Re: Not a comprehensive theory

Ilfryn PRICE (
Mon, 02 Aug 1999 10:10:15 +0100

Date: Mon, 02 Aug 1999 10:10:15 +0100
Subject: Re: Not a comprehensive theory
From: (Ilfryn PRICE)



>Susan Blackmore, in _The Meme Machine_, stresses that only behavior
>that is truly imitatable can be 'coded for' by memes. Thus qualia,
>emotions, beliefs acquired through operant conditioning, and the like
>are not memes. In other words, human minds are full of things that are
>not memes.
>Because human culture is largely a product of the human mind, and the
>human mind is not entirely composed of memes, it follows that human
>culture cannot be understood in terms of the interactions of memes

This logic only holds together if you take the definition of memes as restricted to transmission by imitation. Human culture
perhaps cannot be understood in those terms.

You leave open the possibility that huamn culture can be understood by replication of some other cultural replicator. If
memetics ends up sticking to the Blackmore line and trying to carve itself a niche as a subset of General Cultural Replicator
theory it misses a trick.


If Price
Facilities Management Graduate Centre
Sheffield Hallam University
Unit 7, Science Park, Sheffield S1 1WB
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