on platonic idealism (when is a meme)

Hans-Cees Speel (HANSS@sepa.tudelft.nl)
Mon, 9 Jun 1997 11:21:17 MET

From: Hans-Cees Speel <HANSS@sepa.tudelft.nl>
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 1997 11:21:17 MET
Subject: on platonic idealism (when is a meme)

> Timothy/Martha ask, picking up on the end of a post of mine
> >>They replicate through phemotypes which include
> >language, rituals, and various cultural artefacts. Most books are probably
> >better thought of as phemotype than memotype.
> How does such a view differ from Platonic idealism? I asked this before,
> to deafening silence as an answer, but sooner or later the issue must be
> addressed: what do you mean when you, or any memeticist, says that a meme
> "replicates" and that it "induces" structures of thought, perception, and
> behavior?<

In my view platonic ldealism is the opposite of memetics in a way. If
you see memetics as an evolutionary field, as I do, then it is
opposite to idealism as Ernst Mayr has noted in his work.
While idealism sees things as having some 'pure' or 'ideal' core,
evolutionary approaches (or population thought as Myr calls it)
notice the variety, and explain from there.

So all organisms a species in biology would for idealism be referred
to as variety around an ideal (a key specimen that is kept to record
a species in museums for instance), while evolutionary theory would
look at the variety, and try to explain that, seeing the ideal idea
as nonsense.

maybe this can help in the discussion on Platonic idealism


Theories come and go, the frog stays [F. Jacob]
Hans-Cees Speel
Managing Editor "Journal of Memetics Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission"

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