The Case for Memes

Biological Theory 3 (4):305-315 (2008)
Abstract
The significant theoretical objections that have been raised against memetics have not received adequate defense, even though there is ongoing empirical research in this field. In this paper I identify the key objections to memetics as a viable explanatory tool in studies of cultural evolution. I attempt to defuse these objections by arguing that they fail to show the absence of replication, high-fidelity copying, or lineages in the cultural domain. I further respond to meme critics by arguing that, despite competing explanations of cultural evolution, memetics has unique explanatory power. This is largely founded upon the increasing likelihood of formulating a workable fitness measure for memes, a memetic index. I conclude that memes must be integrated with psychological bias and population-dynamic approaches to cultural evolution.
Keywords memes  cultural evolution  fidelity
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References found in this work BETA
Peter Godfrey-Smith (2000). The Replicator in Retrospect. Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):403-423.
Kim Sterelny (2006). Memes Revisited. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):145-165.
Citations of this work BETA
Matt Gers (2011). The Long Reach of Philosophy of Biology. Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):439-447.
Similar books and articles
Kim Sterelny (2006). Memes Revisited. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):145-165.
Susan Blackmore (2005). Implications for Memetics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):490-490.
Susan Blackmore (2006). Why We Need Memetics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):349-350.
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