Re:RE: A more

joe dees (
Wed, 07 Apr 1999 21:15:46 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re:RE: A more
From: "joe dees" <>
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 21:15:46 -0400

At Wed, 7 Apr 1999 07:11:23 -0400, you wrote:
>>But back to memetics: aside from Zen etc., there is a strand of scientific
>>psychology which casts doubt on the unitary nature of the self, and that is
>>the study of multiple personality cases. William Benzon gives some
>>references to this in his paper 'The Evolution of Narrative and the Self',
>>which was readable on http:\\ until it closed recently for
>>maintenance. It is also in J. Soc. Evol. Sys. in about 1996 (if I remember
>>Zen and/or other Buddhisms
>>Multiple personality psychology
>>Hume via Dennett
>>some deconstructionists
>I wouldn't put myself in the anti-self camp. What multiple personality
>suggests to me is that the self is a CONSTRUCTION. But constructions can
>be quite real and functional. They can also be flawed.
>It seems to me that memetic anti-selfhood is a consequence of belief in the
>autonomous agency of memes. The brain is just a garage full of memes who
>have muscled their way in and now compete with oneanother for floor space.
>Among those memes, of course, is the self meme. And we also have various
>anti-self memes who want to drive the self meme out of the garage.
This sounds vaguely Dennettian.
>Oh those pesky memes!
>William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
>708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
>Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA
In the evolution of the Next New Thing, the newly converted True Believers always absolutize the new paradigm and insist that it is the be-all and end-all of everything. This functions as a counterbalance to the unconvinced, who insist that there's nothing whatsoever to it. At first, the zealots fanatically deny that anything exists, or even can exist, or at least that nothing matters, outside the scope of their shiny new paradigm; paradoxically, this denial typically includes the very existence of their denying selves (paradoxical because, if it were true, it would render their assertions meaningless). Gradually, the new conception permeates the common consciousness at the same time that it is tempered, shaped, limited and modified by it, so they progressively become a closer coevolutionary fit, and cooler and more reasoned heads prevail. The becoming world view is accomodated to the new paradigm in the same movement in which the new paradigm is assimilated by the becomin!
g world view (this is called co-adaptation). This happened with behaviorism (there is only reinforced behavior), existentialism (existence is the primordial foundation), phenomenology (there is only perception, action and intentionality), hermeneutics (interpretation is prior to existence), structuralism (everything is reduceable to structure), functionalism (only utility has meaning), semiotics (everything is a perfusion of signs), and now it is memetics' turn in the barrel (selves are memeplexes rather than memeplex containers - the glass itself is water). Don't be concerned; it's just a transitory phase through which every maturing discipline must pass before it can take its proper place in our toolbox of ways to constitute, conceive of and construct models of that which we wish to understand.
>This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
>Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
>For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
Joe E. Dees
Poet, Pagan, Philosopher

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This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)