By Kate Distin
Tradition is a different and engaging element of the human species. How did it emerge and the way does it strengthen? Richard Dawkins has prompt that tradition evolves and that memes are the cultural replicators, topic to version and choice in exactly a similar manner as genes are within the organic international. during this feel human tradition is the made of a senseless evolutionary set of rules. Does this suggest, as a few have argued, that we're mere meme machines and that the wakeful self is an phantasm?
Kate Distin's hugely readable and available e-book extends and strengthens Dawkins's thought and provides for the 1st time a completely built and viable notion of cultural DNA. She argues that culture's improvement could be visible either because the results of memetic evolution and because the fabricated from human creativity. Memetic evolution is completely appropriate with the view of people as wakeful and clever.
This booklet should still discover a extensive readership among philosophers, psychologists and sociologists, and it'll additionally curiosity many nonacademic readers.
Kate Distin is an self sustaining student.
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Extra info for The Selfish Meme: A Critical Reassessment
In addition, representations must be replicable if they are to count as memes, and this too will depend partly on the organism’s abilities – in this case on its capacity for social learning (explored in later chapters). Finally, memes must be able to exert their effects if they wish to be selected, and the nature of representational content, as explored in this chapter, will enable them to do just that. This chapter has strayed quite deeply into the territory of philosophical analysis, whose sometimes arduous terrain has nonetheless held, I hope, some allure.
Its venom is the reason why, in the ﬁrst place, predators learn to avoid the coral snake. Its appearance, on the other hand, we can term a causally relevant property. It is this which, in the future, will cause predators to avoid snakes which share that appearance. Looking back at the wasp that ﬂew into the room earlier, we can see that the functionally most relevant property of such insects is the knowledge that they sting: this is the reason why Ben’s representation of them has gained control over his avoidance of them.
Its appearance, on the other hand, we can term a causally relevant property. It is this which, in the future, will cause predators to avoid snakes which share that appearance. Looking back at the wasp that ﬂew into the room earlier, we can see that the functionally most relevant property of such insects is the knowledge that they sting: this is the reason why Ben’s representation of them has gained control over his avoidance of them. In contrast, what is causally relevant to present or future encounters with them is their appearance: that is what now triggers the controlling representation.