Re: Information

From: William Benzon (
Date: Thu May 03 2001 - 13:41:53 BST

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    on 5/2/01 11:20 PM, wilkins at wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU wrote:

    >>> Actually, #4 is VERY important, for it is significance, or meaning,
    >>> that comprises a meme; that is what is propagated. Behaviors and
    >>> discourse, the engines of imitation, MEAN something to those doing or
    >>> saying them. A meme is the selfsame meme regardless of whether it is
    >>> performed, spoken or written; it is not the code or carrier which
    >>> matter (although one kind or another must obtain, which is of no
    >>> consequence), but the content; that is, memetic identity is a matter
    >>> of semantics and pragmatics, not syntactics.
    > This is what I call the Intentional Fallacy (in reverse homage to
    > Dennett).

    FWIW, this term has an established use among aestheticians and literary
    critics. I believe it was coined by Monroe Beardsley, but am not sure. In
    this context the Intentional Fallacy is the notion that an author's (or
    artist's) stated intention about a literary work is to be taken at face
    value as a statement of what the work means or is about.

    The idea was adopted by the so-called New Critics (after WWII) and was
    intended to counter biographical approaches to literary criticism. The New
    Critics believed that the text itself contained all you needed to formulate
    a valid interpretation.

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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