Re: Not a comprehensive theory

Lord Zarquon (
Tue, 3 Aug 1999 04:09:08 -0700 (PDT)

Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 04:09:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: Lord Zarquon <>
Subject: Re: Not a comprehensive theory

Paul Marsden:
So memetics may, in principal at least, provide a comprehensive theory
of culture, whilst not providing for a whole psychology. In other
words, IMO, memetics is a framework for social psychology, and possibly
sociology, rather than for the whole field of psychology.

James McComb:
Memetics could only be a framework for social pschycology to the extent
that qualia and other private, non-transmissable elements of the human
mind can be excluded from social psychological explanation. But how far
can we go in social psychology without reference to inner experiences?
Many human behaviors, such as writing novels and removing pickles from
hamburgers, are partly expressive and partly caused by private
experiences of emotion, for example. I assume memetics is intended to
explain the causes and contents of human behavior, not merely describe
its transmission...

Since memetics is not a comprehensive theory of psychology, Blackmore
has no need to state in MM that 'the self is a vast memeplex - perhaps
the most insidious and pervasive memeplex of all'. Doesn't this claim
unnecessarily widen memetics to include one of the most private aspects
of ourselves (and hence, presumably, a subject for the non-memetic
portion of psychology)?

James McComb
(Lord Zarquon)
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