Saturday, 16 November 2013

Bill Benzon on Dan Dennett and memes

Bill Benzon recently authored a series of posts critical of Daniel Dennett and memetics. These posts were cross-posted to the Replicated Typo blog. The posts are listed below:

This content is also available as a PDF document - minus the comments from myself and other readers.

I responded in various ways at the time, writing a post explaining what I thought was wrong with Bill Benzon's position that memes don't enter minds titled: The excesses of externalism.

Bill Benzon is correct that Daniel Dennett doesn't mention meme phenotypes very frequently (though he doesn't ignore them completely!). I disagree with him about almost everything else.

I'd describe the series as being Bill 'venting' about memes. Bill has described the term "meme" as "a brilliant coinage", saying "I think the term is brilliant, which is why I use it". However, he seems less enthusiastic about the current usage of the term.

The content of these essays doesn't seem very coherent to me - though it certainly makes irritating and frustrating reading for memeophiles such as myself.

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