this wih what I've posted by Julian Huxley where he uses a term like
    self-reproduction applicable within the noetic sphere.

    How novel is memetics? Is it just a recombination of old material (harkening
    back to Jung's essay on cryptomnesia)?

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