Re: Animal culture?

J Cook (0002019573@MCIMAIL.COM)
Thu, 8 Aug 1996 07:15:00 EST

-- [ From: Jesse S. Cook III * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] --

-------- REPLY, Original message follows --------

Date: Thursday, 08-Aug-96 02:54 AM

From: Danny Yee \ Internet: (
From: Danny Yee \ Internet: (
To: Multiple recipients of list ANTHRO-L \ Internet:

Subject: Re: Animal culture?

> Danny, I'm afraid your "philosophical thought experiments" are way beyond me.
> And I don't see how my "definition gives *far* too much importance to
> or how "building explicit reference to a biological species into the
> will obscure this." What does "this" refer to? And don't tell me the
> preceding sentence, because it is just plain gobbledegook to me.

By "building explicit reference to a biological species into the definition" I
mean the appearance of "human" in your (and other peoples') suggested
definition of culture.

[ I realise many would define "human" non-biologically, but most such
defintions do so *in terms* of culture, which would be rather circular in this
context! ]

Or is it my statement that some phenomena (e.g. social structures,
communication systems, memetic models, whatever) may be "independent of
particular biological systems" which is confusing? I mean that in just the
same sense that (say) gravitation is independent of what the masses involved
are composed of, or that information theory is independent of the physics of
the communication channel involved.


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I'm sorry, Danny. We are just not on the same wavelength.