memes and cultural evolution

Elizabeth Coleman (
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 15:41:18 +1000

Message-Id: <v01540b01afbaad892bde@[]>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 15:41:18 +1000
From: (Elizabeth Coleman)
Subject: memes and cultural evolution


My name is Elizabeth Coleman. I'm a PhD student at the Australian National
University and study philosophy of art, in particular, representation,
interpretation and copying. The concept of cultural evolution is central to
theories of interpretation and representation, although my discipline uses
an entirely different vocabulary.

I was wondering if some-one would be kind enough to answer a couple of
questions for me.

N Rose wrote:

> If we reject Cloak's m-culture, i-culture differentiation, and go
> for the pre-biotic soup position; can we clearly define a meme
> without slipping into the old problems about photocopiers and
> books, etc.

What are the old problems about photocopiers and books etc?

Chris wrote:

>Just for clarification, would anyone like to give some examples where
>meme phenotypes acquire new characteristics (before replicating in
>another brain) and then pass on that new information to the next meme

I am also interested in the answer. It seems to me that the logical place
is in books, pictures, artifacts etc. In particular, in those artifacts
which are interpreted. But clearly, I *am* dealing with the old problems of
photocopiers, books etc.

Elizabeth C.

Elizabeth Burns Coleman
Philosophy Department
Australian National University

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