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Author Blackmore, Susan J., 1951- author

Title The meme machine / Susan Blackmore
Published Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 W'PONDS  304.5 Bla/Mma  DUE 09-01-23
Description xx, 264 pages ; 24 cm
regular print
Contents Contents: 1. Strange creatures -- 2. Universal Darwinism -- 3. The evolution of culture -- 4. Taking the meme's eye view -- 5. Three problems with memes -- 6. The big brain -- 7. The origins of language -- 8. Meme-gene coevolution -- 9. The limits of sociobiology -- 10. 'An orgasm saved my life' -- 11. Sex in the modern world -- 12. A memetic theory of altruism -- 13. The altruism trick -- 14. Memes of the New Age -- 15. Religions as memeplexes -- 16. Into the Internet -- 17. The ultimate memeplex -- 18. Out of the meme race
Summary This book ends by confronting the deepest questions of all about ourselves: the nature of the inner self, the part of us that is the centre of our consciousness, that feels emotions, has memories, holds beliefs and makes decisions. Susan Blackmore makes a compelling case that this inner self, the 'inner me', is an illusion, a creation of the memes for the sake of their own replication
Uniquely among animals, humans are capable of imitation and so can copy from one another ideas, habits, skills, behaviours, inventions, songs and stories. These are all memes, a term first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 at the end of his book The Selfish Gene. Like genes, memes are replicators, competing to get into as many brains as possible, and this memetic competition has fashioned our minds and culture, just as natural selection has designed our bodies. We are what the memes have made us: we are all of us meme machines. Can the analogy between memes and genes do useful work? Can it lead us to powerful new theories that actually explain anything important?
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [247]-258) and index
Subject Behavior evolution.
Social psychology.
LC no. 98049180
ISBN 0198503652