Week 12 02/04/2013 06:23:00
Mill, James, Dewey, Nietzsche, Marcel
Answer 4 of 6 questions on the exam, 45 min/question
Each will have a passage from each book.
Identify the author, then a detailed analysis of the passage.
Worth 15% of your final grade
Nazi death camps: phenomena like these make the philosopher posit the
question: what is going on with humanity?
There is an upside of technology that does not need to be addressed.
The downside: we don’t notice [context: 1951] the dangers of it.
Technology in the 20 thcentury: it has become a worldview, along with
Though it serves our interests, technology comes at a high price.
Human degradation: a technology of ‘un-freedom’.
Does it make our lives/society more or less free?
It limits freedom, but we don’t see it this way.
How tech costs freedom:
Nazi death camps: the Jews were dehumanized before being killed.
They had to be humiliated first.
They had to be degraded in their own eyes, not just in the eyes of
the German soldiers.
Individual self-understanding must be uprooted.
The individuals must abuse each other and conspire against each
Nietzsche: the human being places extreme importance on his self-
This desire to humiliate is nothing new: it is universal and non-temporal.
Governments have methods and technologies and violence to
humiliate on a massive scale.
o Imprisonment Once the technology for these methods is available, it’ll be used.
We don’t destroy technology, we keep developing them.
Nuclear weapons: are they necessary?
o They were to win against Japan in WWII
o They were soon used as deterrents against the USSR during
the Cold War.
o We still possess nuclear weapons as deterrents against other
We are not at war, but we still possess nuclear weapons.
There is no technology of peace; it’s all of war.
Every aspect of our lives is governed by technology.
o Communication: limited face-to-face communication
We no longer have any sense of mystery; everything is transparent.
We become suspicious of privacy; there was never this problem
Worries about radio [context: 1951]: palpable factor towards spiritual
Creates the impression of the citizen that the state is everywhere,
and that its message is thrust upon everyone (think of 1984 and
This has a normalizing effect on the citizens.
The purpose of propaganda is to persuade the viewer that it is