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

  • Susan Blackmore (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

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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References
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Blackmore S. J. (1999) The meme machine. Oxford University Press.
Blackmore S. J. (2001) Evolution and memes: The human brain as a selective imitation device. Cybernetics and Systems 32:225–55.
Dawkins R. (1976) The selfish gene. Oxford University Press.
Dawkins R. (1982) The extended phenotype. Freeman/Oxford University Press.
Deacon T. (1997) The symbolic species: The co-evolution of language and the human brain. Penguin.
Dennett D. C. (1995) Darwin's dangerous idea. Penguin.
Jablonka E. & Lamb M. J. (2005) Evolution in four dimensions: Genetic, epigenetic, behavioral, and symbolic variation in the history of life. MIT Press.
Runciman W. G. (1998) The selectionist paradigm and its implications for sociology. Sociology 32:163–88.
Sherry D. F. & Galef B. G. (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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