RE: reply to Benzon

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Sat 24 May 2003 - 01:16:46 GMT

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    Bill B wrote:

    > A phenotype, by definition, is the machine the replicator builds that
    > to get the replicator replicated. It is not the replicator itself. So
    > theory fits right into mainstream memetics unless he maintains that minds
    > are not involved in making performances.

    <<Sure minds are involved in making performances. But the memes aren't in the minds. The minds, in some sense, do perceive the memes out there in the world. The fact that a mind perceives a meme doesn't, in my view, mean that the mind somehow copies or replicates the meme.>>


    First, let me just be clear that I was not referring to you in my post saying a certain list member was playing a prank with his many "performance model" posts. I apologize if that was not clear to you or to other list members. I consider you an honest and intelligent contributor and of course your academic credentials far exceed my own.

    Your post here brings me back to what I thought your position was, pretty much in agreement about cultural evolution through differential selection of replicators, just not wanting to use the word "meme" the way Dawkins/Dennett settled on, and the way I repeated in my 1995 book. It's like that word is the Holy Grail the way people are fighting to own the definition.

    Your last point, though, raises a question for me. If the mind does not copy or replicate the (artifact or behavior, your definition) meme, then what does?

    Richard Brodie

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