Memes, Minds, and Imagination


in Imaginative Minds

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264195
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734540 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Memes, Minds, and Imagination

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This chapter determines the existence of human imagination and creativity through the concept of human culture and meme. It aims to rebut the two assumptions governing creative imagination in humans. The first assumption suggests that imagination evolved because humans are biologically adaptive. The second assumption claims that the existence of consciousness is the driving force behind creativity and imagination. In this chapter, it is argued that human creativity is the result of evolutionary processes based on memes rather than genes. This concept suggests that if hominid ancestors of humans are capable of imitation, a new set of replicators are set loose driving human minds to become better at copying, storing, and recombining memes. This coevolution of memes and their copying machinery led to the modern imaginative minds which evolved not because they are biologically adaptive but because they are advantageous for the memes. Hence the driving force behind human imagination is therefore not consciousness but aevolutionary algorithm which function is not biological but memetic.

Keywords: human culture; meme; creative imagination; humans; imitation; replicators; copying machinery; evolutionary algorithm

Chapter.  8193 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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