Replicating Reasons: Arguments, Memes, and the Cognitive Environment

Philosophy and Rhetoric 50 (4):566-588 (2017)
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Abstract

The human being is an imitative animal. This statement, or description, resonates across time and cultures. Its familiarity derives from its repetition. It has, in terms appropriate to this discussion, a memetic quality. What Aristotle says is that "imitation is natural to man from childhood, one of his advantages over the lower animals being this, that he is the most imitative creature in the world, and learns first by imitation". The proof for this, Aristotle goes on to explain, lies in the pleasure derived from imitation. And if pleasurable, it is natural; we are naturally imitative creatures.Among our imitative practices is the social practice of argumentation with all its rhetorical...

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Christopher Tindale
University of Windsor

References found in this work

The Selfish Gene. [REVIEW]Gunther S. Stent & Richard Dawkins - 1977 - Hastings Center Report 7 (6):33.
Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
11. Why Is Reasoning Biased?Dan Sperber & Hugo Mercier - 2017 - In Dan Sperber & Hugo Mercier (eds.), The Enigma of Reason. Harvard University Press. pp. 205-221.

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