Re: New Memes Book

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Fri 18 Mar 2005 - 23:52:11 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: New Memes Book"

    Bill Spight wrote:

    >>> 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?

    > 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!

    OK. I meant that the spoked wheel is the realization of an idea, not a representation of an idea, per se. (BTW, I do not think that the genotype-phenotype distinction works well with memes, as there is no segregated germ line.)

    Is a blueprint, being a representation, a meme, by your definition?



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