virus: RE: What does the replicating?

D. H. Rosdeitcher (76473.3041@CompuServe.COM)
09 Jun 97 11:27:49 EDT

>Colin Brooke wrote:

>[Tim Perper] Is memetics simply a fashionable novelty that does
>> little more than give a new name to old ideas? Thus we learn that
>> cuts both ways.

>This is precisely one of the thoughts that I've been having,
>after reading Brodie's Virus of the Mind. His book didn't have a lot
>appeal for me, most of it repeating what Aristotle wrote 2500 or so

>I'm sure others on this list are far more
>familiar with Aristotle than I, but I do not think Aristotle covered
>self-replication of ideas in any of his treatises.

Memetics seems, in a sense, non-Aristotelian. Aristotle said that words
contained the "essence" of the things they represent--once something gets
labelled, classified, or categorized by a word, one "knows" what that thing
"is". In the memetics paradigm, words (memes) may approximate (not define) the
phenomenon to which they refer. Any labels, classifications, etc. can get tested
for validity and there could be many ways to label or classify things. What does
Colin mean by "repeating what Aristotle wrote 2500 or so years earlier"? --David