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Evolution for our time: a theory of legal memetics

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  • Simon Deakin
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    Abstract

    The purpose of this paper is to explore the significance for legal thought of recent developments in evolutionary theory which are associated with the notion of 'memetics'. 'Memetics' aims to account for processes of cultural transmission and change using a version of the 'genetic metaphor'. This is the idea that patterns of cultural evolution are closely analogous to those which occur in the natural world as a result of the interaction between genes, organisms and environments. At a further, more ambitious level, the initial metaphor gives way to a search for mechanisms which unite biological and cultural evolution. Identifying these general evolutionary mechanisms is part of a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary research agenda.

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    File URL: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/WP242.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ESRC Centre for Business Research in its series ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers with number wp242.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp242

    Note: PRO-2
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    Web page: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/

    Related research

    Keywords: legal evolution; memes; path dependence; employment contract; corporate governance;

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    Cited by:
    1. Mathias M Siems, 2006. "Legal origins: reconciling law and finance and comparative law," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp321, ESRC Centre for Business Research.

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