RE: i-memes and m-memes

Gatherer, D. (
Wed, 01 Sep 1999 09:44:23 +0200

Date: Wed, 01 Sep 1999 09:44:23 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <>
Subject: RE: i-memes and m-memes
To: "''" <>

*Sigh*! Here is another muddle you've gotten into by rejecting out of hand
my proposed frame work, instead of testing my conjecture.

Well, actually, there was a time when I came quite close to that view
myself. Liane Gabora is probably the most important advocate of the opinion
that all mental/neural events are memetic, right down to 'a vivid sensation
of red' (see her JoM article). I didn't get the idea from reading Gabora,
but from overinterpreting Dennett (I think). Of course Dennett does not
hold this view himself (just to get that clear, in his book Consciousness
Explained he states quite clearly that the 'simple ideas' of Locke, what we
would call qualia, are _not_ to be considered as memes), but I think you can
get the idea by stretching Dennett in the wrong direction. I once wrote an
article for Psyche, trying to make the argument that Dennett, by excluding
qualia, stops short of a 'total memetic hypothesis' of the mind.
Mercifully, it got rejected, and I was thus saved the embarrassment of
having to backtrack on it, as I have had to do with some of my other
publications from my Dawkins B phase.

The central problem for such a Gaborian thesis - maybe you can answer this,
Aaron, because I can't - is how are qualia transmitted? or if you prefer,
how are qualia replicated? I can't see that they are (or if they are then
how? - telepathy would seem to be the only solution, and obviously there is
no such thing, so what could be a more believable mechanism?).

If, as I assert, everything is to be considered memetic to begin with, then
you only need to deal with any occasion of replication in and of itself.

Not everything can be a replicator, because not everything can replicate.
With reference to the Gaborian thesis, the problem is how do qualia

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