RE: Durkheim on historical origin versus current utility

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 13 Feb 2004 - 22:15:14 GMT

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    >From: "Richard Brodie" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: RE: Durkheim on historical origin versus current utility
    >Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 23:20:44 -0800
    >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
    >Unfortunately there continues to be much confusion about the definition of
    >"meme." What a territorial battle!
    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me again point out the fragments of ideas in a person's head starts converging into engram/mnemon territory.
    >Glad to have you back.

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