Re: Memes in brain

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Tue Oct 09 2001 - 18:36:45 BST

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    Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 18:36:45 +0100
    Subject: Re: Memes in brain
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    In-Reply-To: <>; from on Tue, Oct 09, 2001 at 09:48:45AM -0500
    From: Robin Faichney <>
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    On Tue, Oct 09, 2001 at 09:48:45AM -0500, Derek Gatherer wrote:
    > Bill
    > I think that the main problem for external memes lies in the question of meaning
    > Derek
    > Yes, it is a problem. Especially when nobody can agree on the meaning.
    > What, for instance, is the meaning of "Waiting for Godot"? Something
    > was going on in Sam Beckett's head when he wrote it, but to what extent
    > is that something reproduced when we watch a production of the play? Did
    > he even intend that we should 'understand' some point he was trying to make -
    > or is it Zen-like, some sort of provocation to do our own thinking, not
    > necessarily congruent in any way with Beckett's own thoughts?
    > So, although I admit that I am totally at a loss to analyse meaning scientifically
    > , I'd submit that the internal approach does no better.
    > Somebody was making a point (it might have been you, Bill, possibly??) about
    > even if memes can be demonstrated not to be in brains, they might be in minds.
    > I just can't handle minds, I admit - everything I have ever been taught is
    > about analysing observables, and unfortunately minds aren't in that category.

    The standard current view is that the mind is the functionality of the mind,
    so we're talking about levels of explanation here. One view is that brains
    can't host memes for the same reason that the construction of chess pieces
    normally has no influence on the outcome of the game.

    > I'm not sure if the internalist memeticists really do claim to be observing
    > minds. But I'd be very suspicious of any proposed science of minds - the
    > Freudians set out in that direction and vanished off the scientific radar screen.

    Cognitive science is all about the mind, and seems to be getting rather
    well established.

    "The distinction between mind and matter is in the mind, not in matter."
    Robin Faichney -- inside information --

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