[Humanist] 23.382 boundaries of the human

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Oct 19 07:34:16 CEST 2009


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 382.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    renata lemos <renata.lemoz at eletrocooperativa.org>         (75)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.381 boundaries of the human?

  [2]   From:    James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>                      (13)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.381 boundaries of the human?

  [3]   From:    Susan Brown <sbrown at uoguelph.ca>                          (21)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.381 boundaries of the human?


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2009 09:34:49 -0300
        From: renata lemos <renata.lemoz at eletrocooperativa.org>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.381 boundaries of the human?
        In-Reply-To: <20091017105823.154163F768 at woodward.joyent.us>


dear willard,
i really enjoyed this post. i think an answer to your question might be
found on sloterdijk´s rules for the human zoo:

Rules for the Human Zoo: a response to the Letter on Humanism

Peter Sloterdijk (translated by Mary Varney Rorty)

Abstract. Rules for the Human Zoo, also known as the Elmauer Rede,
originally appeared in 1999 in the newspaper Die Zeit and was subsequently
published by Suhrkamp in 2001. (...) Humanism has claimed, according to
Sloterdijk, that it is “reading the right books” which “calms the inner
beast”. It is the great books, the “thick letters” from one great thinker to
another, that provide the “model presented by the wise”, which enables “the
care of man by man”. At the present, Sloterdijk argues, we appear to have
been abandoned by the wise. It is no longer the humanist but the archivist
who bothers to look up the old, thick letters. Humanism thus gives way to
archivism.
http://www.envplan.com/abstract.cgi?id=dst3

and if "humanism gives way to archivism", then what does post-humanism dwell
into?

i look forward to reading your thoughts regarding this.

best,

renata lemos

On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 7:58 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 381.
>         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>        Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2009 11:53:28 +0100
>        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>        Subject: boundaries of the human
>
> In How We Became Posthuman, Katherine Hayles opens Chapter 4 with the
> following sentence:
>
> > Of all the implications that first-wave cybernetics conveyed, perhaps
> > none was more disturbing and potentially revolutionary than the idea
> > that the boundaries of the human subject are constructed rather than
> > given. (p. 84)
>
> She hints at the history of this "revolutionary" notion by citing
> Gregory Bateson's use of the metaphor of the blind man's cane, a
> favourite of the phenomenologists, e.g. Merleau-Ponty and Polanyi, and
> related to Heidegger's argument in Sein und Zeit. But surely there is an
> earlier history of the idea. The experience is as primordial as homo
> faber's, not just as old as cane-using blind people's.
>
> My question is this. How is it that human beings would have greeted this
> notion as so disturbing, so revolutionary? My guess is that the
> separation of people whose social mandate is to think and write from
> those whose mandate is to carry out skilled (or even unskilled) manual
> labour is responsible. Who has best written about this?
>
> Comments?
>
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
> King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
> Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
> Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2009 09:35:27 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.381 boundaries of the human?
        In-Reply-To: <20091017105823.154163F768 at woodward.joyent.us>

Gad...she wasn't serious, was she?  This idea goes back to Plato.
Kierkegaard restated Plato's position in a very sophisticated form.
Freud beat it into our heads most recently.  How is she using the
phrase, "boundaries of the human subject"?

Jim R

> In How We Became Posthuman, Katherine Hayles opens Chapter 4 with the
> following sentence:
>
>> Of all the implications that first-wave cybernetics conveyed, perhaps
>> none was more disturbing and potentially revolutionary than the idea
>> that the boundaries of the human subject are constructed rather than
>> given. (p. 84)
>



--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2009 23:40:26 -0400
        From: Susan Brown <sbrown at uoguelph.ca>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.381 boundaries of the human?
        In-Reply-To: <20091017105823.154163F768 at woodward.joyent.us>

Dear Willard,

It seems to me that Stephen Jay Gould writes quite brilliantly in one of 
his essays about the need to make this distinction as having had a 
shaping influence on evolutionary theory. I'm afraid I don't recall 
which essay or collection, though perhaps it was _The Mismeasure of Man_.

All the best,
Susan

Susan Brown
sbrown at uoguelph.ca

Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
> My question is this. How is it that human beings would have greeted this 
> notion as so disturbing, so revolutionary? My guess is that the 
> separation of people whose social mandate is to think and write from 
> those whose mandate is to carry out skilled (or even unskilled) manual 
> labour is responsible. Who has best written about this?
>
> Comments?
>
> Yours,
> WM
>   





More information about the Humanist mailing list