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Those dreaded memes: The advantage of memetics over “symbolic inheritance”

  • Susan Blackmore (a1)

Jablonka & Lamb (J&L) reject “the dreaded memes,” but memetics can explain human uniqueness and culture (as a product of the ability to imitate) without depending on their slippery notion of symbolism. Modern memes show the beginnings of a division into replicators and vehicles, and the replacement of reconstructive processes with systems of blind copying, variation, and selection.

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S. J. Blackmore (2001) Evolution and memes: The human brain as a selective imitation device. Cybernetics and Systems 32:225–55.

W. G. Runciman (1998) The selectionist paradigm and its implications for sociology. Sociology 32:163–88.

D. F. Sherry & B. G. Galef (1984) Cultural transmission without imitation: Milk bottle opening by birds. Animal Behavior 32:937–38.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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