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In a message dated 4/18/2002 8:48:58 PM Central Daylight Time,
Wade T.Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> On Thursday, April 18, 2002, at 08:24 , Bill Spight wrote:
> > Or do you think that
> > there are true memes? If so, what?
> Well, perhaps, but, who cares? As a standee upon the memes are behavior
> side of the fence, all memes are true inherently by virtue of having
> been performed....
> And if one is on the memes as artifact side, artifacts which have strong
> representational truth are true, truth being a correspondence sort in
> this instance, although, as with behavior, its very existence is a truth.
> If one, however, is dedicated to memes as brain/mind items, then, who
> cares? Since when does a brain/mind need truth to work?
> If one thinks that memes are beliefs, then, one has to decide whether
> any belief can be true. (Personally, I view all beliefs as false, but,
> that's me.)
Setting aside the question of whether "memes are beliefs," one
still faces the question of whether beliefs can be analyzed as
replicators. I happen to view it as quite useful to analyze beliefs
as replicators. However, I do not think that pure replicator
analysis can be used as a substitute for all the other branches
of knowledge that one uses to decide whether a belief (or for
that matter, a proposition) is true. The truth value of a belief or
a proposition is exists only with respect to the system of
abstractions and postulates. For example, the Pythagorean
theorem is may be considered "true" within the system of
postulates and basic abstractions of Euclidean geometry.
Many people can be regarded as holding "the same belief"
about the relationship of the length of a right triangle's
hypotenuse to the length of its other sides. Yet this sort of
analysis is only done with respect to some system of abstractions
that allows for consideration of "people" who have such things as
"beliefs," "concepts," "ideas," "memory items," "ongoing internal
brain behaviors," etc.
Judging from your previous comments, you seem to be
comfortable with the notion that "particles" can have "wave
functions." Perhaps you are also aware of the complex numbers
used in such functions. Maybe you are even comfortable with
theories that refer to n-dimensional membranes. Given such wide
reference to theoretical constructs of things that are not directly
observable (if, indeed, anything is directly observable, but that is
a major area of philosophy in its own right), invoking concepts of
"belief," "memory item," etc. in analysis of social phenomena
strikes me as fairly unremarkable in the world of scientific postulates.
I try to imagine what physics would be like if people tried to stamp
out reference to abstract attributes of particles, etc., and collapse
everything into a discussion of, say, the behaviors and artifacts
of particles. Perhaps there would be a school of physicists insisting
that "the wave function is the behavior," and the like. A confusing
and unproductive mess, in my opinion.
> In other words, I don't think truth is a necessary quality for a meme to
> have, in any of its infestations.
> Truth may indeed be material in some aspects of some informational
> propagation- in science, in particular, since falsehoods are only
> historical curiosities in science- but, in other realms, falsehood is a
> necessary and sufficient condition for continuance, as in any theistic
> Now, being strict, there is no such thing as a false fact, and thus no
> need for true facts.
> - Wade
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