Chapter

If memes are the answer, what is the question?

Adam Kuper

in Darwinizing Culture

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780192632449
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191670473 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632449.003.0009
If memes are the answer, what is the question?

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This chapter illustrates that the target memetics is attempting to inform – culture – is itself incoherent. It also states that culture used to be linked with the aristocratic notion of ‘civilized taste’, but now commonly implies ‘shared beliefs’. It proposes that Dawkins' ideas about culture are a reversion to an earlier and happier time. Culture traits are not the equivalent of philosophical notions, and even when ideas are in question, their ecology is not made up only or even primarily by other ideas. The final objection to the whole memes industry is that it has yet to deliver a single original and plausible analysis of any cultural or social process.

Keywords: memes; memetics; culture; Dawkins

Chapter.  5721 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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