RE: i-memes and m-memes

Gatherer, D. (
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 16:13:17 +0200

Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 16:13:17 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <>
Subject: RE: i-memes and m-memes
To: "''" <>

>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?

It depends what kind of explanation you're looking for. In the general
case, it seems obvious that the channel through which memes travel from
one behavioural instance to another, necessarily involves the brain. I
really can't see any advantage in denying that, and I presume you don't
want to do so.

Something has to be happening in the brain in order for limbs, etc. to move,
of course. But that's about as far as I'd be prepared to take it.

The only reason to talk about the brain in individual
cases that I can think of right now is to explain selection and
mutations that occur between one behavioural instance and another.

Why? For instance does a misprint enter and leave the brain? Dawkins'
example of memetic mutation in the 2nd edition of The Selfish Gene, involved
a misprint in an article by EO Wilson, and one in the Scottish Student
Songbook. So where's the brain here?

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)