Dawkins attributes mneme to Ewald Hering?

From: Scott Chase (osteopilus@yahoo.com)
Date: Sat 01 Oct 2005 - 02:34:44 GMT

  • Next message: Dace: "Re: The evolution of "evolution""

    In Dawkins's book _A Devil's Chaplain_ he has an endnote where he says:

    [bq] "Completely unknown to me when I coined 'meme' in 1976, the German biologist Richard Semon wrote a book called *Die Mneme* (English translation *The Mneme*
    (London, Allen & Unwin, 1921)) in which he adopted the
    'mneme' coined in 1870 by the Austrian physiologist Ewald Hering. I first learned of this in a review of
    *The Selfish Gene* by Peter Medawar, who described the
    'mneme' as 'a word of conscious etymological rectitude'" [eq]

    I've read Herind's 1870 essay "Memory as a general function of organized matter" in English translation and have skimmed the original German version "Uber das Gedachtnis als eine allgemeine Funktion der organisierten Materie" trying to corroborate what Dawkins says above to no avail. Dawkins should have provided a quote of Hering to substantiate his claim. If someone could provide a quote of the original German Hering essay that supports Dawkins's claim. I will stand corrected. I can find no German words that come close to "mneme". Otherwise I disputte what Dawkins says and assume Semon to have coined "mneme", though he was indebted to Hering for much of the organic memory idea. I've been in touch with Daniel Schacter about this matter.

    __________________________________ Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005 http://mail.yahoo.com

    =============================================================== 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 : Sat 01 Oct 2005 - 02:52:46 GMT