Memes: Virus-Like Traits Pass from One Human Mind to the Next
Donna L. Quesinberry, President DonnaInk
Takeaways Memes function as cognitive expressions that derive culture in organic terms. Memes, genes, pass from parent to offspring. Memes, unlike genes, also pass from related to unrelated humans.
Memes function as cognitive expressions that derive culture in organic terms. We often presuppose that "Ideas" as origination's each of us are entitled to authorship over. Are "Ideas" truly original? Or, are "Ideas" complex sets of Memology? Does culture define Ideas? Throughout recorded history Ideas have been described in a variety of ways, some of them are presented in this article.
"Ideas" are described as "Universals" throughout recorded history and they are addressed through medieval philosophies. The medieval doctrines stated abstractions known as "Universals or Ideas" exist without essential reality (or substantive reality). Their doctrines stated that individual objects maintain real existence and that "Universals" such as, 1) animal, 2) nation, 3) beauty, and 4) circle are merely names that result in their description. Further, their descriptions suggest these names express abstract concepts and they are then considered Nominalistic Doctrines.
Take the example of the name "circle." It is applied to things that are round. It serves as a general description. No concrete identity of a separate essence of roundness exists that corresponds to the name circle. In art, the theory of "a circle" is revolutionary. Contemporary galleries will carry signature "Perfect Circle" displays that signify a statement, "this is an object without essence, a conceptual name without "real" expression." Can a Nominalistic item without Ideal or Reality-be developed as a perfection? Is this Ideology a Memes Meme?
Nominalistic Doctrines oppose philosophical theories that are referred to as Extreme Realisms. According Realism Theory "Universals or Ideas" are Real-Independent Existenced items to be included with Particular Objects. The Idea of Real-Independent Existence suggests that names (such as circle) be, in fact, real. This concept radically opposed Nominalism.
Nominalism evolved from Aristotle's Thesoreans who stated all Reality consists of individual things. Roscelin (He was accredited to have been the curator of Nominalism Theory in the 11th Century.) argued the Extreme Theory of Realism that describes Platonian doctrines on Universal Archetypal Ideas (Plato first presented this obvious argument to his mentor-Aristotle.). Nominalist-Realist Controversy became prominent between the late 11th and 12th Century when the Nominalist positioning was expounded on by Roscelin under the Aristotelian structure and the Realist's position was expounded on by Bernard of Chartres and William of Champeaux under the Platonian structure. These arguments are perhaps some of the first experiences regarding the evolutions of Memial parasitium and/or reproduction. The theories evolved into culturalisms based on differential phases that existed and exist through evolutionary accretion.
The issues between Nominalism and Realism not only remained philosophical they also became theological. Roscelin maintained that the Trinity (the Father [God], the Son [Jesus Christ], and the Holy Spirit [Ghost]) of Theosophical terms conceived through Traditional Theology constituted a Meme; where the Trinity existed solely with one divine nature. According to the individualizing methodology of Nominalism unless the Trinity existed as three distinct and separate Gods (a doctrine known as Tritheism) the Trinity could not exist at all-the church was then irreconcilably opposed to Nominalism and the Aristotelian-Roscelin Cognitive Philosophies fell under the Churches severe scrutiny as blasphemous.
Implications (Memes) regarding Nominalism concerning ethics were far-reaching. If no common nature existed for all individuals then no "Natural Law" existed to govern them. The actions of people being morally right (or wrong) solely because they were commanded (or forbidden) by God was the driven derivative of Nominalism. This ideology removed the applications of salvation and self-deliverance from sin. The church was appalled by ascription to the logic or theory of Nominalism. The church then, being overseer of conscious thought for their culture altered the Aristotelian-Roscelin Nominalism; a new Meme emerged. Erupting changes of cultural Memes created adaptations that required human absorption to become significant social reproductions. The Meme of Nominalism bore a new Meme-Conceptualism.
Conceptualism then arrived on the frontier as the Intermediary Theory to combine Nominalism and Reality-Nominalism Memologies. Conceptualism stated "Universals or Ideas" though they had no real (or substantive existence) in the external world did exist as "concepts of the mind" and were more than mere names. In this delivery "Universals or Ideas" were as significant as tangible objects. This substantial social reproduction of logic based Memes required human acceptance and absorption to become the new cultural psyche and manner of forming new prescriptions. (This adjustment can be described as a parasitic adjustment of cognitive nature-establishing Memes as organisms.) Intermediary Theory (Conceptualism) delivered unique new age perspectives where conversations (or ideas) carry tangible items as contagion's as "real entities" of the thought process. As real entities they could (and probably would) develop viral capacity that would be helpful, or harmful, to the body politic. It can be postulated that this would encroach on the realm of The Fourth Estate as emerging "Universals or Ideas" typically develop to their requiem as Guardians of the Democracy.
Other developing theories on "Universals or Ideas" include Moderate Realism where Universals that are in the mind admit a real basis to be found in particular objects. This alternative Meme insists that "Universals or Ideas" are as important and tangible as objects-or that they are tangible objects. Their capacity to become viral and performing proactive, or non-proactive, measures on communications and character of the human psyche then becomes imminent. The following philosophers undertook defenses for Nominalism, Realism, Moderate Realism, and Conceptualism:
14th Century English Scholastic Philosopher William of Ockham prepared the way for various Modern Nominalistic theories. He undertook the overt defense of Nominalism resulting in Instrumentalism, Pragmatism, Semantics, and Logical Positivism-a direct link to the biology of communication-cultural inheritance and natural selection proceeded forthwith.
German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel applied the term Dialectic to his Philosophic System. Hegel believed an Evolution of Ideas through the Dialectical Process and that concept gave rise to its opposite (and resultant) third view-Synthesis. This would be in the Memial focus adaptation of a viral-organism. Synthesis was perceived as a higher-level of truth than the previous two views. Hegel's work, based on Idealistic Concepts of a universal mind, suggests that through evolution "Ideas" seek to arrive at the highest-level of self-awareness and freedom. Clearly denoting a process of survival-the "Universals or Ideas" seek to survive, seek progression, and attempt to ensure their cultural future through adaptation towards acceptance. This represents the process of proliferation as we witness that Memes develop new Memes.
German political philosopher Karl Marx applied the Concept of Dialectic to social and economic processes. Marx's so-called Dialectical Materialism frequently considered a revision of the Hegelian System asserts "Universals or Ideas" arise only out of material conditions. A perverse thought at best if one believes in the common good of the human organism, yet Marx's concept was widely applied and developed. This new Meme made use of humans in senses to social theories and economics just as those dynamics that are utilized where humans make use of artifacts and ideas.
Plato as the more systematic and positive thinker over Socrates in his writings referencing earlier dialogues was regarded as a continuation and elaboration of Socratic insight. Like Socrates, Plato regarded ethics as the highest branch of knowledge. He stressed an intellectual basis for virtue. He identified virtue with wisdom. This view led to the so-called Socratic Paradox that Socrates asserted in Protagoras "no man does evil voluntarily." Aristotle later noticed such a conclusion allows no place for moral responsibility, but intellectual thought would suggest moral responsibility is necessary to humankind-or is it? Plato explored fundamental problems of natural science, political theory, metaphysics, theology along with the theories of knowledge, and then developed "Universals and Ideas" that became permanent elements in Western thought. Do Memes have creationists? If so, is Plato the God of certain Memes? Did he introduce some of the resultant Memial adaptation that has resulted in our feeling shame, joy, or laughter even in solitude? Without Memes would these amorphisms exist even in solitude?
Memes, genes, pass from parent to offspring. Memes, unlike genes, also pass from related to unrelated humans. Like viruses, Memes, jump from human mind to human mind. A modern example could be Usāmah bin Muḥammad bin `Awaḍ bin Lādin (Osama Bin Laden) computer games, Goth fashions, Internet jokes, or urban myths. Memes team, like atoms bonding to form Molecules, Memes bond forming teams, groups, and social institutions. Standardization of dress is an adaptive Meme that bonds like Memes forming Molecular Memes (Preppies, Goths, Nerds, etc.). Feelings often are Molecular Memes-AA is an example of Meme Moleculization. These Memial examples require their Molecularization, or viral growth, in order to endure. Without acceptance, absorption, and adherence, without "Universal-Ideal" regeneration, these deviations in Memes would not exist and flourish.
From the beginning of social theory to our present social adaptations we see Memes are evolutionary organisms. They maintain implications through Molecularization and/or their own sense of gene pooling actually becoming parasitic and/or viral to human hosts. Gene pooling Memes can be positive or negative. Can we separate Genetic Human Adaptation of thought from Cultural-Memial Adaptation of thought? You are left with this thought-provoking question. To have no errors, Would be life without meaning, No struggle, No joy.
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