Can memes explain comprehension?

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The paper is a polemic with Daniel Dennett’s account of memes presented in his latest book From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. This latest attempt at explaining the idea of memes ties it to the recent advances in Artificial Intelligence and tries to show how the mechanism of meme transmission affected the birth of human intelligence (which Dennett calls “comprehension”). I argue that even though the new version of the theory is not without its merits, it comes with two fatal flaws. First of all, even though on the surface Dennett talks only about words, gestures signs etc., he seems to smuggle in an additional notion of linguistic meaning which remains unexplained. Second of all, he does not provide identity conditions for memes which makes the whole idea of their transmission completely vague.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAVANT. Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies
Issue number3
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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