Expelling the meme-ghost from the machine: an evolutionary explanation for the spread of cultural practices


Publication date


Series/Report no

Behavior & Philosophy;39/40


Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies

Document type


Memes, defined in terms of ideas, mental representations or information, are used in an attempt to explain the spread of cultural practices. We argue that such reference to hidden replicators, which are said to have causal effects on a person’s actions, appears to explain human behavioral patterns, but only results in restating the observed behavior. This approach, based on a memotype – phemotype distinction, falls prey to the unsolvable problems of mind – body dualism.


Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/1933