Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Dawkins Moment II


In my notebook, I have this note:

"p. 206 - spends less time on memes than I expected; makes no mention of the criticism that it is an oversimplification, but I can see the allure of meme theory. I'm not a sociologist, though, & it does seem like meme theory is an attempt to make sociological phenomenon explainable by Darwinian natural selection, whether it works or not."

In case you didn't know, Dawkins coined the term 'meme' and and fleshed the idea out. The Dawkins Delusion suggests that meme theory actually adds nothing to the field of sociology, which already had tools perfectly capable of doing the explanatory work of the meme. Does anyone know what the field of sociology makes of meme theory?

To Directory


Cory said...

4 years late to the party... ahem. Just stumbled onto this, and figured I'd try to answer your question (although you've probably already had it answered):

Memetics had a brief and active (but not large) following around the time it was introduced, but seems to have fallen completely out of favor, since it's an overly simplistic way of discussing cultural and sociological change.

Of course, I'm not a sociologist so take this with a grain of salt. However, I had an idea that I thought memetics would help me express, and researching for that led me to the above information.

Christian H said...

Thank-you. That is what I expected, but I am much happier now that someone has done the research for me. :)

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