Abstract

My thesis is that meme theory and rhetoric take unusual turns when confronting the problem of evil. Focusing on works by Richard Dawkins and Jack Zipes, I consider three levels at which this confrontation takes place. The first is the everyday selfishness and self-promotion attributed to memes as intrinsic to their mode of propagation. The second concerns memes whose content affronts present-day morality (e.g., memes that portray parents eating or sacrificing their children). The third is the coldness of the scientific worldview promoted around the meme enterprise. I argue that in attempting to account for evil and to propose remedies to it, meme theory takes on shades of the very mythological and religious traditions it seeks to discredit.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0413
Print ISSN
0737-7037
Pages
pp. 91-100
Launched on MUSE
2009-06-17
Open Access
No
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