Re: Can economics be studied by memetics. Was: Is Memetics

Hans-Cees Speel (
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 21:08:25 +0000

From: Hans-Cees Speel <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 21:08:25 +0000
Subject: Re: Can economics be studied by memetics. Was: Is Memetics

> At issue is the suggestion by If Price that memetics offers a "unifying
> paradigm," and I am asking -- through the device of the "final exam in
> memetics" -- what this unifying paradigm actually IS.

It is a view where evolution of information is studied. It is not
only a unifying view, but also an evolutionary one. That is that it
is among the population thinking in cultural science, not
classification science, or platonic idealism. For me there is a
world out there that shows us evolving languag (syntax, concepts,
theories), evolving behavior, evolving organizations (institutions)
and so forth.

these things are connected in a way i cannot lay my hands on yet, but
I am learning. Memetrics shows that these evolving 'things' evolve by
mechanisms we might learn to understand. Memetics is for me 'a'
framework, not the only one, and not the ultimate one. But for me a
useful one.

A framework should yield 'efficient organization' of views on how
things are connected in processes, and should yield hypothesis that
are preferrably testable, but in any case challenging.

For me it is a different way of looking at the world that is
comfortable to me, since I was brought up in biological thought.

If the framework is 'better' than others remains to be seen.
For me it is better if it yields novel hypothesis(es?). For me one of
the advantages is that it fits in with evolutionary epistemology that
I hold to be the right one. But that is subjective I quess. I do
think we need to think about how to 'judge' memetics, but that we
should hold such tests until we really have developed the field some


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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|School of Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and management
|Technical University Delft, Jaffalaan 5 2600 GA Delft PO Box 5015 The Netherlands

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