RE: Definition of meme

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Mon 19 May 2003 - 13:32:47 GMT

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    Bill Benzon wrote:

    <<So, just how do you define "meme"?>>

    In the very post you were replying to, I wrote that I used the Dawkins/Dennett definition: mental replicator.

    << Let us say that we define a meme to be an entity that plays a role in cultural processes that is analogous to the role that a gene plays in biological processes. That, I believe, is what Dawkins had in mind and what Dennett has defended.>>

    That was the early, vague definition Dawkins gave. He later clarified it to be a mental replicator and Dennett concurred.

    <<So, we now examine cultural processes to see what, if any, entities fit the definition. You claim to have found such entities in people's minds. Wade claims that is impossible and so do I. We're not disagreeing with the definition -- assuming you more or less agree with it. We're disagreeing about where to look in the world to find entities that satisfy the definition.>>

    You are disagreeing with the definition as currently held by Dennett and others who have written books on memetics, but I'm sure you have your reasons.

    Richard Brodie

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