David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Susan L. Hurley & Nick Chater (eds.), Perspectives on Imitation. MIT Press (2004)
Darwinian theories of culture need to show that they improve upon the commonsense view that cultural change is explained by humans? skillful pursuit of their conscious goals. In order for meme theory to pull its weight, it is not enough to show that the development and spread of an idea is, broadly speaking, Darwinian, in the sense that it proceeds by the accumulation of change through the differential survival and transmission of varying elements. It could still be the case that the best explanation of why the idea has developed and spread is the conscious pursuit of human goals. Meme theory has the potential to do explanatory work in diverse ways. It can challenge the goal-based account of cultural change directly. Other possibilities for meme theory include explaining the acquisition of our goals and showing that memes and genes evolve together, each affecting the selective forces acting on the other. Raising the question of meme theory?s explanatory payoff brings out the importance of the ?selfish-meme? idea and the idea of non-content biases. Both have the potential to challenge the claim that our goals are in the driver?s seat. In order to show that a Darwinian theory of culture is more than an idle redescription, however, it is necessary to make the case that it offers explanatory gain over its competitors, in particular over the common sense goal-based account.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
William Harms (1996). Cultural Evolution and the Variable Phenotype. Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):357-375.
Maria Kronfeldner (2007). Darwinism, Memes, and Creativity: A Critique of Darwinian Analogical Reasoning From Nature to Culture. Dissertation, University of Regensburg
L. Gabora (1995). Meme and Variations: A Computational Model of Cultural Evolution. In [Book Chapter].
Matt Gers (2008). The Case for Memes. Biological Theory 3 (4):305-315.
Kim Sterelny (2006). Memes Revisited. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):145-165.
L. Gabora (1997). The Origin and Evolution of Culture and Creativity. Philosophical Explorations.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads32 ( #53,874 of 1,100,791 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #115,463 of 1,100,791 )
How can I increase my downloads?