Memes and High Culture

Randy Groves (
Thu, 12 Jun 1997 13:00:57 EST

From: Randy Groves <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 13:00:57 EST
Subject: Memes and High Culture

Dear Meme Carriers:

I have a problem with memetics as applied to high culture. There was
a post a few days ago talking about golden ages and such. How can
memetics deal with qualitative judgments? Memeticists can count
memes (once they decide what does and does not count as memes, as
Alex Brown points out), but how do they decide that some art, music ,
lit or philosophy is better than others? Intellectual historians make
such judgments all the time; indeed, that is one of their primary
tasks. But memetics, if it is to follow the model of genetics, can't
make such claims. No evolutionist says a species that survives is
"better" than one that goes extinct. Any comments as to how
memetics will handle qualitative judgments?

Randy Groves

J. Randall Groves, M.A.,M.A., Ph.D
Associate Professor of Humanities
Ferris State University

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