Ellis, just to make it clear to me.
Did you mean memes to be the plural of meme, a tonening imitation of the ancient Greek mimea which in itself means imitation, or rather, what is to be passed on and achieved by imitation, like cultural behaviour or traditional behaviour, all of which is not innate behaviour?
If so, this might well become the starting point for a completely new column, unless you or Peter Goldsbury decide, that this as a topic in itself has already been discussed elsewhere in abundance. Then, I would be interested in the wheres. Anyway, it will be no less interesting to see you incorporating these memes more explicitly into the existing essay and see them discussed in this context.
I'll be looking forward to it.
Hello Mr Lehnen,
I did my academic training in the US before Dawkins wrote his book and before the concept was popularized at the hands of Hofstater and Dennett. (When I was at Harvard, Dennett had written only Content and Consciousness
and he used this text in his course.) So memes, whether selfish or altruistic, never penetrated as far as the Department of Classics, where I was.
So I regard the concept as a hypothesis or a metaphor that might have some explanatory value. However, I am not convinced it has any ‘cash value' as a ‘scientific' term and to call a certain way of thinking a meme (perhaps another example might be the phlogiston theory), is not to endow that thinking with any particular qualities, other than that it occurs: some people think in this way, in the same way that some people buy a particular kind of dog food or wear a particular brand of jeans.
Anyway, if Ellis creates a new thread, I suppose that Jun will move this post there, along with all the other interesting stuff about shells, tin plates and parrots.