Saving Memes from Extinction

Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm
Dartmouth Hall 105
Lecturer: Daniel Dennett, Tufts University, Philosophy
Arthur of Consiousness Explained
Reception to follow in Thornton Hall Lounge, room 210

Richard Dawkins’ concept of a meme, an item of culture that is differentially replicated and hence evolves by natural selection, has provoked many misguided attacks, and yet survived in heavily transformed guise to become a dreaded buzzword.  Today we can plot this evolution, restoring the scientific respectability and expanding the utility of the concept. 

This will be drawn from the chapters on meme in his new book published February 7, From Bacteria to Bach and Back; The Evolution of Minds.

Daniel C. Dennett, the author of Breaking the Spell (Viking, 2006), Freedom Evolves (Viking Penguin, 2003) and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Simon & Schuster, 1995), is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He lives with his wife in North Andover, Massachusetts, and has a daughter, a son, and four grandchildren. He was born in Boston in 1942, the son of a historian by the same name, and received his B.A. in philosophy from Harvard in 1963. He then went to Oxford to work with Gilbert Ryle, under whose supervision he completed the D.Phil. in philosophy in 1965. He taught at U.C. Irvine from 1965 to 1971, when he moved to Tufts, where he has taught ever since, aside from periods visiting at Harvard, Pittsburgh, Oxford, the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, the London School of Economics and the American University of Beirut.

Free and open to the public!
This event is sponsored by the Cognitive Science Program.