Invasion of the Mind Snatchers. On memes and cultural parasites

Abstract

In this commentary on Daniel Dennett's 'From Bacteria to Bach and Back', I make some suggestions to strengthen the meme concept, in particular the hypothesis of cultural parasitism. This is a notion that has both caused excitement among enthusiasts and raised the hackles of critics. Is the “meme” meme itself an annoying piece of malware, which has infected and corrupted the mind of an otherwise serious philosopher? Or is it an indispensable theoretical tool, as Dennett believes, which deserves to be spread far and wide?

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