Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Penumbra of the Empty, Part XII

I am speaking in this post about how things appeared to me as a child, and I don’t know whether these comments are general or not, but I think they are.

As a child, I was attracted to science because I was attracted to experiment and exploration. Accumulating facts or mastering methods was of no interest to me. Also of no interest was the acquisition of the power to control and dominate—I can honestly say that the acquisition of such power was in my mind in no way associated with science—quite the opposite.

I had no notion of science as requiring the squelching of either my individuality or my sensuality. That science would mold me in a cold, icy grip was something-- as I think on it now—did not register in any recollectable instance or perception. I do have to add that my scientific interest was more toward the biological than the physical sciences—and this was in the belief that biology led to an immersion and invigoration of the lived life of the individual, almost as if biology was some sort of religious practice rather than a rigorous science.

While I was a child, the space program was in full swing, and seemed to offer electrifying opportunity for all of humankind—I could never have believed humankinds’ horizons were on the verge of contracting rather than expanding.

I could never have believed study of science would confer a character of stodginess on my life or thinking, an antagonistic rigidity and narrowness. Science seemed so revolutionarily open and generous—what the heck happened? Similarly, why did the Enlightenment renege on its promises, and how?


Blogger Christoffer said...

What happened? I think science has become capitalistic, it is now more a matter of making an investment return value, than it has to do with exploration. Exploration is now finding out, how to maximise a profit. I think it has to do with the perception of nature as a natural resource, rather than a home. The lived life in biology, has only to do wth how to avoid unacceptable side-effects so to be FDA approved faster.

We could go on, endlessly list these "misperceptions", or things than we (or I) dont like or approve of. In the end, it is an accelerating devolution, from which the species of mankind is revealing his own being as subjective.

2:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We could go on, endlessly list these "misperceptions", or things than we (or I) dont like or approve of."

That you and I (we) don't like these things but that our dislike does not everyone dislikes these things (We-capital W)and what it means that the universals such as they were viewed by the Enlightenment turn out not to be universals, is one of the major interests of this inquiry.

It is of interest to me that much of what we dislike in these developments involve aspects of them that would have been regarded as marginal or not even existing by the Enlightenment thinkers. For example, effects on "the environment." The concept didn't even exist for the Enlightenment thinkers. They couldn't have been concerned about it--they hardly acknowledged it was.

Earth as a natural resource and not a home-- the oblique reference to Heidegger is apparent. Heidegger succeeds, in my opinion, in expanding the realms of ethics and aesthetics in such a way as to include or make it possible to include these marginal subject matters. However, because Heidegger's thought is different, and will remain different, it is treated as ignoring real ethical and aesthetic concerns as viewed by pre-Heidegger philosophy and contemporary heirs of pre-Heidegger philosophy. Thus, a radical division in post-Heidegger philosophy which has real weakening effects for all philosophy.


12:15 PM  

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