Re: memetics-digest V1 #1480

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 20 Feb 2004 - 04:31:51 GMT

  • Next message: Steven Thiele: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1480"

    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1480
    >Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 22:48:25 -0500
    >At 10:29 AM 20/02/04 +1100, Steven wrote:
    >>If anyone claims to be explaining social life, the first thing they need
    >>to do is to lay out what they are trying to explain. What are the
    >>phenomena that constitute social life? This requires both investigation
    >>and a long conversation with sociology. To begin with the assumption that
    >>there are memes and then to look around to see what it explains (and to
    >>turn a blind eye to what it doesn't) is to approach matters back to front
    >>isn't it?
    >After this post I am beginning to wonder if meta analysis along the lines
    >of a certain former poster is appropriate?
    >Private email is also ok.
    I think Steven's questions are important, coming as they are from his perspective. I have been reading the granddaddy of the Standard Social Science Modellers, Emile Durkheim, wondering from the outset some of the same things. One thing that is starting to slightly annoy me about Durkheim is the social fact *sui generis* refrain that constantly pops up. I agree that social causation is an important consideration and hope to unravel convergence between the "collective representations" and "memes" (or more aptly memeplexes) on this, but I have a psychobiological bias towards mentifacts and kinda start rolling my eyes a little when Durkheim tries too hard to set sociology apart from other disclipines. To put it in historical context, I think he was trying to etch out a territory for sociology proper, but I kinda steer towards a more interdisciplinary view, which might make me more receptive to social psychological approaches, such as those of Janis with groupthink or Festinger with cognitive dissonance than pure sociology of the *sui generis* school. But Durkheim was a maverick, so quirks are to be expected.

    On the other hand, social psychology is a social science. Would it as a discipline adhere to the SSSM that the EP'ers despise? Certainly memeticists would not only want to learn something about sociology, but maybe more importantly social psychology, dealing as it does with individuals within social systems. Then again it would be unsurprising if social psychologists took interest in memetics as a newer view of things.

    _________________________________________________________________ Take off on a romantic weekend or a family adventure to these great U.S. locations.

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri 20 Feb 2004 - 04:43:05 GMT