Re: Memetics in Time magazine

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Mon, 19 Apr 1999 10:44:15 EDT

From: <>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 10:44:15 EDT
Subject: Re: Memetics in Time magazine

In a message dated 4/19/99 9:18:06 AM Central Daylight Time, writes:


I read this one with some interest.

>>She's not alone in this view. Tufts University professor Daniel Dennett, an
enthusiastic and prolific memeticist, acknowledges that it's an unsettling
philosophy. "People are terribly afraid that this is going to rob them of
authorship and creativity, that it will be the swallowing up of the self."
That fear, he speculates, may account for some of the vehemence of the
opponents of memetics. "The view of the self that emerges from a proper
evolutionary account," he says, "is different enough from the tradition that
it can get people fairly upset." One advantage of memetics over tradition,
Dennett points out, is that it can explain consciousness without resorting to
a little man in the back of the head calling all the shots.<<

He just dances around this "self" thing. I don't think he has ever gone
quite so far as to say it is an illusion. But Blackmore certainly does, and
Dennet's endorsement of her causes one to wonder about his own position on
this. As a philosopher, he chooses his words well though. I have never
heard him say such a thing. Unfortunately many people do not read
philosophers as carefully as they express themselves. I imagine after this
book many may erroneously believe that he has expressed Blackmore's belief
himself, unless they have actually read Dennet very closely.


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