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Title: Mowa a strategie memetycznego przetrwania. Prolegomena do memetycznych studiów nad oralnością
Authors: Wężowicz-Ziółkowska, Dobrosława
Keywords: ewolucja memetyczna; oralność
Issue Date: 2006
Citation: Teksty z Ulicy. Zeszyt memetyczny, 2006, nr 10, s. 57-72
Abstract: After thirty years of developing and discussing meme ontology, subscribers to this theory are of the opinion that the key categories for understanding the nature of memetic evolution and of meme itself as a unit of cultural succession are replication and imitation. The ability of replication is in the nature of meme, understood as being able to self-reproduction beyond the genetic “information packet”, whereas imitation resembles some transfer of information, corresponding – in a sense - with the transfer of genes from mother generations to progeny. Even representatives of “epidemiologic” memetics, who consider memes as thought contagion, agree that the transfer of contagious cultural information should be supported by this thought in some way. At the same time they maintain that the imitation, characteristic for Homo sapiens sapiens, being of an intuitive nature, is “copying of the product” and “copying of the instruction”. Based on that instinct – opinion shared by most people – the language evolved and remained the prime carrier of memes till writing was invented as well as other tools of reproduction, preservation and expansion. Coevolutionists assume that it was a natural selection (adaptation), which stimulated the development of speech, the said natural selection based on imitation, allowing the transfer of information crucial for the species survival; they regard language as a symptom of cognitive adaptation (Pinker). Followers of “mating mind” theory opt for a domination of sex selection (Miller), a factor in the development of “verbal feathering” of a human being. Supporters of memetics maintain that speech is an effect of memetic pressure – of memes which want to replicate. Regardless of the final conclusion as to the origin of speech, since the moment it appeared there has been an intimate link with another replicator. The author proposes a thesis that the study of human oral activity will allow to penetrate a replication mechanism and strategy of survival for memes, which, on account of such a relationship, should be “written” in the human verbal behaviour. This sends memetics to rhetoric and folklore, centuries-long, traditional studies of such behaviour, making use of proper technique and knowledge of the subject of oration, which neither biology nor its subsubject – memetics – can make use of. The memetic study of oration should be commenced in co-operation with these two sciences.
ISSN: 2081-397X
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (W.Hum.)

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