Liane Gabora

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Liane Gabora is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan. She is best known for her theory of the "Origin of the modern mind through conceptual closure." This built on her earlier work on "Autocatalytic closure in a cognitive system: A tentative scenario for the origin of culture."


Gabora has contributed to the study of cultural evolution and evolution of societies, focusing strongly on the role of personal creativity, as opposed to memetic imitation or instruction, in differentiating modern human from prior hominid or modern ape culture. In particular, she seems to follow feminist economists and green economists in making a very strong, indeed pivotal, distinction between creative "enterprise", invention, art or "individual capital" and imitative "meme", rule, social category or "instructional capital".

Gabora's views contrasts with that of memetics and of the strongest social capital theorists (e.g. Karl Marx or Paul Adler) in that she seems to see, as do theorists of intellectual capital, social signals or labels as markers of trust already invested in individual and instructional complexes - rather than as first class actors in themselves. She puts special emphasis on quantifiable archaeological data, such as the number of different arrow points styles, than on contemporary observations to minimize cultural bias and notational bias.[citation needed]

Some of her recent work raises extremely controversial themes in philosophy of science and strongly challenges the particle physics foundation ontology (e.g. studying the "violation of Bell inequalities in the macroworld"). She is also known for her contributions to the subtle technology field.


  • Gabora, L. (1997) The origin and evolution of culture and creativity. Journal of Memetics: Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission, 1(1).
  • Gabora, L. (1995) Meme and variations: A computer model of cultural evolution. In (L. Nadel & D. Stein, Eds.) 1993 Lectures in Complex Systems. Addison-Wesley.
  • Gabora, L. & Aerts, D. (2002) Contextualizing concepts. Proceedings of the 15th International FLAIRS Conference (Special Track 'Categorization and Concept Representation: Models and Implications'), Pensacola Beach FL, May 14-17, American Association for Artificial Intelligence.
  • Gabora, L. (2002) The beer can theory of creativity. In (P. Bentley & D. Corne, Eds.) Creative Evolutionary Systems. Morgan Kauffman.
  • Aerts, D., Aerts, S., Broekaert, J., & Gabora, L. (2000) The violation of Bell inequalities in the macroworld. Foundations of Physics, 30 (9). [quant-ph/0007041]

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