Re: reading a book

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Mon 25 Apr 2005 - 17:36:39 GMT

  • Next message: Kate Distin: "Re: reading a book"

    Dear Kate,

    > So (continuing from my answer above) animals obviously are able to
    > copy each other's behaviour - to engage in a some kind of
    > transmission of cultural information - but what I mean by "primitive
    > replicators" is that they are limited to exchanging simple,
    > context-bound representations and do not have access to the abstract
    > complexities that abound in human culture as a result of our
    > meta-representational abilities.

    Two things. First, and most important, why should memes be context free?
      Second, human knowledge and cognition is not as context free as it may appear. For instance, the Wason task defeats most subjects in its formal
    "context free" form, using cards with letters and numbers on them, but is easy in its detect social cheating form, even when the kind of social cheating is unfamiliar. In Piagetian terms, almost everybody masters concrete operations, but not everybody masters formal operations. In fact, most people seem to have trouble with them.



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