Memes, mind, and normativity

Yujian ZHENG

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Prominent memeticists like Daniel Dennett and Susan Blackmore have made claims far more radical than those included in Dawkins’ original proposal, which provoked increasingly heated debates and arguments over the theoretical significance as well as limits or flaws of the entire memetic enterprise. In this paper, I examine closely some of the critical points taken by Kate Distin in her penetrating engagement with those radical claims, which include such ideas as the thought that we are meme machines as much as gene machines, the thesis that there is no conscious self inside those machines, and the claim that a complex interplay of replicators and environment is all there is to life (Blackmore 1999: 241). It is hoped that a viable thesis concerning a deep-seated normativity emerges from my discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulture, nature, memes
PublisherCambridge Scholars
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781847186638
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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