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At 10:57 PM 14/02/02 -0800, Grant wrote:
>As a point of note, E. O. Wilson says in Consilience, "The definition of
>meme I suggest is nevertheless more focused and somewhat different from
>that of Dawkins. It is the one posed by the theoretical biologist Charles
>J. Lumsden and myself in 1981, when we outlined the first full theory of
>gene-culture coevolution. We recommended that the unit of culture -- now
>called meme -- be the same as the node of semantic memory and its
>correlates in brain activity. The level of the node, whether concept (the
>simplest recognizable unit), proposition, or schema, determines the
>complexity of the idea, behavior, or artifact that it helps to sustain in
>the culture at large." Chapter 7, From Genes to Culture.
>In other words, E. O. Wilson is just one more voice in the hunt for a
>clear definition of the meme.
Recast from genes to memes, this is really close to what Dawkins said in
his hunt for a definition of what a gene is in Extended Phenotype.
I don't see what Wilson says as being inconsistent with the generally
accepted understanding people have of memes.
Personally I think that attempts to give exact definitions are a waste of
time. If you get to the stage of modeling or even thought experiments, it
is clear from the model or the math what you are doing.
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