noogenetics vs. memetics II (Huxley on artifacts, socifacts and mentifacts)

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 02:39:24 GMT

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    Subject: noogenetics vs. memetics II (Huxley on artifacts, socifacts and mentifacts) 
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    In trying to pin down the comparison and contrast of Huxley's pursuit called
    noogenetics and Dawkins's pursuit called memetics I have found in Huxley's
    essay "Evolution, Cultural and Biological" his discussion of three terms,
    which he attributes to someone named Bidney in a work called _Theoretical
    Anthropology_. These terms are artifacts, socifacts, and mentifacts. There
    is a book I have found named _Theoretical Anthropology_ by someone named
    David Bidney. More on this later...

    In the meantime, referring to the above
    terms in more detail Huxley says the following:

    (bq) "A culture consists of the self-reproducing or reproducible products of
    the mental activities of a group of human individuals living in a society.
    These can be broadly divided into artifacts- material objects created for
    carrying out material functions; socifacts- institutions and organizations
    for providing the framework of a social or political unit and for
    maintaining social relations between its members; and mentifacts- mental
    constructions which provide the psychological framework of a culture and
    carry out intellectual, aesthetic, spiritual, ethical or other psychological
    functions." (eq)

    Am I to take it, based on the above, that "mentifacts" are

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