RE: Standard definition

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Wed 30 Oct 2002 - 21:16:23 GMT

  • Next message: Wade Smith: "Re: Standard definition"

    At 03:37 PM 30/10/02 -0000, you wrote:
    > <Placing the cultural unit of transmission solely in performance
    >> allow quantitative analysis. Putting it anywhere else only allows
    >> conjecture.>
    > Yes, a definite nail on the head comment.
    > There for me lies the key to behaviours and/or artefacts as the
    >units of cultural transmission- there are things out there we can study
    >empirically. Studying the dissemination of ideas or beliefs is much more
    >ephemeral as all you can do is look for external features- i.e. behaviours
    >and artefacts that you suppose indicate the presence of particular
    > Besides when people have examined the spread of particular religious
    >faiths, for example, what they're really doing is looking at patterns of
    >discrete behaviours and artefacts that are assumed to represent a fixed set
    >of ideas/beliefs. I think Aunger makes this point, that you can't truly
    >have memes without their embodiment in practices and artefacts.
    > That doesn't mean that it's entirely inappropriate or unreasonable
    >to place memes elsewhere, just that it's more open to conjecture, and thus a
    >lack of rigour and accuracy in terms of empirical analysis. And if (a big
    >if I know) it works in the behaviour/artefact understanding, why
    >problematise it?
    > Vincent
    There are apparently a lot of conjectures, deductions and speculations in your empirical research methods. Why can't the 'hard' sciences realise that culture needs to be examined qualitatively and be done with it? Jeremy

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