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Journal Article

Memes and their themata

The American Journal of Psychology
Vol. 123, No. 3 (Fall 2010), pp. 307-317
DOI: 10.5406/amerjpsyc.123.3.0307
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Page Count: 11
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Memes and their themata
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Abstract When it is instantiated as a neuronal state, a meme is characterized as a phenotype in a novel neuronal sense. A thema is an instantiation of a meme as a conscious experience (a thought-meme). It is a primitive to which no location may be attributed, and it serves as a canonical representative of a class of memes. Memes in such a class may have physical or ideal (Platonic) instantiations. Pairing of this memetic phenotype characterization with the ideal thematic primitive is an example of other pairings in nature that are identified, and in particular it informs a description of the pairing of the unconscious mind and manifestations of consciousness. Interrela-tionship of these pairings is what illuminates aspects of each of them. These constructs support introduction of a consciousness thesis and then a notion of a dynamic self-referential grammar that generates a growing repertoire of consciousness manifestations. A method showing how a neuronal state generates a specific concept (thema) is introduced, and a sample of a class of examples is given. Pointers to experiments relevant to development of the thesis are given.

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