Dawkins used the term to refer to any cultural entity that an observer might consider a replicator. He hypothesised that one could view many cultural entities as replicators, and pointed to melodies, fashions and learned skills as examples. Memes generally replicate through exposure to humans, who have evolved as efficient copiers of information and behaviour. Because humans do not always copy memes perfectly, and because they may refine, combine or otherwise modify them with other memes to create new memes, they can change over time. Dawkins likened the process by which memes survive and change through the evolution of culture to the natural selection of genes in biological evolution.
Dawkins defined the meme as a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation and replication, but later definitions would vary. Memes, analogously to genes, vary in their aptitude to replicate; memes that are good at getting themselves copied tend to spread and remain, whereas the less good ones have a higher probability of being ignored and forgotten. Thus "better" memes are selected. The lack of a consistent, rigorous, and precise understanding of what typically makes up one unit of cultural transmission remains a problem in debates about memetics. In contrast, the concept of genetics gained concrete evidence with the discovery of the biological functions of DNA. Meme transmission does not necessarily require a physical medium, unlike genetic transmission.
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Other articles related to "concept, concepts":
... or valorization of capital is a theoretical concept created by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy ... Similarly, Marx's specific concept refers both to the process whereby a capital value is conferred or bestowed on something, and to the increase in the value of a capital asset ... is preferred because it is recognized that it denotes a highly specific economic concept, i.e ...
... The term "concept" is traced back to 1554–60 (Latin conceptum - "something conceived"), but what is today termed "the classical theory of concepts" is ... The meaning of "concept" is explored in mainstream information science, cognitive science, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind ... In computer and information science contexts, especially, the term 'concept' is often used in unclear or inconsistent ways ...
... It has been argued that the concept of heterosexism is similar to the concept of racism in that both ideas promote privilege for dominant groups ... For example, borrowing from the racial concept of white privilege, the concept of heterosexual privilege has been applied to benefits of (presumed) heterosexuality within society that heterosexuals take for ...
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... sometimes called the frictional or structural unemployment rate) is a concept of economic activity developed in particular by Milton Friedman and Edmund Phelps in the 1960s ... In both cases, the development of the concept is cited as a main motivation behind the prize ...
Famous quotes containing the word concept:
“The new concept of the child as equal and the new integration of children into adult life has helped bring about a gradual but certain erosion of these boundaries that once separated the world of children from the word of adults, boundaries that allowed adults to treat children differently than they treated other adults because they understood that children are different.”
—Marie Winn (20th century)
“The latest creed that has to be believed
And entered in our childish catechism
Is that the Alls a concept self-conceived,
Which is no more than good old Pantheism.”
—Robert Frost (18741963)
“One concept corrupts and confuses the others. I am not speaking of the Evil whose limited sphere is ethics; I am speaking of the infinite.”
—Jorge Luis Borges (18991986)