From: Scott Chase (email@example.com)
Date: Wed 06 Aug 2003 - 02:23:04 GMT
>From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: RE: Defining the word "replicator" (was Re: Silent memes)
>Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 11:47:18 -0400
>I wonder whether there is confusing arising from Dawkins' terminology?
>A "replicator" should be the thing that is doing the replication, and not
>that thing that is being replicated.
>The thing that is being replicated should be called a "REPLICATEE", and the
>thing doing the replication should be called the "REPLICATOR" -- this
>reflects standard subject/object usage, unless I am mistaken.
This sort of dovetails with terms I've pondered as to their relationship, archetype and ectype. I'm not all that familiar with the eytmology and history of these terms, but the archetype would probably be the original object or primordium and the ectype would be the copy. I recall sometime about coinage where the die casts coins and the die would be the archetype and the coins would be the ectypes, but this is off the top of my head. Is ectype listed in the OED?
Going to Plato and the Idea (or eidos) the archetype would be perfect and
transcendent where the ectype would be the imperfect representation.
Going to Morphological Idealism the archetype or *Bauplan* would be the
idealized abstraction of a set of organisms and the individual organisms the
imperfect representations. There's both unity of type and conditions of
existence at play.
As superceded by Darwinian historicity, the archetype becomes the common
ancestor and the ectype would be the descendent species. OTOH we could have
the body plan and the variations on this theme (ie- vertebrata as
represented by eels, snakes and birds).
Unfortunately archetype has a checkered history and its coinage into the
realm of psychology has its obvious foibles. Need I name names? ;-)
But if an idea replicates there will be an origin (primordium) and branching
(or reticulation?) beyond this point.
One problem faced with ideational "archetypes" (*sensu* Jung) is whether
mythical themes are a result of a phylogenetic heritage or cultural
diffusion. Even if stories have motifs when comparing across cultures what
can be inferred? It's a similar problem faced by ev psych. If universals are
truly teased out from the data of human behavior, what can be assumed about
the basis of these universals? Did they have a common origin in history
(perhaps cultural replicators)? Are they a result of ecological convergence
(myths about the moon which is an object of the environment shared across isolated cultures)? Do they stem from something innate (ie- genetic replicators)?
>Does this help?
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf
> > Of AaronLynch@aol.com
> > Sent: Tue, August 05, 2003 11:22 AM
> > To: email@example.com
> > Subject: Re: Defining the word "replicator" (was Re: Silent memes)
> > In a message dated 8/5/2003 4:52:47 AM Central Daylight
> > Time, Derek Gatherer firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> > > --- AaronLynch@aol.com wrote: > In a message dated
> > >
> > > > do please
> > > > quote that
> > > > definition verbatim in its entirety, again with
> > > > source and
> > > > page numbers.
> > >
> > > You're looking for something along the lines of:
> > >
> > > REPLICATOR: noun, c.1976. An entity which ...... and
> > > is further defined by.....
> > >
> > > in the space of a paragraph or so. I doubt if you'll
> > > find anything like that, as it isn't the style of the
> > > biology literature to provide that kind of thing - too
> > > many exceptions, too messy a subject. There is a
> > > secondary literature, eg. the Penguin Dictionary of
> > > Biology, where you can look up definitions, but these
> > > are designed for first-year students to get to grips
> > > with the terminology, rather than being any 'official'
> > > definitions.
> > Thanks.
> > Biology is indeed a messier subject than physics or maths,
> > so I agree that I should not expect all the exactitude I
> > would find in those fields.
> > Dawkins seems to have already considered the first-year
> > students and other members of his wider audience, and
> > provided a glossary at the end of his book _The Extended
> > Phenotype_. The full entry for the word "replicator" reads:
> > "REPLICATOR: Any entity in the universe of which copies are
> > made. Chapter 5 contains an extended discussion of
> > replicators, and a classification of active/passive, and
> > germ-line/dead-end replicators." (p. 293)
> > His definition is very broad, extending beyond biology and
> > into other fields such as the social sciences and indeed,
> > even into physics.
> > --Aaron Lynch
> > Thought Contagion Science Page:
> > http://www.thoughtcontagion.com
> > ===============================================================
> > This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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> > see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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