RE: What does the replicating?

Bill Benzon (
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 20:25:50 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 20:25:50 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: RE: What does the replicating?

Paul Marsden says:
>Only if you take a normative view of good that is is, I think Richard's
>point takes is an (effective) anti-absolutist swipe at morality, and
>demonstates that successful memes are those that have display *relative*
>superior replication, I think he he is pretty "explicit" about this. If
>your point is that all relativistic positions have a certain circularity
>becuse they depend on themselves then I would agree with you, but would
>contend that is something our epistemology just has to live with.
>Probably the use of "good" memes invites confusion, why not talk of
>effective memes?
Still absolutely circular.

We can say, for example, that effective genes are ones which produce a
plant which survives. OK. But that tells us absolutely nothing about what
characteristics of the plant allows it to survive. How does it get energy
& nutrients? How does it reproduce? We know a great deal about the
physical systems which accomplish these functions for plants. But when it
comes to memes, we know little that's parallel. All we can say is "gee, it
survived this long, so it must be doing something right." That may be
true, but it's not intellectually satisfying.

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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