Re: Durkheim (resend)

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Sat 02 Apr 2005 - 06:18:59 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Durkheim (resend)"

    Dear Scott,

    > I do
    > like this particular aside (Boyd and Richerson, p.
    > 82): "For any phenotypic performance there is a
    > potentially infinite number of rules that could
    > generate that performance." That pretty much punctures
    > the simplistic memes in the noggin approach (though
    > Boyd and Richerson place cultural variants in the head
    > too a certain degree).

    Well, anything simplistic deserves puncturing. ;-)

    But the thing is, any scientific theory is underdetermined, and it is impossible to escape interpretation. What is, in a sense, amazing, is how similar interpretations are within cultures, and how well language and other cultural signals are disambiguated every day. In fact, people normally do not notice the ambiguities of ordinary communication. And when information is given off, rather than intentionally conveyed, interpretations within cultures are remarkably similar.



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