Re: "scientism"

Bill Benzon (
Fri, 9 Apr 1999 07:01:45 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 07:01:45 -0400
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: "scientism"

At 2:03 AM 4/9/99 +0100, Chris Lees wrote:

>Unfortunately, L. Gabora only touches what zen meditation is about in this
>brief and
>superficial way. There is a vast body of work - from Nagarjuna, to Hua Yen
>metaphysics, to Dogen, etc., etc., - which could be drawn upon.I wonder if
>is working on it, and if not , why not.

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Whatever memetics is, it is not an
intellectually mature activity. As you can see from recent postings, there
is fundamental disagreement on the meaning and use of basic terminology.

So what is the relevance of Zen meditation to memetics? On the one hand,
Zen meditation is a cultural phenomenon. A memeticist might be interested
in studying how the doctrines and techniques of Zen meditation originated
and spread.

That discussion would be rather different from the one in which you have
become embroiled, which has to do with the existence and status of
something called a self. Within memetics that discussion has to do with
agency. Put crudely, is human behavior caused by the self or by memes?
One need not, of course, conceive of the issue as a dichotomy. That
particular issue has been extensively discussed on this list without,
however, any consensus having been reached. That discussion has taken
place without reference to Zen Buddhism.

In that Zen has something to say about the self, it may have some bearing
on this particular discussion. If Zen has not been brought to bear on this
discussion, that, I think, is mostly a matter of ignorance. Most people in
memetics aren't familiar with Zen.

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

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