Macromemetics

Macromemetics

Abstract
1. Introduction and Summary
2. Western Philosophy Divided
3. The Hierarchical Structure of the Meme Pool and Popper"s World 3
3.1 Meme pools and the total cultural apparatus of societies
4. The Cultural Evolutionary School of Social Anthropology
4.1 Evolutionary Analysis of Civilisations
5. Memetics and 20th Century Philosophy
5.1 Memes and Pragmatism
5.2 Popper and Evolutionary Epistemology
5.3 Saussure and Signifiers
5.4 Foucault and the Episteme
6. Conclusion: The Role of Memetics
References

Before leaving Anglo-American philosophy, Popper must be mentioned again. His concept of World 3 and its similarity to the meme pool have already been discussed. This is one of the strands of thought that leads to the philosophical school known as Evolutionary Epistemology which developed in parallel to the decline of Logical Atomism. In the inter-war era, even Wittgenstein abandoned philosophy for some years and his immediate followers in the Vienna Circle were broken up by the Nazi invasion of Austria. Wittgenstein’s later work emphasised the context dependence of language in the form of `language games’. In Philosophical Investigations (Wittgenstein [51]), he ruminates on how an analysis of language treated independently of the language game or `form of life’ in which it is used is essentially meaningless. This led to the post-war school known as Linguistic Philosophy led initially by J.L. Austin (1911-1960) [1]. Opposition to this tendency was provided by Popper, although Moritz Schlick (1882-1936) of the Vienna Circle seems to be prefiguring Popper’s concept of World 3 in his Allgemeine Erkenntnislehre [31].
The term `Evolutionary Epistemology‘ was coined by D.T. Campbell [5] in a commentary on Popper’s work, and has been reviewed recently by Henry Plotkin [33]. A crucial paper is by Leda Cosmides [8], the title of which, `Has natural selection shaped the way humans reason?’ neatly sums up the whole approach, echoing Peirce but in a neo-Darwinian format. Evolutionary Epistemology has become the major trend in epistemology within the Anglo-American world, thus placing the Darwinian analysis of thought at the very centre of that tradition. In order to begin to reconcile Anglo-American epistemology with Continental post-structuralist thought, it is necessary to examine the Darwinian roots of Structuralism.

AuthorDerek Gatherer
2018-08-21T17:23:37+00:00 August 1st, 2002|Categories: Literature, Essays, Blesok no. 27|0 Comments