RE: Durkheim on historical origin versus current utility

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Fri 13 Feb 2004 - 07:20:44 GMT

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    John Wilkins wrote:

    > As it happens, I think memetics has some underlying
    > problems, but they do not arise out of the analogy of
    > cultural evolution to biological evolution.
    > They arise out of a philosophical tendency to objectify
    > abstractions such as "gene". I have already argued in my
    > major JoM article that what counts in evolution of culture is
    > any entity at any level, above and beyond the individual if
    > necessary, that is subjectible to selection.


    > Memes can be social institutions in my opinion. Or they can
    > be fragments of ideas in single heads.

    Out of respect for the coiners of the word I didn't use "meme" to refer to all of these cultural replicators, just the simple ones (fragments of ideas in people's heads). I used other terms to refer to more complex replicators. Unfortunately there continues to be much confusion about the definition of
    "meme." What a territorial battle!

    Glad to have you back.

    Richard Brodie

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