The Meme Machine

The Meme Machine

Book - 1999
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Memes are ideas, behaviours, or skills that are transferred from one person to another by imitation. The term was coined by Richard Dawkins in his bestselling The Selfish Gene (OUP 1976), in which he described how biological design arises as genes compete selfishly to replicate themselves. Inhis final chapter Dawkins suggested that memes are also `replicators', and that they compete to get themselves copied into as many brians as possible. Examples include tunes, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, and new ways of building arches. If memes are true replicators, then our minds are fashionedby memes just as our bodies are fashioned by genes. After twenty years the word `meme' is to be included in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. However, most academics avoid the word, and a true science of memetics has not yet developed. This book will lay the foundations for such a science, starting with a clear definition of thememe and applying the principles of general evolutionary theory to understanding memetic selection. This approach provides new theories of memetic altruism, the development of language and the origins of the enormous human brain.
Publisher: Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
ISBN: 9780198503651
Branch Call Number: 304.5 Blackmor 1999
Characteristics: xx, 264 p. ;,25 cm.


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