From: Vincent Campbell (VCampbell@dmu.ac.uk)
Date: Tue 29 Oct 2002 - 13:28:10 GMT
(Responding to Aaron's comments, deleted here just to make the message
Hi Aaron, interesting comments.
I think Dawkins' relationship to the term he coined is interesting, in that
he has tended to be rather diffident towards the concept. Perhaps it's
because it was only a whim and he doesn't seen it as a genuine scientific
idea, perhaps he'd rather the rest of 'The Selfish Gene' was what
inspired/excited readers as that was arguably his main purpose, and indeed
that has occurred to some extent.
I think I agree with you that the "are ideas memes or vice versa?"
discussion is a bit unnecessary when 'idea' seems to work just fine as a
category. I suppose one might say the same about artifact or behaviour.
Other writers have covered the same kinds of ground without using memes,
from Cavalli-sforza's cultural traits, to the pop science of gladwell's
Still, I agree with Bill, that there is some very broad consensus around
what the topic of memetics is, even if memes are that relevant. The issue
of cultural transmission/inheritance is a clear one, and an evolutionary
model is one clear approach, regardless of terminology.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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