Lorenz on the "mneme"

From: Scott Chase (osteopilus@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon 04 Apr 2005 - 01:54:48 GMT

  • Next message: John S. Wilkins: "Re: Lorenz on the "mneme""

    I found this little aside by Lorenz most interesting, given that, despite his dark National Socialism related past, he reached the prominence as an ethologist to get a Nobel Prize. Lorenz was talking about learning and memory when he wrote during his stint in a Russian POW camp (p. 163):

    [KL] "In an objective sense, a "mneme"- a memory of what has happened previously- is already present wherever the behavior of an organism is influenced *by what it has just done*." [KL]

    I wonder how Lorenz had been introduced to the concept of "mneme" (the "mneme" meme)?. I see no apparent reference to Semon nor is Semon's work in the bibliography.

    Here we see an ethologist using the term "mneme". I'm not sure how often this word was used in ethological circles. Dawkins himself emerged from the ethological scene, so this could be an interesting thing to ponder. If its ethological use was confined to Lorenz's Russian Manuscript then it was lost until unearthed in 1990.


    Konrad Lorenz. 1996. The Natural Science of the Human Species. The MIT Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts

    for more on Lorenz's controversial past:

    Franz de Waal. 2001. The Ape and the Sushi Master. Basic Books. New York

    Ute Deichmann. 1996. Biologists Under Hitler. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts

    __________________________________ Yahoo! Messenger Show us what our next emoticon should look like. Join the fun. http://www.advision.webevents.yahoo.com/emoticontest

    =============================================================== 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: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon 04 Apr 2005 - 02:12:24 GMT