Re: [xmca] Copernicus, Darwin and Bohr

From: Tony Whitson <twhitson who-is-at UDel.Edu>
Date: Sat Jun 30 2007 - 17:54:39 PDT

I think Jay reframes things well, and many of us would agree with the
general position he expresses.

At the same time, I think his formulation reflects the limitations of the
idea of symmetry -- or maybe why symmetry should not be taken too
literally, or too far.

Jay asks:
> what kinds of
> artifact-mediated literacies will make people in the future the kinds of
> people they want to be?

A symmetric paraphrase might read:

what kinds of people-mediated artifact-capabilities will make artifacts in
the future the kinds of artifacts they want to be?

Appreciating Michael's issue with Heidegger (I ordered the Nancy book this
afternoon), I think this does illustrate H's point that Dasein is special
in being that Being for which its own Being is problematic. I don't know
how someone would claim that artefacts are concerned in the same way with
the existential question of what kinds of artifacts they "want to be" in
the future. Of course artifacts can have auto-poietic or auto-telic
powers, but there would not be the same kind of existential question for
them as there is for us ...

On Sat, 30 Jun 2007, Jay Lemke wrote:

> More likely, the analogy with Latour's position is that artifacts are more
> like people than we imagined before, though actually I think the point is
> that people are not people without their artifacts (and vice versa in some
> sense).
> So what kinds of artifacts make us what kinds of people? and what kinds of
> artifact-mediated literacies will make people in the future the kinds of
> people they want to be? perhaps not the same kinds of literacies that made
> the kinds of people there were in the past ... but the choice ought to belong
> to those who will be these people in the future, and I'm for supporting some
> new ways of being human.
> JAY.
> At 12:26 PM 6/26/2007, you wrote:
>> Some quick thoughts...
>> The "premise that persons and artifacts are equivalent actants" might be
>> viewed as the triumph of scientistic, materialist reductionism, no? People
>> are just soft machines, after all. And the insistence that "there is no
>> thinking without tools" is a wonderful limitation of thinking to no more
>> instrumental calculation.
>> And what better way to ensure that people really are no more than soft
>> machines, extensions of technology, than to deny them access to the
>> literacies that, one might argue, offer the possibility for freedom, for a
>> different kind of thinking that steps out of "the system," at least for a
>> moment.
>> What do you think? Do you think?
>> Martin
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
> Jay Lemke
> Professor
> University of Michigan
> School of Education
> 610 East University
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> Tel. 734-763-9276
> Email.
> Website. <>
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list

Tony Whitson
UD School of Education

"those who fail to reread
  are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
                   -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
xmca mailing list
Received on Sat Jun 30 18:03 PDT 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Jul 02 2007 - 07:31:11 PDT