Re: The necessity of mental memes

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Sat Jan 19 2002 - 21:59:55 GMT

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    Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2002 16:59:55 -0500
    From: "Philip Jonkers" <>
    Subject: Re: The necessity of mental memes
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    >what no one has been able to explain to me is how, in
    the absence of a mental storage and percepttion/action
    translation pathway between the perception of
    another's actions and the replication of those actions
    by oneself, how the actions of one could ever become,
    by apprehension, learning and imitation, the actions
    of another.

    I guess your interesting perception is based on a
    understandable misconception.
    What the guys in the artifact-behavior meme-camp argue
    is that it is wrong to speak of memes residing in the
    brain for no other reason that the don't fit with any
    of the current definitions. They are undetectable,
    highly personal and non-uniform in stored form.
    And they are right I think, Derek
    Gathererer has made a good job argueing that.
    They probably don't deny occurrence of those mental
    processes which eventually lead to meme-processing
    but they just consider them to fall outside the range
    of applicability of memetics.

    You can then go either two ways. One, is to retain the
    definition of the meme and abandon the whole
    meme-in-head concept and limit meme-theory to apply to
    only cultural artifacts and/or behavior, both of which
    classes do fit with definition.
    The other one I personally favor is to alter the
    definition of the meme in such a way that it also
    encompasses memes residing in the head. I think
    two steps in the right direction would be:
    1) to get rid of the meme-as-unit insistence, as there
       are virtually no atomistic memes I contend.
    2) admit that memes can assume different forms while
       conserving associated meaning and head on to
       a more abstract semantic definition of the meme.


    Philip Jonkers.

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