Re: Standard definition

From: Wade Smith (
Date: Wed 30 Oct 2002 - 18:11:45 GMT

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    On Wednesday, October 30, 2002, at 12:41 , Bill Spight wrote:

    > If you have a theory based
    > on performance, then you need to explain the principal phenomena of the
    > field in terms of performance.

    Of course- any theory of performance needs to explain principal phemomena of performance, but no performance itself depends in any way upon a theory about it nor upon any description of any sort about it.

    There are many theories of _how_ to perform- physical, behavioral, sociological, artistic, cognitive, even memetic (!), but, the performance came before any theory of it, just like all of nature.

    Culture is part of human nature. Human nature is not a 'how'.

    Or, perhaps, culture _is_ only a theory. I'm betting it is part of human nature, and the performance-only hypothesis of cultural transmission allows all the other theories of performance their due. _Why_ a person performs meme A, or even _how_, is not important to the behavior-only hypothesis.

    But the behavior-only stance is the _only one_ that allows for non-identical performed and observed entities (momentary memes) as groundworks, and, yes, all things in nature are not identical, at least in the macro world in which culture must dwell.

    Every other hypothesis demands a meme that is somehow intact and lasting, like some impossible germ.

    - Wade

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