Re: RS

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Sat 06 May 2006 - 10:44:09 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Orthologs was RS"

    Thursday, May 4, 2006, 8:59:12 PM, Douglas wrote:

    > have you thought of including the idea of "attribution" alongside
    > 'causation', if only for quality control purposes? I know the
    > distinction from Niklas Luhmann' Sociological Theory of Law - confusing
    > attribution and causation is a pretty endemic phenomena in legal
    > theory. It's what divides Law-as-a-Humanity and
    > Law-as-a-Social-Science.

    "We can't blame them, it was their memetic infection that caused it." Yes, attribution is very central to my interests.

    > Chris' earlier comment made me think of the distinction. He wrote, "So,
    > to the point: It is a priori impossible to 'replicate' _any_ 'meme'.
    > There is no such thing as a meme per se, it is just a useful
    > approximation for (the result of) a patterning process."

    > Also, the comments about what is the unit of 'information' raise the
    > attribution issue - cf comments on the boundaries of the "baseball"
    > meme. Can a definition of the unit of information being studied be
    > anything more than an author's attribution? Either you have some kind
    > of 'real' documented chain of causation - which involves objectively
    > identifiable phenomena/data, or you don't. If you don't, then the
    > discourse begins with interpretation, something deemed for the purposes
    > of a study to be the object of study.

    I think the quotes around "real" are very significant there. I go along with Richard when he says "There is no such thing as anything per se. We put labels on pieces of the universe, or concepts, so we can talk about them." The question is not so much what's real, but which labels and labelling schemes are most useful.

    > Is memetics through this necessary attribution a "Humanity" rather than
    > a Science, or a "Social Science"? (at least at this time?)

    > Can't say I have an answer, but it might be a point that gets close to
    > the difficulty of defining memetics as a discipline.

    Sorry, but I'm not an academic and I don't care about that (though I don't entirely agree with Keith on his academic/non-academic memetics distinction either).

    Best regards,
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