Re: Illiad

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Thu 06 Mar 2003 - 15:58:38 GMT

  • Next message: Van oost Kenneth: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1296"

    Do you see how, even among people that supposedly share a culture (for instance, we could concievably find ourselves talking about the subject at a departmental cocktail party) the meaning of the Illiad is different depending on what other memes are in our *individual* heads?



    Perceptiion and cognition are dependent upon the memes we already hold in our minds. Extracting meaning from the words that come to us depends on our skill and ability to interpret them. This is different in everyone. Past experience plays a large role in how we interpret what we see and hear. If you say, "The house on the hill is white." the house I see in my mind is not the same house you saw in your mind when you said it. The picture in my mind is based on houses I have seen in places where I have lived and the same applies to the house you see in your mind. The only thing that survives the transmission and reception is the basic concept of house. Everything else is colored by our experience.

    So you can't read the Illiad from the same viewpoint that Greeks and Romans read it 2000 years ago. But you can get as much from it as any other human who reads it today, based on your relative accumulation of knowledge on the subject. It won't turn you into a person of Greek culture but it will help you understand that culture. Understanding of any story or poem in any language is both relative and colored by the culture in which you grew up. What you get from it will depend on what you've already accumulated in your mind in the years since you were born.


    _________________________________________________________________ STOP MORE SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE*

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 06 Mar 2003 - 15:55:41 GMT