Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id XAA07093 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Thu, 6 Dec 2001 23:01:53 GMT Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2001 09:57:30 +1100 Subject: Re: The selfish gene meme Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252; format=flowed From: John Wilkins <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable In-Reply-To: <B5EDC67328A3D311B0F70006293884CA03919593@electra.shu.ac.uk> Message-Id: <A0419A5A-EA9C-11D5-A082-003065B4D1F0@wehi.edu.au> X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.475) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
On Thursday, December 6, 2001, at 11:19 PM, Price, Ilfryn wrote:
> Interestingly, your use of the term "replication space"
>> suggests that you are
>> referring to something that is defined with sufficient
>> mathematical precision
>> to call for a coordinate system. Some readers will want to
>> know in exact
>> quantitative terms how that space is defined, which in turn
>> may cause them to
>> want to know in more exact terms how the word "meme" is defined.
> I can appreciate how it would suggest that precision to a physicist but
> I used it as no more than metaphor. C.f Dennet's space in the
> Libraries of Mendel and Babel.
I think semantic spaces are much more than metaphors, but that the
metrics are not absolute. Nevertheless, they can be measured
contextually. This is done, often not well, in the social sciences all
the time (eg, in "attitudinal surveys"). There was an old book entitled
_The Measurement of Meaning_ back int he 50s on the subject. I reference
Wilkins, J. S. (1998). “The evolutionary structure of scientific
theories.” Biology and Philosophy 13(4): 479–504.
along with a discussion of space metaphors.
-- John S Wilkins PhD Student - jointly between History and Philosophy of Science, and Botany Topic: Species concepts <http://www.users.bigpond.com/thewilkins/darwiniana.html>
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