Re: The selfish gene meme

From: William Benzon (
Date: Fri Dec 07 2001 - 13:11:08 GMT

  • Next message: Price, Ilfryn: "RE: The selfish gene meme"

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    Subject: Re: The selfish gene meme
    From: William Benzon <>
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    on 12/6/01 5:57 PM, John Wilkins at wrote:

    > 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
    > it in

    That's classic work. A more recent work in the same tradition is:

    Charles E. Osgood, William H. May, and Murray S. Miron, Cross-Cultural
    Universals of Affective Meaning. U of Illinois Press, 1975.


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