Latest update: March 19, 2002
Additions are still welcome. Also, there is lots of room in this directory
for valuable information (excerpts, abstracts, annotations, etc.) to be
hyperlinked to the bibliography.
Mail to David McFadzean.
These fine persons helped compose the list
Alexander, R.D. (1979)
"Darwinism and Human Affairs"
(Seattle, University of Washington Press)
Alexander, R.D. (1987)
"The Biology of Moral Systems"
(New York, Aldine de Gruyter)
Altenberg, L. (1984)
"A Generalization of Theory on the Evolution of Modifier Genes"
(PhD thesis Stanford University, available from University Microfilms,
Ann Arbor, MI)
- A model of the cultural evolution of memes that control the
transmission of other memes, with the result that
in a population near equilibrium for cultural traits that affect
individual survival, memes for traditionalism (i.e. faithful transmission
of other memes) will prevail.
Åm, O. (1995)
"The Origins of Knowledge" (expected later this year)
- A book concerning the evolution and anatomy of knowledge. In developing a
biological and social theory of knowledge we shall visit many disciplines
ranging from a theory of Power, Systems theory, Complexity and Gestalt
Psychology. As the book proceeds a philosophy called Perspectivism will
slowly come to life by parasiting on the different topics that we visit.
Arnopoulos, P. (1993)
"Sociophysics: A General Theory of Natural and Cultural Systems"
(Nova Science Publishers)
- Sociophysics is constructed within the conceptual framework of a Systems
Unification Model which bases the political, economic, and cultural
sectors of human society upon the physical, chemical and biological
aspects of nature.
Axelrod, R. (1984)
"The Evolution of Cooperation" (Basic Books)
- Starts with the results of a computer competition of programs to play
each other at the Prisoners Dillema. The winning program was by far
the simplest, and involved simply doing what the other player did the
previous turn, and starting of with trust. Expounds on this as a
philosophy (i.e The Golden Rule). Excellent example of computer
behavior providing a terrific insight into humanity.
Ball, J. (1984)
"Memes as replicators"
in: Ethology and Sociobiology; 1984 Vol 5(3) 145-161
- Several well-known genetic phenomena (e.g., birth, death, sexual
selection) are translated into memetic language.
"The Retreat to Commitment" (2nd edition, Open Court)
- At first glance this book seems to be a history of Protestant philosophy
in the last 150 years, but it turns out to be the book that set
evolutionary epistemology on its feet. The first edition came out in 1962,
some fourteen years before Dawkins published
"The Selfish Gene".
"The Meme Machine" (Oxford University Press)
- In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins proposed the concept of the meme as a unit of culture, spread by imitation. Now Dawkins himself says of Susan Blackmore:
Showing greater courage and intellectual chutzpah than I have ever aspired to, she deploys her memetic forces in a brave--do not think foolhardy until you have read it--assault on the deepest questions of all: What is a self? What am I? Where am I? ... Any theory deserves to be given its best shot, and that is what Susan Blackmore has given the theory of the meme.
"The Evolution of Culture in Animals" (Princeton University Press)
- Examples of memes in the animal world are most bird songs, and certain
techniques for hunting or using tools that are passed from parents or
the social group to the youngsters.
Boyd, R. and P.J. Richerson (1985)
"Culture and the Evolutionary Process" (Chicago University Press)
Brodie, R. (1993)
"Getting past OK: A Straightforward Guide to Having a Fantastic Life"
- Chapter entitled "Nature, Nurture, and Culture" discusses memes,
their possible origins, and their effect on people's behavior.
Brodie, R. (1995)
"Virus of the Mind" Integral Press
- Devirusing yourself and your children.
Read the review review
then check out Richard's Meme Central.
Brown, J.C. and W. Greenhood (1983)
"Paternity, Jokes and Song: A Possible Evolutionary Scenario for
the Origin of Language and Mind"
in: Cultural Futures Research; 1983-84, 8, 2, winter
- A three-component model of human evolution: coevolutionary interaction
between genes, memes, and ideons is capable of explaining many
puzzling features of human history and character.
"The Ticket that Exploded" (fiction)
- Burroughs posits among other things that words are like organisms
infecting the brain - 'the other half is the word, the other half is
an organism, word is organism' - or some such.
Campbell, D.T. (1974)
in: "The Philosophy of Karl Popper", P.A. Schilpp (ed.),
(Open Court Publish., La Salle, Ill.), p. 413-463.
Cavalli-Sforza, L.L., and M.W. Feldman (1981)
"Cultural Transmission and Evolution: a quantitative approach"
(Princeton University Press)
Churchland, P.M. (1989)
"A Neurocomputational Perspective" (MIT Press)
- Discusses the latest neural-net based models of brain function and their
application to philosophy. Many fruitful ideas about the
brain-representation of memes can be obtained from this book.
Clark, S.R.L. (1993)
"Minds, Memes and Rhetoric"
in: Inquiry, March 1993, vol 36 nr 1/2
- Dennett's "Consciousness Explained"
presents, but does not demonstrate,
a fully naturalized account of consciousnesss that manages to leave out
the very consciousness he purports to explain. If he were correct,
realism and methodological individualism would collapse, as would the very
enterprise of giving reasons. The metaphors he deploys actually testify
to the power of metaphoric imagination that can no more be identified with
the metaphors it creates that mind can be identified with memes. That
latter equation, of mind with meme-complexes rests for its meaning on the
existence of real minds, which are not to be equated with the thought they
have. Part of a symposium on Dennett's "Consciousness Explained".
Claeys, L. (1995)
"Behavior of Information"
- Unpublished manuscript
Cloak, F.T. (1975)
"Is a cultural ethology possible"
in: Human Ecology 3:161-182.
- Emotional communication embedded in musical 'shapes', which have their
analogs in the visual arts, etc.
Cosmides, L. and J. Tooby (1989)
"Evolutionary psychology and the Generation of Culture, Part I"
in: Ethology and Sociobiology 10: 29-49.
Cosmides, L. and J. Tooby (1991)
"From evolution to adaptations to behavior: Toward an integrated
in: R. Wong (ed.) "Biological Perspectives on Motivated and
Cognitive Activities" (Ablex Press)
Costall, A. (1991)
"The 'Meme' Meme"
in: Cultural Dynamics, 1991 vol 4 nr 3
- Tracing the meme meme back to Darwin, the author finds himself, as it
were on the other side. Instead of finding that cultural evolution is
like biological evolution, Costall proposes the reverse: that biological
evolution behaves like cultural evolution. Intentionality is seen as the
link between social and biological theory.
Csanyi, V. (1991)
"Evolutionary Systems and Society: a general theory"
(Duke University Press, Durham, NC)
"The Evolution of Self"
- Discusses memes in the context of possibilities for the evolution of
Darwin, C. (1859)
"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection"
Dawkins, R. (1976)
"The Selfish Gene" (Oxford University Press)
- Evolution of social behavior. Last chapter introduces the 'meme' concept
as smallest unit in cultural evolution, analogous to genes in biological
Dawkins, R. (1989)
"The Selfish Gene" (2nd edition)
- Two additional chapters on memetics.
Dawkins, R. (1982)
"The Extended Phenotype" (Oxford University Press)
- Innovative ideas on (genetic) evolution. Discussion of replicators in
Dawkins, R. (1993a)
"The 'Awe' Factor" in: Skeptical Inquirer, spring 1993, vol 17 nr 3
Dawkins, R. (1993b)
"Viruses of the Mind" in: Free Inquiry, summer 1993, vol 13 nr 3
Delius, J.D. (1990)
"On the Natural History of Culture: Gene and Meme" (text in german)
in: Zeitschrift für Semiotik; 1990, 12, 4, 307-321.
- Parallels between biological and cultural evolution are cited.
The pressures and variety of the selection process inside the brain are
set in the context of events in an increasingly complex social milieu.
Dennett, D.C. (1990)
"Memes and the Exploitation of Imagination"
in: The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, v. 48 Spring '90
- Championing the meme as a unit of cultural evolution advantageous to
itself, Dennett corrects most of the basic misunderstandings of memetic
theory found in facile pop sociobiology and cultural philosophy.
According to this view, memes co-evolve as a protective and continuous
network/infosphere, as integral to our phenotypes, as anything
Dennett, D.C. (1991)
"Consciousness Explained" (Little, Brown and Co., Boston)
- Multiple Drafts Model of human consciousness. Discusses the role
of memes in the evolution of consciousness.
Dennett, D.C. (1995)
"Darwin's Dangerous Idea" (Simon & Schuster, expected later this year)
- This new book will contain a larger section on memes than appeared in
Drexler, K.E. (1990)
"Engines of Creation"
- Nanotechnology. Drexler discusses memes as examples of replicators.
Emphasizes the dangers of memes infecting future nanocomputers.
Durham, W.H. (1991)
"Coevolution: Genes, Culture, and Human Diversity"
(Stanford University Press)
Edgerton, R.B. (1992)
"Sick Societies: Challenging the Myth of Primitive Harmony"
(New York, Free Press)
Eisler, R. (1988)
"The Chalice and the Blade" (Harper San Francisco)
- An overview of the archaeological work of Marija Gimbutas and others.
It explains the macro-history of human culture, and shows how domination,
patriarchy, and war are culturally programmed, rather than biologically
Eisler doesn't seem familiar with the term 'meme', but her work
may be the world's most important in applied memetics, in the direction
of stimulating people's immune surveillance regarding the
'Dominator Culture' meme collection.
Findlay, C.S. (1992)
"Phenotypic evolution under gene-culture transmission in structured
populations." in: J. Theor. Biol. 156:387-400.
Findlay C.S., Hansell R.I.C. and C.J. Lumsden (1989a)
"Behavioural evolution and biocultural games: oblique and horizontal
cultural transmission." in: J. Theor. Biol. 137: 245-269.
Findlay C.S., Lumsden C.J. and R.I.C. Hansell (1989b)
"Behavioural evolution and biocultural games: verticle cultural
transmission." in: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86: 568-572.
Gazzaniga, M.S. (1985)
"The Social Brain" (Basic Books)
- Split brain research, inference-making, belief formation, religion.
Godwin, M. (1994)
"Meme, Counter-meme" in: WIRED magazine, october 1994. vol. 2.10 ; page 85
- Mike Godwin expounds on the craft of counter-memetics.
Graves, P. (1991)
"The Persistence of Memory: Dynamics of Sociocultural Evolution"
in: Cultural Dynamics; 1991, 4, 3, 290-320.
- If social or cultural evolution and biological evolution are to be compared,
it is not by reducing the former to the output of a monolithic mechanism
of memetic selection, but rather, by recognizing that biological evolution
must be viewed as a structurally complex process taking place on a
multiplicity of mutually constraining levels.
Guthery, S.B. (1994)
"EchoNets, E-memes, and Extended Realities"
in: Dr. Dobb's Journal, April 1994, pp. 72-84.
Hale-Evans, R. (1995)
"Memetics: A Systems Metabiology"
- (preview version)
"Memes, Metamemes and Politics"
Henson, H.K. (1987)
"Memetics: The Science of Information Viruses"
in: Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, August 1987;
reprinted in: Whole Earth Review, 22 December 1987, Winter;
reprinted in: "Signal: A Whole Earth Catalog, Communication Tools for the
Information Age", ed. Kevin Kelly (Harmony Books, 1988)
- Gives an idea of future world-wide applications of memetics theory.
Henson, H.K. and A. Lucas
"Cryonics, religions and memetics: A Theoretical Understanding"
"'Selfish' Memes and the Evolution of Cooperation"
- Some basic selection criteria for memes are listed, with an emphasis on
the difference between memetic and genetic fitness, and the issue of
memetic units is discussed.
Hofstadter, D.R. (1983)
"On Viral Sentences and Self-Replicating Structures"
in: Scientific American, vol. 248, January 1983;
reprinted in: "Metamagical Themas" (Basic Books, 1985)
- Explains the meme concept. Defines some terminology.
Hull, D.L. (1982)
"The naked meme"
in: Plotkin, H.C. (ed.) "Learning Development and culture, essays
in evolutionary epistemology" (John Wiley & Sons)
- (info), also see Ruse (1989)
Kitcher, P. (1985)
"Vaulting ambition: sociobiology and the quest for human nature"
(MIT Press, Cambridge)
Laland, K.N. (1990)
"A theoretical investigation of the role of social
transmission in evolution." in: Ethology and Sociobiology 13: 87-113.
Laland, K.N. (1994)
"Sexual selection with a culturally transmitted mating preference."
in: Theor. Pop. Biol. 45: 1-15.
Lateiner, J.S. (1992)
"Of Man, Mind, and Machine"
Lefebvre, L. (1988)
"L'Imitation a l'origine de la culture"
in: Anthropologie et Sociétés 12(3): 93-107.
Lumsden, C.J. and E.O. Wilson (1981)
"Genes, Mind, and Culture: The Coevolutionary Process"
(Harvard University Press)
- Introduces the 'culturgen' as basic unit of inheritance in cultural
evolution, colonizing the mind. Profound mathematical treatment of
gene-culture coevolution. Interesting biogeographical analogy.
The principles of epigenesis.
Lynch, A.B. (1991)
"Thought Contagion as Abstract Evolution"
in: Journal of Ideas, Volume 2, number 1 (January, 1991), pages 3-10.
- This article develops a philosophy of science for memetic evolution and
symbolic representations of memetic events. It also presents a
mathematical analysis of a hypothetical two-meme evolutionary system
with simultaneous modes of replication. Finally, the article relates the
formation of new memes to the population memetics of existing memes.
Lynch, A.B. (1996)
"Thought Contagion: How Belief Spreads Through Society: The New Science of Memes"
- This, after much delay, is the work that Douglas
Hofstadter mentioned on page 66 of "Metamagical Themas".
It catalogues numerous examples of
memetic evolution in areas of family, sex, religion, health, and
controversy. (table of contents)
MacDonald, K. (1991)
"A perspective on darwinian psychology: the importance of
domain-general mechanisms, plasticity, and individual differences"
in: Ethology and Sociobiology 12: 449-480.
Minsky, M. (1985)
"The Society of Mind" (Simon & Schuster)
- Describes the mind as a collection of competing 'agents'.
Monod, J. (1971)
"Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology"
- Chapter entitled "The Kingdom and the Darkness" covers 'ideational'
evolution in relation to the ethic of knowledge.
Moritz, E. (1990)
"Memetic Science: I - General Introduction"
in: Journal of Ideas, nr. 1, p. 1-23
"MetaSystem Transitions, Memes, and Cybernetic Immortality"
- to appear in a special issue of World Futures devoted to
Moritz, E. (1990)
"Replicator Based Knowledge Representation
and Spread Dynamics." in: Conference Proceedings - 1990 IEEE
International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics.
pp. 256-259 (Held November 4-7, 1990 - Los Angeles
Murdock, G.P. and D.R. White (1980)
"Standard cross-cultural sample"
in: Barry III, H. and A. Schlegel (ed.) "Cross Cultural Samples and Codes" (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Palameta, B. and L. Lefebvre (1985)
"The social transmission of a food-finding technique in pigeons:
What is learned?" in: Anim. Behav. 33: 892-896.
Patterson, M.L. (1990)
"Accelerating Innovation: A Dip into the Meme Pool"
in: National Productivity Review, Fall 1990, vol.9 nr.4
- Ideas about memes are applied to product development management.
Strategies are explained and supported by constructing analogies between
the innovation process and an informational assembly line, applying the
theories of economist W. Edwards Deming. The richness of alternative
solutions, is seen as a function of the size of the meme pool, and
ultimately as an index to successfull and markeatable innovations.
Principia Cybernetica Project
- A rich source of on-line articles on evolution, self-organization, etc.,
explained using the principles of meta-system transition.
Rada, R. (1991)
"Computers and Gradualness: The Selfish Meme"
in: AI & Society, july 1991, vol 5 nr 3
- In making a contribution, a person's life gains meaning. A small
contribution affects a few people for a short time, while a larger
contribution affects many people for a long time. Within the framework
of an abstract, computational world, a metric on contributions is defined.
Simulation of the computational model shows the critical role of
gradualness. Gradualness can be supported by human-computer systems in
which the computer does the copying and arithmetic, and the human applies
a rich understanding of the world. The role of gradualness in the
research area of machine learning and hypertext is highlighted.
Radnitzky, G. and W.W. Bartley (1987)
"Evolutionary Epistemology, Rationality, and the Sociology of
Knowledge" (Open Court)
- An anthology of the 'evolutionary epistemology' school of philosophers,
psychologists, and cognitive scientists. While none of these folks use
the word 'meme', the whole book is about the evolution of ideas through
blind variation and selective retention.
Rainy, M.E. (1989)
"Samburu Ritual Symbolism: An Adaptive Interpretation of Pastoralist
Traditions" in: Social Science Information; 1989, 28, 4, Dec, 785-819.
- An examination of the cultural symbolism of the Samburu tribe of Kenya.
Symbols and ritualized ideas act as signals capable of altering the behavior
of signal recipients. Attention is given to the local environment and to
symbols as evolutionary replicators.
Rancour Laferrière, D. (1979)
"Speculations on the Origin of Visual Iconicity in Culture"
in: Ars Semeiotica; 1979, 2, 2, 173-185.
- Cultural and natural semiotic signs, or icons, are examined to
differentiate their respective significance and means of survival and
to determine their analogical features.
Rancour Laferrière, D. (1981)
"Preliminary Remarks on Literary Memetics"
in: Menges, K. and D. Rancour Laferrière (ed.) "AXIA: Davis,
Symposium on Literary Evaluation" (Stuttgart : Akademischer)
"Autologue: Interdisciplinary Dialogue within the Global Network
- How discourse on the net revolves around a memetic attractor, iterated
and reiterated by the participants.
"Untranslatable Words" in: Whole Earth Review #57: 3-8.
Rogers, E.M. (1983)
"Diffusion of Innovations" (Free Press, New York)
Ruse, M. (1989)
"What the philosophy of biology is, essays
dedicated to david Hull" (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht)
- In this book H.C. Plotkin and C.M. Heyes elaborate further on the ideas
brought forward by David Hull and
Boyd and Richerson (1985), using the word meme and
the replicator-interactor-lineage sceme.
Rushkoff, D. (1994)
Ruyle, E.E. (1973)
"Genetic and cultural pools: some suggestions for a unified theory of
in: Human Ecology 1:201-215.
Schrage, M. (1988)
"Are Ideas Viruses of the Mind?"
in: The Washington Post, October 30, 1988, final ed.
Shaker, P. (1982)
"Applying the Sociobiological Synthesis to Education"
- Shows how concepts of sociobiology are compatible with a number of
theories already applied in education, such as those of Piaget,
Kohlberg, Chomsky, and Jung.
Silverberg, R. and K. Haber?
"Black Memes" (short science fiction story)
in: Universe 3, ed. Silverberg and Haber
- The described future society has something like an advanced version of the
internet. To prevent memes from spreading, all information is deconstructed
and analyzed for memetic content in realtime by AI's which censor any
ambiguous thoughts that may have covert hooking properties.
Sperry, R. (1983)
"Science and Moral Priority: Merging Mind, Brain and Human Values"
"Snow Crash" (science fiction novel)
- Explains the Sumerian concepts of ME, NUB-SHUB, meme, and lots of other
Still, A. (1986)
"The Biology of Science: An Essay on the Evolution of Representational
in: Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour; 1986, 16, 3, Oct
- Applies memetics to Popper's filosophy of science. The meme of
representational cognitivism is traced through history. Three survival
mechanisms: Batesian mimicry, the theoretical shell, camouflage.
"The Tenants" (science fiction story)
in: "Of All Possible Worlds"
Tooby, J. and L. Cosmides (1989)
"Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture, Part II-
case study: a Computational Theory of Social Exchange."
in: Ethology and Sociobiology 10:50-79.
Turchin, V. (1977)
"The Phenomenon of Science. A cybernetic theory of human evolution"
(Columbia University Press, New York)
- Metasystem transitions
"Memetics: the nascent science of ideas and their transmission"
Memetik. Der Krieg des neuen Replikators gegen den Menschen
Gladbeck, Germany, KFVR - Kulturförderverein Ruhrgebiet, 2001
ISBN 3-931300-08-0; EUR 17,80
138 Seiten, 3 Abb., Sondergroßformat 22 x 17 cm
Wenegrat, B. (1990)
"The Divine Archetype: The Sociobiology and Psychology of Religion"
- Biological model of religion through 'innately probable strategies'.
The strategic functions of religious belief. The origin of religious
beliefs. Religion and Intellect. The image of god (archetypes).
Wilbur, S.P. (1994)
"Running Down the Meme: Cyberpunk, alt.cyberpunk, and the Panic of '93"
Wilson, E.O. (1975)
"Sociobiology: The New Synthesis" (Balknap Press, Cambridge)
- Lee Altenberg (email@example.com)
- Onar Åm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- P. Arnopoulos (email@example.com)
- Chris Baleine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Jon Bazemore (email@example.com)
- Mark S. Bilk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Richard Brodie (email@example.com)
- Kent Cearley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Eric Watt Forste (email@example.com)
- Scott Guthery (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Marc de Hingh (email@example.com)
- Richard Joly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Erik Ju (email@example.com)
- Aaron B. Lynch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Sean Morgan (email@example.com)
- Elan Moritz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Richard Pocklington (email@example.com)
- Brad Polant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Jonathan Prince (email@example.com)
- Douglas Rushkoff (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Anders Sandberg (email@example.com)
- Hans-Cees Speel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Marius Watz (email@example.com)
- Karen Mgebrova for the Armenian translation