On another question answering website, a question was posted that I am urgently seeking the answer to which received no answer. As the title to this post implies, I am interested in how memes are like other objects per speculative realism. Apparently someone else was interested too. Here is the question: "As I understand the metaphysics of speculative realism, everything is an object. In that case, how would memes, replicators of information that parasitically employ human brains to copy the information, be considered "on par" with other objects in the universe?"

  • Plunge a meme of a knife into your leg and then plunge a real knife into your leg. You'll intuitively understand the difference. Nov 8, 2017 at 12:31
  • They without question have cultural reality, are referenced to in conversation, and influence people to act differently in some cases. How to deny them reality? The lack of corporeal existence - in this line of thought - cannot be an argument against that, or we would have to call all mental phenomenon illusory.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Nov 8, 2017 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


I have been reading a book now about objects, which the author calls "machines". Machines have inputs and outputs, and reorganize flows of other machines, while being reorganized by the flows themselves. Machines have a purpose when coupled with other machines. Machines can be corporeal (e.g. a knife) or incorporeal (e.g. a meme of a knife) per speculative realism because they have these functions. The book is "Onto-cartography: An Ontology Of Machines and Media" by Levi Bryant. The whole book looks interesting, but in particular I am referencing chapters one and two.

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    Specifying author, title, and possibly even particular pages and quotes could help others having the same question with a definite answer. As it stands, this is hearsay and not a good fit for StackExchange.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Nov 18, 2017 at 19:15

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