From: M Lissack (email@example.com)
Date: Fri 30 Jan 2004 - 14:18:25 GMT
memes are NOT causal at the level of human
behavior(except perhaps as signs of Final Causes)
memes are at best catalytic
to attribute CAUSE to memes is to greatly oversimplify
at the cost of logical sense and in blind service to
few genes are CAUSAL at the level of human behavior
to explain McArthur using ONLY memes is a joke
were the decision makers making use of a set of memes
which may have contributed to their bad decision yes
BUT there is ZERO EVIDENCE that the memes CAUSED
--- Scott Chase <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> >From: Keith Henson <email@example.com>
> >Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >To: email@example.com
> >Subject: Re: meme as catalytic indexical
> >Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 21:36:10 -0500
> >At 08:38 PM 28/01/04 +0200, you wrote:
> >> > Keith wrote:
> >> > PS. The critique of social "science" in The
> Adaptive Mind is
> >>who wrote it? A search on Amazon turns up about a
> dozen different books.
> >Sorry, typo.
> >Barkow, J.H./Cosmides, L./Tooby, J., eds. 1992. The
> Adapted Mind:
> >Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of
> Culture. New York/Oxford:
> >Oxford University Press.
> >Up this thread on Monday I quoted 3 paragraphs.
> >There might have been too little white space to
> make it screen readable.
> >Begin quote *************
> >Thus, . . . the social sciences have largely kept
> themselves isolated from
> >this crystallizing process of scientific
> >. . . social scientists . . . have tended to
> neglect or even reject the
> >central principle that valid scientific knowledge .
> . . should be mutually
> >consistent . . . . In consequence, this insularity
> is not just an accident.
> >For many scholars, it has been a conscious, deeply
> held, and strongly
> >articulated position . . . . Durkheim, for example,
> in his Rules of the
> >Sociological Method, argued at length that social
> phenomena formed an
> >autonomous system and could be only explained by
> other social phenomena
> >The founders of American anthropology, from Kroeber
> and Boas to Murdock and
> >Lowie, were equally united on this point. For
> Lowie, "the principles of
> >psychology are as incapable of accounting for the
> phenomena of culture as
> >is gravitation to account for architectural
> styles," and "culture is a
> >thing sui generis which can be explained only in
> terms of itself. ... Omnis
> >cultura ex cultura" (1917/1966, p. 25-26; p. 66).
> >Murdock, in his influential essay "The science of
> culture," summed up the
> >conventional view that culture is "independent of
> the laws of biology and
> >psychology" (1932, p. 200).
> >Remarkably, . . . this doctrine of intellectual
> isolationism, . . . has
> >only become more extreme with time. . . . many
> leading social scientists
> >now openly call for abandoning the scientific
> enterprise . . . .
> >For example, Clifford Geertz advocates abandoning
> the ground of principled
> >causal analysis entirely in favor of treating
> social phenomena as "texts"
> >to be interpreted just as one might interpret
> >We should "turn from trying to explain social
> phenomena by weaving them
> >into grand textures of cause and effect to trying
> to explain them by
> >placing them into local frames of awareness" (1983,
> p. 6).
> >Similarly, Edmund Leach rejects scientific
> explanation as the focus of
> >"Social anthropology is not, and should not aim to
> be, a 'science' in the
> >natural science sense. If anything it is a form of
> art Social
> >anthropologists should not see themselves as
> seekers after objective truth.
> >..." (Leach, 1982, p. 52).
> >These positions have a growing following, . . .
> because they offer new
> >tools to extricate scholars from the unwelcome
> encroachments of more
> >scientific approaches.
> >They also free scholars from all of the arduous
> tasks inherent in the
> >attempt to produce scientifically valid knowledge:
> to make it consistent
> >with other knowledge and to subject it to critical
> rejection on the basis
> >of empirical disproof, logical inconsistency, and
> >. . . .
> >"Not only have the social sciences been unusual in
> their self-conscious
> >stance of intellectual autarky but, significantly,
> they have also been
> >relatively unsuccessful as sciences.
> > This disconnection from the rest of science has
> left a hole in the fabric
> >of our organized knowledge of the world where the
> human sciences should be.
> >After more than a century, the social sciences are
> still adrift, with an
> >enormous mass of half -digested observations, . . .
> expressed in a babel of
> >incommensurate technical lexicons.
> And the ev-psychers are going to single handedly
> bring it all together for
> everybody? How nice of them.
> >This is accompanied by a growing malaise, so that
> the single largest trend
> >is toward rejecting the scientific enterprise as it
> applies to humans.
> >We suggest that this lack of progress, this
> "failure to thrive," has been
> >caused by the failure of the social sciences to
> explore or accept their
> >logical connections to the rest of the body of
> science-that is, to causally
> >locate their objects of study inside the larger
> network of scientific
> >. . . what should be jettisoned is what we will
> call the Standard Social
> >Science Model (SSSM): The consensus view of the
> nature of social and
> >cultural phenomena that has served for a century as
> the intellectual
> >framework for the organization of psychology and
> the social sciences and
> >the intellectual justification for their claims of
> autonomy from the rest
> >of science.
> >Progress has been severely limited . . .. In place
> of the Standard Social
> >Science Model, there is emerging a new framework
> that we will call the
> >Integrated Causal Model.
> >This alternative framework makes progress possible
> by accepting and
> >exploiting the natural connections that exist among
> all the branches of
> >science, using them to construct careful analyses
> of the causal interplay
> >among all the factors that bear on a phenomenon.
> >In this alternative framework, nothing is
> autonomous and all the components
> >of the model must mesh.
> >**************** (end quote)
> >Which is why I make the case that memetics (if it
> is to be a useful field
> >of study) must fit seamlessly into the larger frame
> of evolutionary
> >psychology/sociobiology just as those fields mesh
> without a flaw into the
> >larger frame of evolutionary biology.
=== message truncated ===
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