RE: i-memes and m-memes

Gatherer, D. (
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 11:49:52 +0200

Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 11:49:52 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <>
Subject: RE: i-memes and m-memes
To: "''" <>

Let's look at the alternative to starting the "behaviourist vs.
mentalist" thing again.

Consider: every meme has a life cycle consisting of two main stages --
storage in the brain, and transmission via behaviour. Artefactual
transmission is a special case of behavioural transmission, requiring
for example writing and reading behaviours.

In this scenario, observed imitative behaviour is sufficient evidence of
brain involvement. Because the "i-meme" (I prefer "i-form") is not
isolated, as it is in the Dawkins B scenario, it does not require
independent verification. All of the empirical work can be done on
behaviours, with the brain brought in as and when appropriate to
complete the explanations.

But what explanations? Can you give me an example, in the format above, of
a situation where behaviours are the main object of study, but bringing
brain entities in is in some way necessary for a complete explanation?

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