Re: New Memes Book

From: Kate Distin (
Date: Fri 18 Mar 2005 - 19:31:02 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Re: New Memes Book"

    Bill Spight wrote:

    > Dear Kate,
    > Congratulations on your new book! :-)
    Thank you.

    >> Memes in the mind - yes. Memes in behaviour and/or artefacts - it
    >> depends what you mean by "behaviour" and "artefacts": memes in
    >> artefacts like books and CDs - definitely; memes in spoked wheels (to
    >> use one of Dennett's examples) - no. Memes, on my view, are
    >> fundamentally representational, so anything that isn't a
    >> representation can't be a meme.
    > So a spoked wheel is not a meme because is a realization, not a
    > representation? Do I understand you correctly?
    > Thanks,
    > Bill

    I want to say yes, but I'm hesitating because I'm not absolutely clear what you mean by "realization" in this context. In my book I have talked about memetic representations being realized in different media
    (these words can be realized on a computer screen, on a paper print-out, orally, etc.) - so it feels a bit odd for me to say that realizations aren't memes.

    I suspect that this is just a symptom of Philosopher's Pedantry, but to clarify: I would say a spoked wheel is a phenotypic effect of a meme - it is a thing rather than a representation of a thing. I think that does make my answer "yes", but let me know!


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