on 19 February 2001
This collection of essays examines and criticises Richard Dawkins' theory of memes - the idea that Darwinian evolution applies to the development of culture, and that bits of culture can be treated like genes. The collection presents pieces from both supporters and critics, and from a variety of backgrounds. Philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, and political scientists come together and tell us what is helpful, and what's not. Memetic theory has been growing in popularity in recent years, perhaps because it is often presented as revolutionary and as having far-reaching consequences. However, little intelligent criticism has been offered of the theory, especially since it has been so misunderstood. I wrote a dissertation on the subject, and this was definitely the most useful book that i came across in my research, particularly the essay by Dan Sperber.