Memetics Books

This is a collection of books related to the topic of memetics. The list is associated with my 2011 "Memetics" book - which is now available.

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ImageTitle, author, date and description
Memetics / Cultural evolution
Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection by Peter Godfrey-Smith (2009)
In 1859 Darwin described a deceptively simple mechanism that he called "natural selection," a combination of variation, inheritance, and reproductive success. He argued that this mechanism was the key to explaining the most puzzling features of the natural world, and science and philosophy were changed forever as a result. The exact nature of the Darwinian process has been controversial ever since, however. Godfrey-Smith draws on new developments in biology, philosophy of science, and other fields to give a new analysis and extension of Darwin's idea. The central concept used is that of a "Darwinian population," a collection of things with the capacity to undergo change by natural selection. From this starting point, new analyses of the role of genes in evolution, the application of Darwinian ideas to cultural change, and "evolutionary transitions" that produce complex organisms and societies are developed. Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection will be essential reading for anyone interested in evolutionary theory.
Pattern and Process in Cultural Evolution by Stephen Shennan (2009)
This volume offers an integrative approach to the application of evolutionary theory in studies of cultural transmission and social evolution and reveals the enormous range of ways in which Darwinian ideas can lead to productive empirical research, the touchstone of any worthwhile theoretical perspective. While many recent works on cultural evolution adopt a specific theoretical framework, such as dual inheritance theory or human behavioral ecology, Pattern and Process in Cultural Evolution emphasizes empirical analysis and includes authors who employ a range of backgrounds and methods to address aspects of culture from an evolutionary perspective. Editor Stephen Shennan has assembled archaeologists, evolutionary theorists, and ethnographers, whose essays cover a broad range of time periods, localities, cultural groups, and artifacts. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
The Theory of Cultural and Social Selection by W. G. Runciman (2009)
In The Theory of Cultural and Social Selection, W. G. Runciman presents an original and wide-ranging account of the fundamental process by which human cultures and societies come to be of the different kinds that they are. Drawing on and extending recent advances in neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, Runciman argues that collective human behaviour should be analyzed as the acting-out of information transmitted at the three separate but interacting levels of heritable variation and competitive selection - the biological, the cultural, and the social. The implications which this carries for a reformulation of the traditional agenda of comparative and historical sociology are explored with the help of selected examples, and located within the context of current debates about sociological theory and practice. The Theory of Cultural and Social Selection is a succinct and highly imaginative contribution to one of the great intellectual debates of our times, from one of the world's leading social theorists. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Evolution, Culture, and the Human Mind by Mark Schaller, Ara Norenzayan, Steven J. Heine and Toshio Yamagishi (2009)
An enormous amount of scientific research compels two fundamental conclusions about the human mind: The mind is the product of evolution; and the mind is shaped by culture. These two perspectives on the human mind are not incompatible, but, until recently, their compatibility has resisted rigorous scholarly inquiry. Evolutionary psychology documents many ways in which genetic adaptations govern the operations of the human mind. But evolutionary inquiries only occasionally grapple seriously with questions about human culture and cross-cultural differences. By contrast, cultural psychology documents many ways in which thought and behavior are shaped by different cultural experiences. But cultural inquires rarely consider evolutionary processes. Even after decades of intensive research, these two perspectives on human psychology have remained largely divorced from each other. But that is now changing - and that is what this book is about. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Books with sections on memes/memetics
The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich (2009)
In humanity’s more than 100,000 year history, we have evolved from vulnerable creatures clawing sustenance from Earth to a sophisticated global society manipulating every inch of it. In short, we have become the dominant animal. Why, then, are we creating a world that threatens our own species? What can we do to change the current trajectory toward more climate change, increased famine, and epidemic disease? Renowned Stanford scientists Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich believe that intelligently addressing those questions depends on a clear understanding of how we evolved and how and why we’re changing the planet in ways that darken our descendants’ future. The Dominant Animal arms readers with that knowledge, tracing the interplay between environmental change and genetic and cultural evolution since the dawn of humanity. In lucid and engaging prose, they describe how Homo sapiens adapted to their surroundings, eventually developing the vibrant cultures, vast scientific knowledge, and technological wizardy we know today. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
30-Second Theories: The 50 Most Thought-Provoking Theories in Science, Each Explained in Half a Minute by Paul Parsons (Editor) (2009)
Chaos Theory, String Theory, the Theory of Relativity? Intelligent Design? Schrodingerzs Cat, Memetics and Pavlov's Dog? Sure, you know what they all mean. That is, you've certainly heard of all of them. But do you know enough about them to join a dinner party debate or dazzle the bar with your knowledge? 30-Second Theories takes a revolutionary approach to understanding the 50 most significant and intriguing scientific theories. It challenges a half-century of leading boffins to abandon their beloved jargon and explain the most complex theories in half a minute - using nothing more than two pages, 300 words, one flow chart, and a picture. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Human Behavioral Ecology
Historical (before 1975)
From Wikipedia


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