RE: Terminology and Quantification (was Re: Meme Machine reviewed inScience)

Aaron Agassi (
Sun, 18 Jul 1999 23:17:45 -0400

From: "Aaron Agassi" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: Terminology and Quantification (was Re: Meme Machine reviewed inScience)
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 23:17:45 -0400
In-Reply-To: <>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of
> Sent: Sunday, July 18, 1999 8:38 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Terminology and Quantification (was Re: Meme Machine
> reviewed inScience)
> >>By these criteria, Dennett (1995) is utterly inadequate. In fact,
> Dennett (1995) even claims that "The prospects for elaborating a rigorous
> science of memetics are doubtful..." (p. 369) --a situation I see as
> arising from his unfamiliarity in 1995 with quantitative population
> memetics.
Never heard of it. Put up or shut up!

>He only defended memetics as a "valuable perspective," not as a
> "rigorous science." (Indeed, this opinion about memetics may even account
> for his long delay in reading more rigorous population memetics work.)<<
> Yes. Though obviously Dennett is and always will remain the
> philosophical
> godfather of memetics, memeticists should be ready and willing to part
> company with him when he makes statements like this. As a philosopher
> Dennett has no interest in defending memetics as anything more than a
> "valuable perspective" -- i.e. a philosophically legitimate
> position. That
> is all he needs to keep talking about memetics as a philosopher.
> It is of
> less concern to him as a philosopher whether it turns into a rigorous
> science. Indeed, it would be in his interest to hedge all bets
> on it being a
> rigorous science at all until such a thing were to be imminently
> inevitable.
> To do anything else would be to risk credibility as a
> philosopher. Though I
> think he would as excited as any of us would be to see that
> actually happen,
> I wouldn't expect him or any professional philosopher to lead the
> charge.
> That's for people like you, Aaron.
Ad hominem!

> While I see
> Dennett's self as narrative center of gravity to be insightful (I don't
> subscribe to homoncular selves

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