The Theoretical Difficulties of Memetics

Diametros (58):65-86 (2018)

Memetics is a research approach which applies evolutionary ideas and terminology to cultural phenomena. The core idea of memetics is the existence of the units of cultural evolution which are attributed autonomous replicating goals. Of course, such a controversial concept has gained many devoted adherents as well as its determined opponents. The paper discusses the theoretical difficulties of memetics. The first part discusses the analogy of genes and memes. The theme of the second part is the ontology of a cultural replicator. Finally, the third part presents the main issues related to manners of transmission and the adaptation of memes. In short, the aim of the paper is an evaluation of the explanatory potential of memetics. The explanatory potential of memetics will be evaluated in terms of its intrinsic consistency, the degree of its confirmation, the falsifiability of the theses which were elaborated on its basis and the heuristic value of this approach.
Keywords evolution of culture  Dennett  Dawkins  Sperber  replicator  historical narrative  memetics
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