Re: Durkheim redux

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Thu 14 Apr 2005 - 15:09:53 GMT

  • Next message: Kenneth Van Oost: "Re: Durkheim redux"

    Dear Chris,

    > Culture is not meaningless, it is key (in the wider sense as I have
    > tried to define it above).

    I. e., the environment.

    > What is meaningless is to draw a ring
    > around some portion of that which we experience in the world and say
    > that _that_ 'is' culture (i.e. to stop at culture as usually
    > defined).

    Well, there is the crisp vs. fuzzy distinction, but that is another discussion. :-)

    > I admit I'm stretching what most people would understand by the term,
    > by making it synonmous with the environment in full. I'm not
    > tremendously bothered what camp this puts me in tbh.

    Me, either. But a memes only claim is different from a ~memes only claim.

    > (Nearly) all that is in me came in from outside, through my senses.

    Well, the inside-outside distinction is fuzzy, too. ;-)

    However, we do differ on the tabula rasa question. The more we have learned about the genetics of human behavior, the less tenable the tabula rasa hypothesis has become.

    I symypathize with your general position, however. If you think about memes in the brain, they really do not seem to be much different from anything else we learn. What good does it do to distinguish between them? And as for the distinction between culture and environment, is a twig just a twig, or is it also a tool for fishing for termites?



    =============================================================== 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 : Thu 14 Apr 2005 - 15:27:55 GMT