Darwinism, Memes, and Creativity: A Critique of Darwinian Analogical Reasoning from Nature to Culture
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Dissertation, University of Regensburg (2007)
The dissertation criticizes two analogical applications of Darwinism to the spheres of mind and culture: the Darwinian approach to creativity and memetics. These theories rely on three basic analogies: the ontological analogy states that the basic ontological units of culture are so-called memes, which are replicators like genes; the origination analogy states that novelty in human creativity emerges in a "blind" Darwinian manner; and the explanatory units of selection analogy states that memes are "egoistic" and that they can spread independently of our mind. The detailed philosophical analysis offered in the dissertation shows that these three analogies rely on either wrong or trivial statements: they provide either wrong or no new descriptions or explanations of the phenomena at hand. In Chapter One, I introduce the diverse ways, in which contemporary Darwinism is used today outside of evolutionary biology. Chapter Two explains what it means to claim that something evolves in a Darwinian manner. Chapter Three to Five address each of the three analogies separately. Darwinism applied to culture and mind, at least in the way discussed in this study, is not a dangerous idea. It leads either to wrong claims or to a re-telling in Darwinian terms of what we have already known.
|Keywords||Darwinism creativity culture analogies cultural evolution memetics|
|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
Mark Greenberg (2004). Goals Versus Memes: Explanation in the Theory of Cultural Evolution. In Susan L. Hurley & Nick Chater (eds.), Perspectives on Imitation. MIT Press.
John Richardson (2004/2008). Nietzsche's New Darwinism. Oxford University Press.
Maria Kronfeldner (2010). Won't You Please Unite? Darwinism, Cultural Evolution and Kinds of Synthesis. In A. Barahona, H.-J. Rheinberger & E. Suarez-Diaz (eds.), The Hereditary Hourglass: Genetics and Epigenetics, 1868-2000. Max Planck Insititute for the History of Science. 111-125.
Christine Clavien (forthcoming). Evolution, Society, and Ethics: Social Darwinism Versus Evolutionary Ethics. In Thomas Heams (ed.), Handbook of Evolutionary Biology (provis. Title). Springer.
Susan Blackmore (2006). Why We Need Memetics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):349-350.
J. W. Stoelhorst (2008). The Explanatory Logic and Ontological Commitments of Generalized Darwinism. Journal of Economic Methodology 15 (4):343-363.
Maria Kronfeldner (2010). Darwinian 'Blind' Hypothesis Formation Revisited. Synthese 175 (2):193--218.
Added to index2010-07-21
Total downloads55 ( #31,414 of 1,101,864 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #41,658 of 1,101,864 )
How can I increase my downloads?