Jom-emit paper: "Towards a Cognitive Memetics" by Castelfranchi

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    Subject: Jom-emit paper: "Towards a Cognitive Memetics" by Castelfranchi
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                      Towards a Cognitive Memetics:
                     Socio-Cognitive Mechanisms for
                    Memes Selection and Spreading

                      Cristiano Castelfranchi
            University of Siena - Dep. of Communication Sciences
                          Siena - Italy

       1 - Cognitive Autonomy and Mediation in Cultural Transmission
          1.1 - Limits of these 'cognitive' approach and representations
          1.2 - Diffusion vs. Tradition
          1.3 - A basic model of replication in cognitive agents
          1.4 - Three mechanisms for meme adoption and replication
       2 - Instrumental Adoption: the 'practical problem-solving' mechanism
       3 - Normative Adoption: The normative character of cultural
          3.1 - Norms & Memes
       4 - Identity/Membership: the Social Identity Mechanism
          4.1 - Identity Differentiation or Hostility
          4.2 - Cooperation and conflict between the practical, normative,
          identity-based adoption mechanisms
       5 - Perceived Diffusion and Actual Diffusion
       6 - Belief Adoption and its Constraints
          6.1 - To accept and to reject; storing vs. believing
          6.2 - The decision to believe
          6.3 - Infra-psychic memetic competition
          6.4 - Why Sharing Beliefs
       7 - A more general and sophisticated model: Two crucial 'decisions'
       their emergent effects
          7.1 - Macro-layer effects
       8 - Concluding remarks


       After stressing the autonomy of a cognitive agent relative to social
       influence, and the importance of cognitive constraints in accepting a
       given meme, we discuss three specific micro-mechanisms for
       adopting a given behaviour; they differ in the interpretation of the
       observed behaviour and in the motives for replicating it. Tomasello's
       model of cultural transmission is discussed. Special attention is
       to the role of norms in meme spreading, to the role of social
       and membership, and to inter-group differentiation. Principles
       supporting the diffusion of know how are different from principles
       supporting the diffusion of know that.. Cognitive constraints for
       beliefs acceptance are examined. Not only the adoption of a meme
       but also its diffusion can be the result of a decision by the
       agent; different socio-cognitive micro-mechanisms have different
       macro-results in meme propagation. Those examples and models are
       aimed at claiming that the agents' minds are the most relevant
       selective environment for memes. To understand cultural evolution
       it is necessary to identify the cognitive principles of the success
       selection of memes within minds. Memetics can only be cognitive,
       otherwise it is contradictory and non explanatory.

       Keywords: memes, cognitive memetics, culture, beliefs, norms,
       social identity

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